Hi, Amy. You're going to show me the parlour of the house you've lived in since you've been stuck in the 19th century? Okay, let's see it.
The parlour looks wonderfully festive. I don't know why you keep telling me you hate being stuck in the past.
What exactly do you hate about it?
No cell phones
No junk food
No washroom in the house
HOLD ON! WAIT A MINUTE! Okay, I get it. But there must be something you like about living in the 19th century.
You like the family you live with.
Okay, that's great to hear. Pardon? No, I can't send you any money. You're in the 19th century!
What is it you want to buy? A Christmas gift for the family? Hmm, let's think of something you can make for them. Or something you can do for them. Oh! I just thought of the perfect gift. How about you memorize "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and say it aloud on Christmas Eve? You could stand right in front of the fireplace.
Oh, c'mon. Everyone will love it!
Originally titled "A Visit from St. Nicholas", it is more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas" or "Twas the Night Before Christmas". The poem was first published in 1823, so I'm pretty sure you can find a copy somewhere. It was written by Clement Clarke Moore.
It's popularity impacts the way Christmas is celebrated where you are in the 19th century, as well as today.
As the legend goes, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was composed by Moore on a snowy winter's day. His idea of St. Nicholas was borrowed from his friend, Washing Irving, but Moore depicted his "jolly old elf" as arriving on Christmas eve rather than Christmas day. People immediately embraced this version with its children "all snug in their beds".
Four hand-written copies are known to be in existence. One copy, signed by Moore, was sold in 2006 to a private collector for $280,000.
So, go ahead and memorize it, Amy. You still have enough time before Christmas Eve.
Here ... I'll get you started ...
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' 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 ...
Now you know. I can't wait to hear how it goes!