The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Illustrated by James Marshall
Published by Scholastic
In case you didn't know it by now, I did not grow up in the United States. I spent most of my childhood in Venezuela and a couple of years in Spain. Christmas in Caracas, Venezuela was really different; It has become a lot more Americanized now, but when I was a kid, we didn't really talk about Santa Claus...for us it was Baby Jesus who brought the presents (how did a new born child manage to deliver the presents? don't ask...we didn't question it at all).
I'm now an American citizen, and Santa has become a big part of our Christmas, especially because I have a 4 and a 2 year old at home. We've developed some traditions around this time and one of them is reading The Night Before Christmas. I know there are many editions out there, but I love this one because of Marshall's illustrations. It brings a whole cast of droll characters into the story: cat, bulldogs, chickens...
I'm off to enjoy my Christmas Eve, so I leave you with:
But I heard him exclaim,
ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a good night."