In 1952, Dylan Thomas first recorded A Child’s Christmas in Wales. The piece went on to become one of his most popular works. It is the story of Christmas past, told from the point of view of a child, but of course with Mr. Thomas’ ear for language. Consider just the first line of the poem:

“One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.”

In some homes it isn’t Christmas without a re-reading of the story by the fire. Perhaps this was the case at the Ditchfield home as now Brian Ditchfield has paid homage to the story by creating his own version entitled A Child’s Christmas in Edgartown.

Mr. Ditchfield will give a reading of his story, which actually begins with the words of Mr. Thomas and at times alternates back and forth when the setting fits, at the Harbor View Hotel on Dec. 12. It’s the kick-off party for Christmas in Edgartown at the hotel and Mr. Ditchfield will take the stage after the lighting of the lighthouse and before the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival screens A Christmas Story. At some point during the night, the Minnesingers will also take the stage, but at press time Mr. Ditchfield was not scheduled to join them in song.

Here is a bit of a sneak preview of A Christmas in Edgartown by Brian Ditchfield.

“It was the morning of Christmas Eve and Simon and I strayed from his family’s farm, leaving the ball used for this game and that in the remnants of the rows of kale still with their fighting green leaves despite the snow. The beach was too far to walk, or so said Cory, but he wasn’t with us and the beach in the snow seemed a perfect quest before the sun reached that spot in the sky that said time to wander home when festivities would take the place of our adventures.

We were hikers atop the barely visible trails with our sleeves pulled up over our hands in the stead of mittens left behind with the ball, toboggan, or any other escapade of the early day. The snow was slipping its way from the sky. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland. This was before there was mention of the warming globe, before you had to test the ice on the ponds until March reared its head and the hour did its dance to spring forward for a little less sleep.

Years and years ago, when I was a boy, when no president had ever visited our sleepy Island, and birds the color of red-flannel petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in ag halls that smelt like Sunday afternoons in damp front farmhouse parlors, and we chased with arrowheads the fearful tourists from our shores, before the motor car, before the wheel, when we rode through the scrub oak woods bareback, it snowed and it snowed. But here a small girl says: “It snowed last year, too. I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had cocoa, the kind were the marshmallows melt before you can drink them.”