A Visit from St. Nicholas

1823 poem attributed to Clement Clarke Moore / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A Visit from St. Nicholas, more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously under the title Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837.

Cover page for a series of illustrations for the Night Before Christmas produced as part of a PWA project in 1934 by Helmuth F. Thoms

The poem has been called "arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American"[1] and is largely responsible for some of the conceptions of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today. It has had a massive effect on the history of Christmas gift-giving. Before the poem gained wide popularity, American ideas had varied considerably about Saint Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors. A Visit from St. Nicholas eventually was set to music and has been recorded by many artists.