‘Twas the Night before Christmas

In 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, host Bill McGlaughlin inviteed listeners to journey back to the roots of this most familiar lyric. For an engaging hour, he touched on the fascinating early history of New York, depicting how children from Dutch and early British families celebrated Christmas. The program also highlighted Victorian families and featured a scene in which the children of Clement C. Moore, the poem's author, actually rejecting his first quite pious attempt at Christmas edification in favor of his more fanciful dreamland. The program bracketed this delightful story within the present: contemporary children asked their mother about Santa Claus and whether he really exists. This leads to Moore, the poem, his children and their lives in 1823 Chelsea, N.Y., one snowy Christmas Eve.

McGlaughlin then considered Moore's own thoughts from his later years and ended by connecting the poem's imagery to today — a child asked what Santa Claus might look like if he had been imagined in today's world.

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