Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Solstice and a Merry Christmas

Today is the official start of the winter solstice when the Northern Hemisphere tilts farthest from the sun causing the longest night of the year. If you’re in Wiltshire, England, there’ll be a celebration at the ancient Stonehenge ruins to celebrate the event. The solstice is the beginning of the coldest three months in the Northern Hemisphere! Ugh!!
Let’s talk about something more enjoyable than the cold weather (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) – Star Wars.
Have you seen the movie, yet? I have…twice. I know, it just came out last weekend. Loved it. That’s all I’ll say. Don’t want to give anything away for those of you that haven’t seen it yet.

The Night Before Christmas
by Clement Moore
Christmas week…I’m excited. I love the season, probably because I have so many memories from childhood and when my children were little. I’m a firm believer that we celebrate the birth of our savor Jesus Christ, and through His love, my family and I enjoy the spiritual meaning, as well as the magical effects that fills our imagination. One great memory is the story of Twas The Night Before Christmas that I read to my kids. I still have one of their books – the sticker price on it is $1.24!

The poem, written by Clement Clarke Moore, was published in 1823 in a New York newspaper, The Sentinel. Moore remained anonymous when it was first published in the paper because he was a Baptist Minister. He was concerned that his church might think it was too light-hearted and secular. But, the poem became so popular that he admitted he wrote the poem, and later, published it in a book of poetry in 1844.

Moore wrote the poem on Christmas Eve in 1822 while sleigh riding home from Greenwich Village after purchasing the holiday turkey for his family. This was the first time that St. Nicholas pulled his sleigh with reindeer, calling them Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen. Sorry…Rudolph didn’t come around for another hundred years. This was the beginning of the magical traditions for American homes with the Santa Claus that we know today, the one he referred to as a jolly old elf and his workshop where elves built the toys for children.

There’s some authorship controversy about Moore being the author of Twas the Night Before Christmas. (If you’re interested in his findings and others, the internet has several opinions as to the authorship). For now, I stick with the Moore’s version:

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'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!
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 hand, 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,

May your Christmas be filled with smiles, family, love, food, and magic. 
Merry Christmas,



  1. What a wonderful post. I love that poem too. It really sums up the season. Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks Melissa, hope your holidays are the best and wishing you a great years in your writing career.

  2. Merry Christmas, Judy! And Shh! No spoilers on Star Wars. I'm hoping to see it soon.

    1. I know. I don't dare tell anyone what I liked about it because it would give away too much. Thanks for stopping by.


Writing Tips


Add this to your site