On the night before Christmas, a father catches an unexpected glimpse of St. Nicholas himself. Along with his eight reindeer, Santa is here to fill the family's stockings with toys. His short visit fills the silent house with joy and wonder.
Written by Clement Clarke Moore and first published in 1823, this read-aloud classic has been beloved for generations. Whether for nostalgia-seeking readers or new generations, The Night Before Christmas is a must-have in everyone's collection.
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The Night Before Christmas
By Barbara Reid, Clement C. Moore
ALBERT WHITMAN & CompanyCopyright © 2013 Barbara Reid
All rights reserved.
'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 sugarplums
danced in their heads;
And Mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the 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.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he 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, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop 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.
Excerpted from The Night Before Christmas by Barbara Reid, Clement C. Moore. Copyright © 2013 Barbara Reid. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
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