" The night before Christmas" or "Twas the night before Christmas" is a poem thought to be written by Clement Clarke Moore 1779-1863. Sometimes it is given the title "A visit from Saint Nicolas" The poems conception is dated around 1822, but the origin and history of the verse are odd, it first appeared on the 23 December 1823 in the Troy Sentinal, a newspaper from a city in New York state situated on the banks of the Hudson river. It also was submitted anonymously.
Ironically it became one of the most famous American Poems in history and help to fix Santa''s image and promote him within the public consciousness. Years later, 21 to be exact, Clement Clarke Moore claimed he wrote the poem. Moore was a bible sholar and a wealthy man apparently, he also was well respected, so his claim was accepted. Later a war veteran from the revolution, a man called Henry Livingstone, also claimed that it was his. As far as it is known there is no real answer to who really wrote it, but the person usually accepted as being the author is Moore.
There are 14 verses in all, each with 4 lines and the whole composition rhymes. It describes a typical household at Christmas Eve, the children are asleep, stockings are hung by the fireplace and their parents have just retired to bed. The house is silent when a noise outside interrupts the father''s peaceful rest- Santa Claus has arrived with his sleigh and reindeer. The rest of the poem is a descriptive piece recounting Saint Nick''s visit and his departure.
A very festive and traditional creation, it is still recited today.