Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Visit

The Delightful History and Origin of The Night Before Christmas as recalled by Dinghy Sharp.

by Mark Kimball Moulton

I love this book.  Moulton has written an easy-to-read and easy-to-listen-to poem about the history of The Night Before Christmas written by Clement Moore.  The background for this book came from Moore's great-great-granddaughter, Dinghy Sharp.  (Where did she get a name like Dinghy is another story I'd like to read!)

Growing up my parents and 6 siblings gathered in the living room for a Christmas Eve program, of sorts.  We sang Christmas carols, read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible, and shared various stories and talents before setting a bowl with our name attached on the sofa so Santa would fill it with a few nuts and an orange.  One of my siblings, usually the second oldest brother, would read The Night Before Christmas. 

I am now 65-years-old and as many of us and our families who are in town still gather on Christmas Eve for a program of singing, present exchanges, reading the nativity story, and reading The Night Before Christmas.  I've always loved hearing it reread through the years.

Another Christmas tradition dealing with Christmas stories started when we children grew up and had families of our own.  My mother would buy each family a Christmas book and give it to us in early December.  It was a tradition much loved by her offspring.  

In view of these two traditions, I bought this book to share with my family since Grandma isn't with us anymore.  I am looking forward to gathering them around after a Sunday dinner in early December to share The Visit with them.  And on Christmas Eve I will share it with all the siblings & spouses, and nieces & nephews after we first hear The Night Before Christmas.

I am in awe of  Moutlon's ability to tell this story in such a delightful and lively poem.  I read it to my husband when it first arrived in the mail a few months ago and we both adored it.

The Visit is published by Lang Books.  


Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I love Christmas stories. On Christmas Eve, we always gathered by the fire to read Christmas stories. Everyone chose a story to read and we ended with my father reading from Luke 2. I have collected Christmas stories for years. Every year my mom still gives my sisters and me a new Christmas book (and I'm 49!). And my children have grown up with the tradition of reading Christmas stories on Christmas Eve as well.

This edition looks gorgeous.

Booklogged said...

Holly, I love hearing other people's Christmas traditions. Your comment made me realized that I could carry on my mother's tradition with my 4 daughters. I don't think traditions are something we out grow. Thank-you for sharing.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I love hearing other people's Christmas traditions too! It has been interesting to me to see which traditions each of my sisters and I have continued. Three of us do the Christmas stories. We have our big Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. Because on Christmas Eve, we always had a simple dinner of soup by candlelight. My mother taught us that it was to represent the humble circumstances into which Jesus was born. She always makes homemade chicken noodle soup. Three of us have continued the soup tradition, but I do a different soup. Another sister lived in Italy and always makes lasagna on Christmas Eve! Every year from the time I can remember, we always got a new Christmas ornament and when we moved out, we took those ornaments with us for our own trees. My mom still gives ornaments each year to the grandchildren and my children always get a new ornament as well, often something to commemorate an event or hobby/interest. I think all my sisters still do that tradition. Traditions tie us together and I agree, you never outgrow them.

Booklogged said...

So fun to hear more of your traditions, Holly. Thanks so much for sharing. I love the idea of soup on Christmas Eve and remembering the Savior's humble beginnings. I would love to implement that into our traditions but the others would let me, I know. We always have a nice Christmas Eve dinner because everyone is there and each family contributes. Sometimes we have a loose theme, like Mexican or Italian. On Christmas morning we check out what Santa left, then I make a simple egg & sausage casserole while the kids & grands enjoy Santa presents. While the casserole bakes, we open the wrapped presents, one person at a time. About the time we are finishing up the buzzer rings and we have breakfast casserole & grapefruits. I started that tradition when my girls were little because I felt they needed something healthy before they started in on the treats. We have soup on Christmas day that I made the day before so I can enjoy the day without much labor. We buy a present for Jesus that we leave under the tree all day. As we go about our activities we will see that one present still wrapped under the tree and it reminds us that it's His birthday. I don't know how the others think about it but I always pause and feel grateful for His gifts to us. The gift for Jesus is something that will help unite our family. One year we opened genealogy items (before the internet), another year an audio tape.

I need to record these traditions in my history.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Love the idea of the gift for Jesus. That's awesome. My husband is British, so Santa always leaves the stockings at the end of the kids' bed. It's to buy extra time before they come out! LOL! They can come out of their rooms when they hear the Christmas music being played. I always make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning breakfast. I actually make them the night before and they slow rise in the fridge overnight. My mom always did a special French Toast breakfast for Christmas morning. But, we do French Toast a lot, so it wasn't as special. I rarely make cinnamon rolls, so that is how we came to do that. We do the one person at a time thing for Christmas presents too. I think it makes it a little more special to see what each person has received, rather than racing through.

I've thought that I need to record our traditions, too. Each year as we pull out the ornaments to decorate the tree, I think that I should take a picture of each one and write about it: who received it, what it meant. Our tree is pretty eclectic. I think it would be something neat to keep, especially since many of the ornaments will leave with my boys.

So fun to share these things with you!