Yesterday, Terri and I had the pleasure of attending Cirque de Soleil’s performance of “‘Twas the Night Before,” at the Texas Trust CU Theater in Grand Prairie. Cirque de Soleil is always a stunning and breathtaking aural and visual experience. The troupe has revolutionized the circus, ensuring the diverse performance and entertainment form will continue to thrive for decades to come.
The Cirque de Soleil performance troupe puts an entertaining and exhilarating spin on this contemporary re-imagination of this poetic Christmas favorite. Terri and I were both thrilled by the acrobatics and jaw-dropping feats.
This modern spin on a Christmas classic follows the story of young Isabella and her nostalgic father. Isabella is tired of the Christmas craze surrounding her once cherished childhood holiday. In the re-telling of this timeless classic, Isabella encounters the colorful characters of this renowned Christmas poem.
Christmas poems celebrating a wide range of spiritual and secular traditions have been written for ages. One of the oldest, if not the first, Christmas poems written is “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” penned by John Milton in the late 1620s and published in 1645.
Clement C. Moore enjoyed writing poems for his children. In addition to writing a book of poems for them, Moore is credited with authoring the well-known Christmas poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” It was first published on December 23, 1823 as “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”
An educator and poet, Clement Moore served as a biblical scholar and professor at the Episcopal General Theological Seminary in his hometown of New York.
Because his most famous poem was first published anonymously, there was a great debate about who actually wrote “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” until Moore’s collection Poems was published in 1844. Many scholars today credit Major Henry Livingston Jr. as the author.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
By Clement C. Moore
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 our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my 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 a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he 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, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop 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 pedler 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 on 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 bowl full 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!”
What are some of your favorite Christmas poems and/or Christmas stories? Do you have a favorite Christmas movie you watch every year as part of your Christmas tradition?
This is such a wonderful, joyous time of year. I pray your Christmas season is filled with love, hope, joy, and peace.
Remember—Jesus is the reason for the season.
May the Lord go with you wherever you go. May peace follow you always. Stay confident that the Lord who called you also equipped you.
The Devotional Guy™
Wow! That must have been a spectacular performance. I have our childhood copy of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” that is duct taped together it was read so much by all four of us kids. The bright, vivid illustrations popped into my mind as I reread the poem here. A movie we watched every year was “White Christmas.” It remains one of my holiday favorites.
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It was very colorful and vivid. The actors and acrobats were phenomenal. The entire production was beautifully done. Yes, I remember watching White Christmas and Bing Crosby. That’s a good one. Thanks for reading and sharing, Beth.
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