A Child's Christmases in Wales
Young Owen recalls how, at Christmas 1983 when he was ten, his obsessively tidy mother and penny-pinching father hosted his two paternal uncles, garrulous carpet king Huw, perpetually attacking his ex-wife and with silent son Maurice in tow, and shambling out-of-it Gorwel. Huw brings a series of computer games, none of which work, whilst Mum steps on the Subbuteo set. Three years later and the annoying neighbors the Cadwallander boys are still charging the earth for their carol-singing, and Huw is still bitter about his ex-wife, but his gift of an artificial Christmas tree causes Mum to junk their real one. The uncles fall out over a game of Hungry Hippos and Huw's tree goes up in smoke, prompting the return of the real one. By 1989 the family has a phone and a color television. Huw brags that he fitted Tom Jones' new carpet and the Cadwallander boys have a CD out, but Gorwel gets into a fight trying to move them on. At least he wins his bet that it will be a white Christmas, though the sledging is a disaster, injuring Mum, so the menfolk prepare the dinner. Maurice stands up to his father and Mum has a confession to make to Gorwel about the presents he always brings her.