Contact Us

Mystery…and MYSTIQUE of Christmas

Christmas has a mystery all its own with the birth of Jesus. It also has a mystique; customs, legends, stories, traditions and other practices handed down in families and in societies around the world. This very weekend in 1823 marks the first publication of a work poet Clement Clarke Moore composed for the enjoyment of his family. “A Visit From St. Nicholas” is his original title to a work we know better as “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” By some observations, it is a work that almost singularly created the modern concept of Santa Claus. Moore was a 19th century author, poet and classic literature professor at Columbia College, now Columbia University, New York. The legend goes that on a family sleigh ride one afternoon during that Christmas season, inspiration struck. Moore’s image of Santa Claus was shaped by the pudgy Dutch driver of the sleigh, historic accounts of Saint Nicholas and “A History of New York” written by one of his friends, Washington Irving . As well-written as it is, Moore is said to have expressed the work was “beneath my poetic/writing talent.” So, on this weekend in 1823, a friend sent it to a local paper. It hit the Sentinel with NO byline; published anonymously and went the 19th century equivilent of VIRAL. Since then, it’s appeared annually in U.S. culture, parodied and referenced in cartoon strips, comic books, film and literature: Garfield the Cat; the film Die Hard; in Cajun dialect complete with swamp art, for true; from the perspective of a U.S. Marine; from the recording studio in music and spoken word and on radio and television. For 15 years after it became a hit, Moore adamantly denied he’d authored the piece. Imagine what the -mystique- of Christmas might be like had Moore stuck with his intent to never publish it and it remained in the Getty Imagesdrawer of his writing table.

More from 99X

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://therockstation99x.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on The Rock Station 99X quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on The Rock Station 99X quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!