The Night Before Christmas
Clement Clarke Moore
Five Mile Press, 2006
“‘Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a mouse.”
How many children will hear these words as they settle down to sleep tonight, perhaps the one night of the year when it is easy to get them into bed? Certainly, it’s a tradition in this home and there is only one version that we share, year after year. Stunningly illustrated, this version is chosen because of the superb pop-ups that bring it to life. These are the traditional images of my childhood imagination -snow-covered houses; a fat.jovial Santa Claus in his sleigh pulled by reindeer through a starry night; Santa at the fireplace… and each framed with the rich, colours of Christmas. The velvet-striped cover is just a bonus.
I bought this the year Miss 8 was born and there hasn’t been a Christmas when we haven’t shared it as part of the ritual of putting out something for Santa and the reindeer, leaving the special key in its hidey-hole so he doesn’t have to squeeze down our very narrow chimney and then gathering around the tree to read the last of the Christmas countdown. I know it sounds a bit schmaltzey but grandmothers can do that and implant a legacy that might be continued.
Tonight will be no different.
And to all of you who read this blog… Happy Christmas to all, And to all a goodnight!”