Barbara A. Hamilton's Not Another Christmas Carol
Book review by Kristin Peck
Not Another Christmas Carol by Barbara A. Hamilton is a self-published book available on Amazon. The story presents a group of siblings who are excited about the spirit of Christmas in the air.
Set in Ireland in 1947, this tale begins with a bit of a rough reality about the process of actually preparing a goose for dinner (not to mention the honorable mention of steaming rabbits on other occasions).
"Every day I will test them by pulling one feather out of their tails. If the feather comes out easily, then the bird will be ready for plucking and trussing."
Details are given about plucking feathers at certain times, and being careful not to let the geese rot that are hanging in the "safe." However, the book also shows how the animals were used as not only food, but rabbits could be used as fur lining in clothing or other items of necessity.
Hamilton brings to light the impoverished conditions many families experienced in this time-period, and the gratefulness behind what was actually obtained through consistently hard labor by the parents.
Chores were completed without much complaint by the children as the expectation came that something good would come later. Family traditions are accompanied by funny antics that many children find themselves in.
However, what makes this family particularly unique in their entertaining ways was that I would imagine there are not too many people (other than perhaps some zoo handlers or those in the circus) who could say they have been farted on by an elephant and subsequently fell in its poop.
Not Another Christmas Carol is a cute story that shows some you do not have to necessarily have much money in order to enjoy Christmastime.
The children were taught the value of money through their own savings, and they even paid out of their pockets to sit with Santa and be presented with a small gift (which more-than-likely was a leftover item from last year's gift-giving).
"Every year I seemed to get the same gift, a box of paints and a coloring book."
Yet, itemized things were not as important as the quality time spent together playing outside or site-seeing with dad.
This is a story that has some educational aspects, as well as entertaining values contained within the pages.
Illustrations grace the beginning of the chapters, showing happiness in simple things such as, baking with mom, snowball fights, and eating a pleasant meal - oh, and of course being farted on by an elephant.
A few topics come up, such as, younger children getting into the alcohol and finding it amusing, and a couple of unnecessary 'colorful' words are placed towards the end of the tale, but overall, it is a story that represents the reality of what the holidays look like in many family homes.
Not Another Christmas Carol by Barbara A. Hamilton is a quick read that will bring out some giggles, and then some inquisitive questions when reading together.
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