The Essential Christmas Gift for Every Child


I took this quince photograph a few weeks back at the magnificent John F. Kennedy Arboretum in Co. Wexford. The minute I saw it, I was reciting the final stanza of Edward Lear’s (1871) The Owl and the Pussy Cat to myself:

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Santa never failed to bring me books of nursery rhymes and children’s poetry. I still have them all and love delving into them as they bring me back to those happy days looking at the colourful pictures and listening to Mother reading everything from Jack and Jill  to The Highwayman as I drifted off to sleep.

It was these hours of shared reading that sowed the seed for the passion for poetry that has been such a part of me all my life.

May I suggest that just in case Santa doesn’t have enough books to go round that anyone who has young children in their lives (and I mean from babyhood onwards) makes sure that a book of nursery rhymes or children’s poetry is among the gifts that are beneath the tree on Christmas morning.

They are presents for life in a host of ways and are not just Treasuries; they are treasures that will  set little imaginations alight.

What’s your favourite nursery rhyme or children’s poem? 

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

13 thoughts on “The Essential Christmas Gift for Every Child”

  1. I have a favority Christmas’s called “Toyland”’s about never being able to go back once you stop believing…I will have to think about a poem though..I do like the line in your favorite poem..” which they ate with a runcible spoon”…I do like the poem “October Gave A Party”..about how all the leaves in their Fall colored finery attends a party…

  2. I love Quince Jam…and the photo brought back memories of my last jar…which we thoroughly enjoyed. I never thought about giving children’s poetry before and I like the idea…I still have acouple of pressies to buy so I will certainly have a look around now. This year, I decided to take the ‘serious’ out of Christmas and give presents that require people to ‘play’. So far, my son and his partner are each going to receive a beautiful adult colouring books with a quest/journey component in them, as well as the pencils to colour in with. My husband will receive a cryptic crossword book in his Christmas Stocking and I even bought a small colouring book for myself…but as I paint I may be able to convince hubby to have a go at colouring in. Is it a ‘rage’ in Ireland…it is here and there are hundreds of different sorts of colouring books to choose from. That said, of course, if a family member or friend wants something ‘serious’ I don’t have a problem and will happily oblige, but I do hope everyone gets a chance for peace and time for creativity. Jigsaws anyone?

    1. Oh I hope you find a little one to give poetry to.
      Yes, colouring books are all the rage here too. I still like the kid’s ones, though, especially if they have ‘join the dots.’
      I adore jigsaws. They’ve got complicated since the arrival of puppy Stan. But he’s well worth losing jigsaws for.

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