Once upon a time, more years ago than I care to count, there was a young mother who wanted very much to be an artist. Do you remember Christmas 1961?
One fine day, the Fuller Brush man came to her door offering his wares. Do you remember the Fuller Brush man?
Now this young mother was not particularly interested in his brushes or soaps, (her dog bit him, by the way), but she was interested in the catalog he brought. In the little book was the most delightful rendering of Clement C. Moore’s 1823 classic poem “The Night Before Christmas” she had ever seen in her young life.
So. . . she kept the little book stored away in her trunk through many, many years — through better and through worse, through thick and through thin. And each year on Christmas Eve she would take it out of the trunk and read the story to her children.
Then, long after the children were grown and had children of their own, she became a virtual grandmother, and she decided to share the old, old story and the delightful pictures with the children once again.
Many thanks to the Fuller Brush company and the unknown artist, who has inspired my efforts at children’s stories for the past thirty years or so. Hope you all enjoy the story and pictures as much as I always have.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Clement C. Moore, Poem originally published 1823
‘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 Saint 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 down 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 luster of midday to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer. With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.