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December 15, 2010

Who is jolly old St. Nicholas?

« Twas the night before Christmas.... » are the familiar and beloved words that begin the popular poem titled A Visit from St. Nicholas (click on the link to find some parodies to it!) and yet most people don’t know the story behind the man who wrote it. Clement Clark Moore  was a professor whose prior works consisted of two volumes titled A Compendious Lexicon of the Hebrew Language. Sound dry? Trust me it is! So it’s awful hard to imagine someone writing something like that and then continuing on to produce the cheery perception of Saint Nicholas that we all know and love. Luckily, Moore was fiercely devoted to his children, and it is argued that he wrote A Visit from St. Nicholas for his family. And the inspiration for Saint Nicholas? Well supposedly it was inspired by a cheery, potbellied Dutch sleigh driver. And that is part of the story. :)