About the Story


The Night before Christmas was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822. Moore wrote the story as a Christmas present for his six children. A family friend gave the story to the Troy (NY), Sentinal where it was published anonymously on December 23, 1823.

Originally called A Visit from St Nicholas, this poem has undergone a number of alterations in content. This is the Charles Grahan edition and was printed circa 1870 and published by Berliner & McGinnis, Inc. of Nevada City, CA.

2004 - At a famed auction house -- a piece of Christmas history is up for sale, to man or to mouse!

A handwritten and autographed manuscript of the classic poem "Visit from Saint Nicholas," will be auctioned at Sotheby's on December 3. The rare piece is one of four known autographed copies of the holiday standard by Clement Clarke Moore. It could fetch as much as 300-thousand dollars.

There were no takers at the auction and the manuscript remains with the original owner. The failure to sell the famed poem may be because there is a dispute about whether Moore authored it (see below).

Literary sleuth, Don Foster, has uncovered circumstantial evidence that Clement Moore may NOT be the author of Night Before Christmas. It seems that Henry Livingston, Jr of Poughkeepsie, NY,. is, possibly, the true author of the Christmas story.

Comparing the two writers' styles shows the differences and Livingston's prose is more similar to that of Night Before Christmas.   Read more about it


The Night Before Christmas - the story

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