‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

It has been noted that in these tougher economic times, a lot of people are taking a simpler approach to the holidays.  Big budgets for gift-giving are out of the question for many.  All is not lost, though.  I think returning to the simple pleasures of Christmas will probably bring more real joy than a pile of crumpled wrapping paper ever would.

If your family is trying to get back to basics, one simple holiday tradition you might want to consider is a reading of Clement Clark Moore’s poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  Moore’s poem was the first time that Saint Nick was associated with reindeer and elves.  History tells us that a friend of Moore’s sent the poem to the New York Sentinel, which first published it on December 23, 1823. 

If you don’t have a copy of the book, here are the words.  Be sure to read it with appropriate drama and facial expressions!  (But, do try to get the book; the illustrations are magical for children!)

‘Twas 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 to 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 tiny 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!”

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15 Comments on “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”


  1. Thank you. It’s been a real, long while.

    Merry Christmas

    Valentine defrancis

  2. littlemarie Says:

    there was a poem in my newspaper today about a kid of who didn’t believe in Santa and did a lot of bad things because of it…Santa ended up turning him into a jack-in-the-box…i think i like “Twas the Night Before Christmas” much better! thanks for posting :)


  3. Thanks so much for this. Perfect for getting back to basics. It used to be a tradition at our house.

    I called and read it to my little sister tonight. She’ll be eighty next July.

  4. Gloris Says:

    sweet! Loved this story and illustrations when I was little. Thanks, Gloris
    http://www.gloriadelia.wordpress.com

  5. El Says:

    And,merry Christmas toyou and yours! Thanks for stopping by Being Fully Present and commenting!

  6. El Says:

    Oooh…I don’t think I would like that story, either! Merry Christmas! Thanks for stoppng by and commenting.

  7. El Says:

    Your comment made me smile. Thank you, and Merry Christmas you and your sister!

  8. WiseJamaican Says:

    This is a wonderful poem. Enjoyed reading it thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays.

  9. El Says:

    And, a merry Christmas to you and yours!

  10. hannahkaty Says:

    Thank you. What a simple way to bring back the season that existed when we were children. Merry Christmas!

    Best,

    Hannah Katy

  11. Salman Latif Says:

    That was a cute christmas poem.
    Indeed, pleasures come at no price :)

  12. El Says:

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Indeed, an oldie but a goodie. We need to keep the classics alive for our children’s children, somehow.

  13. El Says:

    Hannah – thanks for stopping by and commenting! Hopefully, our children will also pass traditions on to their children! Merry Christmas.

  14. softballgirl78 Says:

    Thank you for sharing this poem. Merry Christmas :)

  15. El Says:

    Thnks for stopping by and commenting. The poem is certainly a classic. It’s a good reminder that some old things are just perfect!


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