Author raises funds for City Kidz with Hamilton Christmas childhood memoir

All proceeds from Ryan Moran's book and from the greeting cards usings its illustrations will be donated to City Kidz.
Ryan Moran's A Child’s Christmas in Hamilton is a memoir of his Christmas experiences growing up in the city in the 1980s. Chelsea Robinson created the book's illustrations. (Courtesy factor[e])

A local writer's childhood memories of Hamilton at Christmastime will help raise money for children’s programs in the city this season.

Ryan Moran has compiled A Child’s Christmas in Hamilton, a memoir of his Christmas experiences growing up in the city in the 1980s. All the proceeds will go to City Kidz, which provides community activities for local children in need.

Moran's book is a take on the classic Dylan Thomas tale A Child’s Christmas in Wales, but with a Steeltown perspective.

"It’s kind of an amalgamation of memories from a last minute shopping trip to Jackson Square, to opening presents and going tobogganing at nearby hills," Moran said.

The book is intended for a more advanced reading level, but the story itself can enjoyed by young and old, he added.

Published by local design firm factor[e] and illustrated by Hamilton artist Chelsea Robinson, the book is truly a community endeavour. A Child’s Christmas in Hamilton will be available for $7, along with greeting cards based on its illustrations, at select locations up and down Locke South, James North, Ottawa Street and from factor[e], beginning Dec. 10.

The team at factor[e] came up with the idea out of a desire to raise money for charity, while also contributing to the stories and culture of the city. Moran volunteered the pen the book based on an earlier draft he had already been working on.

"It’s something I’d previously looked at. I’d always wanted to write something [in the style of] Dylan Thomas," he said, but added that readers don’t have to be familiar with the original story in order to enjoy the Hamilton take.

"Some of it is pretty universal, whether it is toys you looked forward to getting in the 1980s or different parts of the city you visited."

Illustrations from A Child’s Christmas in Hamilton have been used to create a set of Christmas cards.

Susan Lamont, director of fund development at City Kidz, said her organization was thrilled when factor[e] approached it with the idea.

City Kidz, a Christian community organization, says its goal is to "increase resiliency and inspire big dreams for Canadian children living in low-income communities by providing inspirational experiences and nurturing personal relationships." Its activities include providing positive role models and helping young people learn leadership skills.