‘Twas The Night Before Christmas has become a Christmas classic but there’s plenty I bet you don’t know about this festive season poem. Like, for a start, did you know it isn’t even called ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas? Its actual title is “A Visit From St.Nicolas.”

The author, Clement Clarke Moore, created the idea of St.Nicolas riding through the air on a sleigh pulled by a team of eight reindeer. As for the names of the reindeer, well. Two of the four-legged engines for Santa’s sleigh who are now referred to as Donner and Blitzen were actually called “Donder en Blixem” in the original version of the poem. “Donder en Blixem” is Old Dutch for “Thunder and Lightning.”

Then there’s Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve. Not long before “A Visit From St.Nicolas” was written, New Years Day was the “big” holiday but the fancy people in society had begun celebrating Christmas Day as the well-to-do family’s holiday celebration of choice.


Different branches of Christianity viewed Christmas Day in different ways. Some thought it was a great holiday, others thought it was all a bit suspicious and misguided. So Moore wrote his story and had Santa arriving on Christmas Eve in order to appeal to as many people as possible.

And so began the tradition of Santa delivering gifts on Christmas Eve!

If you would like to read A Visit From St Nicholas or, if you prefer, we can still call it ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, download the printable pack below. Not only does it contain the full poem but there is a printable story wheel for your little one to use, making the poem so much more interactive.

Not only that, there’s a “silly story” template using The Night Before Christmas as a foundation but with strategically placed gaps so your kiddos can make the poem their own.

If you would like to enjoy more easy to create Christmas experiences and activities at home then you might also enjoy our:

We would also love it if you shared how you have used our Christmas printables so please do share your stories and photos with us either here or online using the hashtag #RedheadedPattiChristmas


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