Monday, 24 December 2012

CELEBRATIONS ~ The Night Before Christmas


The poem which has come to epitomise Christmas Eve and which so many of us have dancing in our heads each year at this time was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822.
This delightful poem is responsible for the vision of Santa Claus in a  sleigh drawn by reindeers which had not been imagined before Clement wrote his poem.
It's not known why he wrote it, but he had not intended it for publication and it only came to light when the New York Sentinel published it after Miss H Butler, a family friend sent them a copy. Clement was a shy man and it was requested that the wrtiter remain anonymous.

Clement Clarke Moore later claimed ownership and the poem was included with his other work in a book.

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house 
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away t o the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


  1. We wish you a merry Christmas
    We wish you a merry Christmas
    We wish you a merry Christmas
    And a happy new year!!
    Bonne fete !!!
    xxx Maria xxx

  2. Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  3. A favourite of ours! Thanks for a lovely psot and A Merry Christmas to you and yours as well,

  4. Merry Christmas Wishes to You and Yours!

  5. Merry Christmas!
    Brenda, Herbert, and Arthur

  6. Isn't it strange that some of the most popular things were created for individuals or privately, rather than in order to achieve fame and money!

    What a lovely book. I am glad to see that these days we're seeing more beautifully produced books in the book shops.

    Have a wonderful 2013, and I hope your CHristmas was great

  7. Merry Christmas to you and yours and may you experience peace, joy and contentment as this year draws to a close. Thank you for always posting inspiring info and photos.

  8. I have loved this poem since I was little....then read it to my boys with much aplomb and circumstance every Christmas!! Thank you for reminding me! Wishing you every joy of this beautiful season....N.xo

  9. Hope you had a lovely Christmas, Minerva dear, and wishing you a wonderful 2013! Thank you for all your sweet comments on my blog ~ I appreciate them so!! (They inspire me more than you can imagine!)
    Anne (& the Kitties)

  10. I love this story and my husband loves to read it each Christmas.
    It is always something that I look very forward too.
    The simple sweet things that make Christmas special.
    God Bless,
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  11. Hope you have enjoyed Christmas - I spent Christmas Eve on the Norad webside tracking Father Christmas (no small kids in this house but who cares!) - wishing you a very happy New Year.


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