Twas The Night…At the Huntington

Dec 10, 2012

Illustration by Jessie Wilcox Smith

This Saturday, the Huntington Library offers a reading of the holiday classic “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

In addition, Little Junebugs will be on hand so kids can get in the mix and make some festive crafts.

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” was first published in the Troy Sentinel in upstate New York on December 23, 1823. It is also referred to as “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”

Here is the lead-in to the poem, as written by publisher Norman Tuttle:

We know not to whom we are indebted for the following description of that unwearied patron of children—that homely, but delightful personification of parental kindness:—Santa Clause, his costume and his equipage, as he goes about visiting the fire-sides of this happy land, laden with Christmas bounties; but, from whomsoever it may have come, we give thanks for it. There is, to our apprehension, a spirit of cordial goodness in it, a playfulness of fancy, and a benevolent alacrity to enter into the feelings and promote the simple pleasures of children, which are altogether charming. We hope our little patrons, both lads and lasses, will accept it as proof of our unfeigned good will toward them—as a token of our warmest wish that they may have a many a merry Christmas; that they may long retain their beautiful relish for those unbought, homebred joys, which derive their flavor from filial piety and fraternal love, and which they may be assured are the least alloyed that time can furnish them; and that they may never part with that simplicity of character, which is their own fairest ornament, and for the sake of which they have been pronounced, by authority which none can gainsay, the types of such as shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Uncertainty exists in regard to the original scribe of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” advances the discussion that the poem, which is attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, was actually written by Major Henry Livingston, Jr. Some accounts say the poem actually came by way of a governess, who remains unnamed. To delve into this more, visit,, and the Huffington Post.

No matter who penned the poem, it is a part of our lexicon, indelibly linked to the celebration of Christmas.

A Visit From St. Nicholas
Saturday, Dec. 15th, 10 a.m.-noon
Ages 3-12
Members, $12; non-members, $15
Price includes one accompanying adult
To register, please call 626.405.2128

Illustration by Jessie Wilcox Smith

1 Response for “Twas The Night…At the Huntington”

  1. We have this year published a new edition with an edit of the two lines that reference the pipe and wreath of smoke around Santa’s head. The ebook is #1 bestseller on at the moment in three categories, children’s, american poetry and holiday ebooks. We won the Global International Ebook Award ( Santa Barbara ) for the best Christian Children’s Ebook and we won the Moonbeam Children’s Gold Medal for the best holiday book of 2012. Hope you will consider this edition and the studies that support this edit to better protect young reader’s from influences that contribute to a sympathy for nicotine products – still the number one cause of death and disease in America and around the world. Thank you for your time. The Publisher twas4kids on twitter.



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