Twas The Night Before Christmas

Center Stage Theater Sunday, November 29 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

On November 29th Inspire Ballet will present a storybook ballet for all ages. Their premier performance of Twas The Night Before Christmas is based on the famous poem attributed to Clement Clarke Moore.

According to legend, Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem for his family on Christmas Eve in 1822. He never intended for the poem to be published. A friend of the family, however, named Harriet Butler, heard about the poem from Moore’s children and made a copy of it. She submitted the poem to the Troy (New York) Sentinel and the following year, two days before Christmas, they published it. The poem was an instant hit and began to be reprinted in other newspapers, almanacs, and magazines. By 1837, fifteen years after Moore wrote the poem, it appeared for the first time in a book called The New York Book of Poetry.

It was not until 1844, at the request of his children, that Moore finally acknowledged himself as the author of Twas The Night Before Christmas in a volume of his own poetry entitled Poems.

One hundred and eighty years later, it is the most-published, most-read, most-memorized, and most-collected book in all of Christmas literature! (

Before Twas The Night Before Christmas was published, there was no universally accepted idea of “Santa Claus”. It was from this poem that many of the elements of the Santa tradition were popularized, such as: the names and number of Santa’s reindeer, Santa traveling in a sleigh on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day, his visiting houses and bringing toys to children, and Santa’s long flowing beard and rosy cheeks.

It is interesting to note, however, that while the general appearance of Santa Claus was popularized by this poem, the Santa we know today has undergone one very big transformation from Moore’s description - namely, that Santa is now big. Moore described St. Nick, (who he never called Santa Claus) as “a little old driver,” with a “little round belly… chubby and plump.” He also described St. Nick riding a “miniature sleigh” with “eight tiny reindeer” that had little hooves. This, of course, explains how St. Nick was able to fit down a chimney without any magical means necessary - he was a tiny little elf! (

With so much wonderful folklore surrounding this famous Christmas poem, you won’t want to miss this Inspire Ballet production. It is described as: “A classic holiday show featuring dancing dolls, swirling snowflakes, beautiful snow princesses, mischievous mice, gorgeous set and costumes, and music you’ll be humming long after the show is over.” (

Benchmark Eatery is the perfect place for a meal before or after one of these two dazzling performances.