'Twas the Night Before Christmas, the famous narrative poem by Clement Clarke Moore, is my favorite story, ever. When I was nine-years-old, my 4-H groups presented it at our holiday pageant, and each of us were responsible for reciting a few pages. I learned my lines by heart, and loved the lyrical story so much, I ended up memorizing all 28 lines of the poem, and so began my love affair with memorizing poems, book excerpts, bible passages, which would last my lifetime.
When my little sister was born, I read and recited 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to her. I'd tell it to myself if I ever had trouble falling asleep. And then when Maya was born, it has been one of my greatest Christmas joys to share this special story with her. It might be counterintuitive to love this story so much while proselytizing that Santa is not real, but there's just something about this story that is so beautiful, with its meter and rhyme pattern, alliteration, and imagery.
The nearly 200-year-old story, has been referred to as "the best-known verses ever written by an American" and is largely responsible for the representations of the jolly old elf that are conjured in your mind when you think of Santa today. It has greatly affected the tradition of Christmas gift-giving, and universalized the idea of the red suit, sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
So in order to ring in the holiday season this year, we bring to you a special Christmas Eve edition of Storytime Bilingue, and present Mami's favorite Christmas story. Snuggle up with your loved ones and read along, as you await the mythical arrival of Santa.