Memory of a Large Christmas

Lillian Smith

Heartwarming recollections of an old-fashioned Christmas


"This funny, warm, touching, beautifully written book should be read by families at Christmas time as Dickens' Christmas Carol used to be."
New York Times Book Review

"Smith has recorded some of her southern memories so evokingly that for a while we are convinced she is writing of a childhood we shared with her. And she does it with the light touch of humor. . . . All the family traditions that make each Christmas part of a splendid recurring rhythm are here."
Christian Science Monitor

More / Hide

As a young child in the early 1900s, writer and civil rights crusader Lillian Smith lived an idyllic, small-town life. Of the many customs by which her and her eight brothers' and sisters' days were ordered, none are so fondly remembered by Smith as those of the Christmas season.

With a lighthearted touch, she recalls such times as when the family hosted forty-eight chain-gang convicts, along with their guards, to a holiday feast and the time her older brothers almost bought an elegant coffin for their parents' gift. Of far greater meaning to Smith, however, are the remembered rituals, the year-after-year sights, sounds, smells, and tastes: first the hog killings and the shaking of the pecan trees just around the time Big Granny, Little Granny, and a cousin or two began to arrive; then making gifts and hanging stockings; and finally the big day, filled with presents, shooting firecrackers, and too much homemade candy, six-layered coconut cake, and "sweet potato pone, fancied up."

These and many more memories are here for our enjoyment. All are related against the joyful noise of children, imaginations unbridled, as they run through a house and yard that never quite ends and always offers new places to hide and new opportunities for adventure and mischief.

Page count: 88 pp.
Trim size: 5 x 7.5

Read more about Lillian Smith at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $24.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

Lillian Smith (1897-1966) was a writer, teacher, lecturer, and civil rights activist. Born in Florida, Smith spent much of her life in Georgia. She is the author of seven books, including Killers of the Dream, Strange Fruit, and One Hour, and was also the founding editor of the magazine South Today.