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Twas the night before Xmas

Christmas Customs

'Twas the Night Before Xmas Original

Edited by Pauline Weston Thomas for Fashion-Era.com

 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Original Version

This famous poem shown here was first attributed to Clement Clarke Moore.  Arguments now exist that it may possibly have been written by the C18th Major Henry Livingston Junior and that Moore was first to publish the poem with other works of his own.  The internet has spawned many imitations from the computer nerd's version to the adult version.  Many of these circle the internet at Christmas and are frankly now tiresome.

None of the imitations has the magic of the original, which bears repeating here.  It's still the most heart warming of magical poems and is one of the world's most read poems, especially on Christmas Eve.  It is all about memories, expectations, hopes, fears, enchantment and good-hearted fun.

 Santa at the tree

'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 down 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, Donder 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 hand, 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,Santa leaving presents

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!'

 

End

See Topics Below for More Ideas on Christmas Traditions, Customs, and Recipes

Christmas Crafts

Seasonal Humour

Christmas Traditions

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For superb Victorian or Edwardian
re-enactment costumes in USA, try the reproduction costume range at:
 
Recollections for Victorian and Edwardian costumes recollections.biz