Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blog Advent Calendar Tour

I’ve had so much fun reading all of the posts on the Advent Calendar Blog Tour and visiting everyone’s blogs. I’ve been thinking and thinking of a tradition to retell, and I was wracking my brain trying to think of one tradition in particular that stands out besides the presents, the feast, the family, and watching Randy show his mom how the piggies eat in the Christmas Story. Poor Ralphie ended up shooting his eye out after all.

Since this is a blog about children’s books, I first thought of making a list of holiday books, but there are so many of them, and I couldn’t think of one that was my all time favorite until it hit me! One thing that never fails to give me the “warm fuzzies” even now is “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” I remember my sister, brother, and I had a children’s book with this poem, and we would read it over and over and over again as soon as the first hint of Christmas came around. We would reenact the different scenes and be at a loss as to what the father did when he “threw up the sash.” Even as I’m writing this, I’m smiling and know that I want to continue the tradition of reading it to my daughter and seeing her delight as she hears about Santa’s belly shaking like a bowlful of jelly.

Even though the night before Christmas is a few days away, take a few minutes to remember the magic of “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 Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday 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, 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 on 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 bowl full 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!"

There are only a few days left...visit the rest of the tour!
1 December - Becky (Becky's Book Reviews)
2 December - Lisabea (Nose in a Book)
3 December - Marg (Reading Adventures) / Lady Tink (Up Close & Personal with LadyTink)
4 December - Valentina (Valentina's Room)
5 December - Melissa (Book Nut)
6 December - Laura (Musings)
7 December - Wendy (Caribousmom)
8 December - Nymeth (Things Mean A Lot)
9 December - Raidergirl (An Adventure in Reading), Chris (Stuff as Dreams are Made on)
10 December - Dewey (The Hidden Side of a Leaf)
11 December -Suey (It's All About Books)
12 December - Chris (Book-a-rama)
13 December - Jill (The Well-Read Child)/ Stephanie (The Written Word)
14 December - Robin (A Fondness for Reading)
15 December - Alyssa (By The Book)
16 December - Rachel (A Fair Substitute for Heaven)
17 December - Literary Feline (Musings of a Bookish Kitty)
18 December - Dev (Good Reads)
19 December - Callista (S.M.S. Book Reviews)
20 December - Tiny Little Librarian (Tiny Little Librarian)
21 December - Carla (Carla Nayland Historical Fiction)
22 December - Carolyn Jean (The Trillionth Page)
23 December - Booklogged (A Reader's Journal)
24 December - Kailana (The Written World) / Carl V. (Stainless Steel Droppings)


  1. I love this story!

    Thanks for participating in the blog tour!

  2. I love this story; there are so many illustrated versions. Which one do you like best??

  3. Marg, Chris, and Melissa...thanks for visiting! Isn't it a great story? It evokes so many memories for me.

    I was just in Barnes & Noble the other day and had such a hard time picking out a version of this book for my daughter's library. I ended up getting the 2004 version illustrated by Ted Rand. The illustrations are so vivid and detailed, and I love his illustrations in other books like Salty Dog and My Mountain Song. I also really liked Cooper Eden's compilation with illustrations from a number of artists, including Jessie Wilcox Smith. Do you have a favorite?

  4. I love that poem too :D I was going to ask the same thing as Melissa... thank you for the recommendation!

  5. Thank you for sharing an old favourite! Happy Christmas to you and yours!

  6. pleasure! Let me know if you find one you really enjoy.

    Juliette...Merry Christmas to you, too!

  7. I'm parital to the Jan Brett-illustrated one. There are so many wonderfully illustrated version of this, though, that you could collect them all. (I'm giving myself ideas...)

  8. Melissa,
    I was unfamiliar with the Jan Brett-illustrated version and just looked it up. GORGEOUS. Now, you're giving ME ideas! ;)

  9. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and classic Crhistmas poem. Merry Christmas

  10. "One thing that never fails to give me the “warm fuzzies” even now is “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”"

    Me too and I am not sure why. Obviously I heard this story as a child, but it wasn't like it was a regular tradition or anything. Everytime I hear it though I have fuzzy memories of something from childhood that is just on the periphery of being clear. It gives me a warm, mysterious feeling.

  11. Raidergirl3-Merry Christmas to you, too!

    Carl V.--I've been thinking about the same thing all day, since I first published this post. My sister, brother, and I did read this book a lot, but there were other holiday books we read that didn't have the same long lasting effect. Perhaps it's because it brings me back to a time when things were more simple and innocent, and I believed in the magic of Christmas and the mystery of Santa Claus and his sleigh and reindeer. I know I used to lay in bed on Christmas Eve, trying to stay awake listening for the prancing and pawing of reindeer hooves. Clement Clarke Moore wrote this poem in 1822, and it continues to be well loved and create these wonderful memories we can't quite put a finger THAT's pretty magical.

  12. That is one of my favorite Christmas stories. :-) I used to have it memorized when I was a child because I'd read it over and over again. :-) Thank you for sharing.