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A Visit From St Nicholas

Running Time:3:50Release Date:
As a companion to our Santa Claus video we present "A Visit From St Nicholas" also known as "The Night Before Christmas". This poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823. This seasonal classic is illustrated by images taken from vintage editions of the poem.

About The Video

This poem is a Christmas classic. It is known by various names, "A Visit from St. Nicholas", "The Night Before Christmas", or "'Twas the Night Before Christmas".

The poem was first published anonymously in the Troy, New York Sentinel on December 23, 1823. Although there is still some debate it is generally accepted that the author was Clement Clarke Moore.

Clement Clarke Moore
Clement Clarke Moore

Moore was an amateur poet and a professor of Biblical learning. He was born July 15, 1779 and died July 10, 1863.

The poem is important, as many of the ideas we have about Santa Claus can be traced back to it. These include Santa's appearance, the fact that he uses a sleigh with eight reindeer and the names of all the reindeer.

The video includes images that we have collected from various vintage editions of the poem.

A Visit From St. Nicholas

A Visit From St. Nicholas
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;
Mother And Children Hanging Stockings
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-
Children Asleep
When out on the lawn there rose 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 shutters and threw up the sash.
Looking Out Of Window
The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
Eight 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;
Santa Claus
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blitzen-
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet,Cupid, Dunder and Blitzen
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 a sleigh full of toys-and St. Nicholas too.
Santa On Sleigh
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.
Santa Down Chimney
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;
Santa Down Chimney
His eyes how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little month was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
Santa With Sack
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.
Santa Claus
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.
Santa Claus
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.
Santa Claus Touching Nose
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,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
Santa Claus With Pipe

More Of Our Christmas Videos

The Mouse And The Christmas Cake

The Mouse And The Christmas Cake
We have found a rather jolly poem, just right for Christmas. The text and images we have used are from an edition first published way back in 1858.

The Truth About Santa Claus

The Truth About Santa Claus
So you think you know about Santa Claus? The truth is not so straightforward. We travel back in time to find the origins of the elusive Santa Claus.

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
1897 a young girl, Virginia O'Hanlon wrote to her local newspaper asking if Santa Claus was real. A veteran newpaper man Francis Pharcellus Church answered her question.

Baboushka - A Christmas Legend

Baboushka - A Christmas Legend
One night many years ago, an old peasant woman named Baboushka was called on by the Three Wise Men who invited her to join them as they traveled to Bethlehem.

Old Santeclaus

Old Santeclaus
Published 1821, in The Children's Friend this little known poem is of great interest as it introduces some modern elements of Santa as we know him today.

Interesting Links


Wikipedia - A Visit from St. Nicholas
Wikipedia - Clement Clarke Moore
Librivox - Twas The Night Before Christmas