'Twas the Night Before Christmas, as read by Penguin authors

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, as read by Penguin authors

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas / When all through the house / Not a creature was stirring / Except for Jamie Oliver, Emma Thompson, and a star-studded cast of Penguin authors.

No mice, though.

Watch a special reading of the classic Christmas poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’, from some very familiar faces.

Featuring Penguins: Emma Thompson, Jamie Oliver, Cerys Matthews, Colm Toibin, Clare Balding, Charlie Higson, Conn Iggulden, Jeremy Paxman, Malcolm Gladwell, Jennifer Saunders, Graham Nash, Meg Rosoff and Richard Curtis.

A very Merry Christmas from all of us at Penguin.

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twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring not even 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 sugarplums danced in their heads a mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap had just settled our brains for a long winters nap when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I sprang from the 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 the lustre 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 more rapid than Eagles his coursers they came and he whistled and shouted and called them by name now Dasher now dancer now Prancer and vixen on comet on Cupid on Donner and Blitzen to the top of the porch to the top of the wall now dash away dash away dash away all as dry leaves that before the wild Hurricane Fly when they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky so up to the housetop the coursers they flew with the sleigh full of toys and st. Nicholas too and then in a twinkling I heard on the roof the Prancing and pawing of each little hoof as I drew in my head and was turning around down the chimney st. Nicholas came with a bound he was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot a bundle of toys he had flung on his back and he looked like a peddler just opening the pack his eyes how they twinkled his dimples how merry his cheeks were like roses his nose like a cherry his droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow the stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath he had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly he was chubby and plump a right jolly old elf and I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself a wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know who I had nothing to dread he spoke not a word but went straight to his work and filled all the stockings then turned with a jerk and laying his finger aside of his nose and giving a nod up the chimney he rose he sprang to his sleigh to his team gave a whistle and away they all flew like the down of a thistle but I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight happy Christmas to all and to all a good night you

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  1. Twas the night before Christmas Poem

    Clement Clarke Moore Miniature Biography

    Clement Clarke Moore (1799 – 1863) came from a prominent family and his father Benjamin Moore was the Bishop of New York who was famous for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington. The tradition of reading Twas the night before Christmas poem on Christmas Eve is now a Worldwide institution and tradition.

    Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

    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 St 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 our brains for a long winter’s nap.

    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
    I sprang from the 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 the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
    When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
    But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

    With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
    I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
    More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
    And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

    "Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
    On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
    To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
    Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
    When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
    So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
    With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

    And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
    The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
    As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
    Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

    He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
    And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
    A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
    And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

    His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
    His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
    And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

    The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
    And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
    He had a broad face and a little round belly,
    That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

    He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
    And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
    A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
    Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

    He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
    And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
    And laying his finger aside of his nose,
    And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

    He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
    And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
    But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
    "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

    Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

  2. Never thought I'd see Emma Thompson over-act. Well this was a bad idea. Who thought authors would be great readers? Graham Nash: stick to singing! With one or two exceptions the rest should stick to writing. The fellow who reads the second verse: bad night, the night before? Really? Is this supposed to be entertaining? Penguin: please stick to publishing….or get one reader with soul and vision to recite this wonderful tract.

  3. Normally I am reading to my grandchildren so to be read to by such distinguished authors is a delight and a reminder that being read to is so engaging.

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