‘Tis December 24, the day before Christmas, and all through the land, families will send excited children to bed with a reading of Clement Moore’s classic poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”
Moore is thought to have composed the tale, now popularly known as “The Night Before Christmas,” on December 24, 1822, while traveling home from Greenwich Village, where he had bought a turkey for his family’s Christmas dinner.
Inspired by the plump, bearded Dutchman who took him by sleigh on his errand through the snow-covered streets of New York City, Moore penned A Visit from St. Nicholas for the amusement of his six children, with whom he shared the poem that evening. His vision of St. Nicholas draws upon Dutch-American and Norwegian traditions of a magical, gift-giving figure who appears at Christmas time, as well as the German legend of a visitor who enters homes through chimneys.
From the Library of Congress history website
I have tried and failed to create concrete family traditions. I envision our family reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas every December 24th, but we’ve only done it once or twice. Presents seem to be pretty concrete (ha! Try losing that one!), getting together with family, and a big Christmas meal, but nothing creative or different. Have you successfully carried out a tradition at Christmas that is rarely veered from? Please share it with the rest of us!
What traditions have hung around your family for years?