You know, my family says that I am a bit of a nut when it comes to Christmas. I guess I just really like everything about it. When we moved to Lancaster County to open up our own Bed and Breakfast, little did I know that I would be in such a great area for antique Christmas collecting. I would like to say it is the capitol. Just ask Jim Morrison at the National Christmas Center. So when it comes to the holidays, one of our traditions with the children is to read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. The kids would laugh when I would mix the words up a bit; it made for a lot of laughs before bed time, ( In hindsight, I think I was contributing to getting them all wound up before bed ) It is my favorite holiday poem. The poem which is also called a visit from St. Nicholas was written by Clement C. Moore. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia that gives the history.
A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "The Night Before Christmas" and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" from its first line) is a poem written by Clement Clarke Moore, first published anonymously in 1823. It is largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and names of his reindeer, and the tradition that he brings toys to children. Prior to the poem, American ideas about St. Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors varied considerably. The poem has influenced ideas about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus beyond the United States to the rest of the Anglosphere and the world.
And here is the poem it's self. Enjoy and above all Merry Christmas!
'Twas the Night before Christmas' Poem
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseNot 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 snowGave 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 roofThe 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!"