Hooves on the Rooftop: Twas the Night Before Christmas, by Clement Moore, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, by Robert May
No, they aren’t horses. But reindeer have pulled sleighs – and been ridden! – by people living in the Arctic for thousands of years, and every Christmas Eve, they and the 1823 poem that tells their story dash through neighborhoods around the world. Attributed to Clement Moore and originally titled A Visit from St. Nicholas, today the poem is best known by its opening words…
✅ Twas The Night Before Christmas Book By Clement Moore
Such a great Christmas classic! – The bright colorful pictures are very nicely done. They have a lot of details and plenty going on to entertain young kids. The story is a great classic for the Holidays. Illustrations were fantastic and they drew into the story. Every once in a while you would find the joy of just looking at those beautiful Illustrations without any type on it at all every now and then as the story goes along.
✅ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Book
Great art and great original story – A beautiful story with superb drawings, to advise those who read English and can translate because there is a lot of text. The book broadcast worked quickly, reliably and in great quality! The art is great and it’s cool to hear the original version.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”
Looking for Rudolph? You won’t find him in Twas the Night Before Christmas. The red-nosed “ninth reindeer” didn’t join Santa’s team until Robert May created him in 1939. To learn Rudolph’s story, read the complete poem by Robert May, sing or listen to the classic song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or watch the animated television special on CBS – which has been broadcast in America every Christmas since 1964.
And tonight, of course, don’t forget to set out a plate of cookies (and carrots!), turn your eyes toward the sky, and keep your ears pricked for the sound of hooves on the rooftop…