‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (or: Account of a visit from St Nicholas) illustrated by Matt Tavares (Published by Walker Books, 2010).
This well-known poem first appeared on 23rd December 1823, published anonymously in an American magazine, the Troy Sentinel as ‘Account of a visit from St Nicholas’. Several years later in 1844, authorship of the poem was claimed by Clement C Moore. Opinion continues to be divided on who really wrote the verses.
In the introduction to this edition, Matt Tavares points out that editors have often made changes to the spelling and punctuation of the original text, even changing the names of the reindeer. For this edition, Tavares has returned to the original version. I have quoted two snatches of the verse here to whet your appetite:
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
When all thro’ the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse;
The stocking were hung
By the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas
Soon would be there;
The magical figure of St Nicholas fills the stockings and disappears into the night, in his sleigh pulled by Dasher, Dancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixen, “Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And way 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.
We will be reading this poem again at Christmas (I may even get a little further in trying to learn it off by heart) and appreciating the lovely illustrations in this edition.
I will also be searching out the Christmas stockings ready for our seasonal visitor. Not long to wait now…