From Dennis Lowery, President/CEO of Adducent |
Amid the many celebrations each Christmas Eve, in various places by different persons, there once was one in New York City not like any other anywhere. A company of men, women, and children went together just after the evening service in their church, and, standing around the tomb of the author of “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” recited together the words of the poem which we all know so well and love so dearly.
Dr. Clement C. Moore, who wrote the poem, never expected that he would be remembered by it. If he expected to be famous at all as a writer, he thought it would be because of the Hebrew Dictionary that he wrote. He was born in a house near Chelsea Square, New York City, in 1781; and he lived there all his life. It was a great big house, with fireplaces in it;—just the house to be living in on Christmas Eve.
Dr. Moore had children. He liked writing poetry for them and wrote a whole book of poems for them. One year he wrote this poem, which we usually call “’Twas the Night before Christmas” to give to his children for a Christmas present. They read it just after they had hung up their stockings before one of the big fireplaces in their house. Afterward, they learned it, and sometimes recited it. Many children and adults probably know the words of the poem or certainly some of it that they can recite.
It was printed in a newspaper. Then a magazine printed it, and after a time it was printed in books for all readers. Later it was printed by itself, with pictures. Then it was translated into German, French, and many other languages. But never has it been given to us in so attractive a form as in this book so beautifully illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.
At this special time of year few things are as valuable to us as family, tradition and a love and respect for the good people and things we have in our lives. I wish you, the reader of this, a very special holiday season with your family and a very very Merry Christmas!