Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas stories is the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known to most people as The Night Before Christmas. The poem first appeared in print in December 1823 in a newspaper in Troy, New York – by an anonymous author. For generations of children and their parents, we’ve believed that The Night Before Christmas was written by Clement Clarke Moore; after all, he claimed authorship in 1837.
In more recent years, after much research, the attribution to Moore has been questioned. It’s now believed by many scholars that Henry Livingston Jr., another American author, wrote the poem in about 1804 or 1805. Regardless of its authorship, the poem redefined St. Nicholas into a kindly elf – the character that the world now knows as Santa Claus.
For the first time we learned that St. Nicholas travels in a sleigh pulled by reindeer; that he is short and stout, and smokes a pipe; and that he enters peoples’ homes by coming down the chimney. There are many reprints of traditional Christmas stories – you may have one or more on your bookshelf.
If you’re looking for more great Christmas classics to read, ask your library to borrow:
A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems, published by Thomas Nelson in 2018.
“Girlfriends” is a musical program open to girls in grades 7 to 12 who LOVE to SING! The girls meet weekly for approximately 12 weeks to rehearse some of the great “girl” music from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
Every other year, they put on a Christmas Show with music from the same era. “Girlfriends” is run by Angelika Werner of Angelika Werner Productions.
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Inspired by the tale of Hansel and Gretel, bakeries in Germany began decorating fancy gingerbread houses in the early 1800s. You can get a fancy pattern or informal slabs glued together with icing. Decorate with all your favourite candies. Today, grocery stores carry pre-baked kits that only need to be assembled and decorated or you can go all out and make your own Lebkuchenhaus, German Swiss Chalet Gingerbread House Dough.
Grab the kids, craft supplies and turn up Today's Concert and get crafting. Make a suncatcher Nativity scene with these step-by-step instructions or create your own Advent Calendar from now to Christmas by following this video.