Christmas Poet Cover

Source Materials
Merry Xmas To All And To All A Good Night
James H. Street
Lubbock Avalanche Journal
24 Dec 1933, p1.

Merry Xmas To All And To All A Good Night
Associated Press Staff Writer

NEW YORK, Dec. 23.
Critics may disagree even on the night before Christmas, but tomorrow children will take flowers to the grave of the teacher who, some folks say, wrote:

"'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house..."

He wrote it for children - if the legend is true - and the story gave rise to a cry and hue as to who wore the 'kerchief and who wore the cap and who settled down for that long winter's nap.

Moore Is Credited
Clement C. Moore is credited generally with writing the epic. But descendants of Henry Livingston, jr., say it was his lawn on which there arose such a clatter that he sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.

The controversy has never been settled. The poem was published in a volume by Moore, who was born in 1779 and was a teacher of theology.

It was exactly 110 years ago today that the story of Santa Claus' tour appeared in print in the Troy, N. Y., Sentinel. The editor commented that its author was unknown to him. Twenty-one years later the poem appeared in Moore's book.

Shadows Cross Grave
He died in 1862 and was buried in a little grave yard way down Broadway where the cold stone peaks of skyscraper row gave the shadow of nightfall to objects below.

And each year children, after their stockings are hung by the chimney with care, take flowers to the grave and leave them there - where shade troops by from an old church house and no creature stirs - not even a mouse.

The Livingston claim to the poem came sometime after it appeared under Moore's name. He was a patriot who was born near Poughkeepsie in 1748 and whose family says he composed the poem to recite to children, who have never tired of that midnight ride of the saint of cheer with his miniature sleigh and little reindeer.

But the children's crusade is made to Moore's grave and in unison they say:

"To the top of the house, to the top of the wall - now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"

It seems a bit tragic that there is an argument over Santa Claus and Comet and Blitzen, but on one thing the critics agree - regardless of who is right;

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."

Lubbock Avalanche Journal - 24 Dec 1933 - p1 - James H. Street


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