Secret Santa book Secret Santa
The Mystery of the Stereoscope

Twas the Night Before Christmas
A Visit from St. Nicholas

Secret Santa book

Clement Clarke Moore, author of "The Night Before Christmas"

Clement MooreIn 1823 the poem "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" first appeared in a newspaper in Troy, New York. No author's name was included. The readers enjoyed it and many other newspapers republished the fun but mysterious poem over the next 14 years.

It wasn't until 1837 that one of the publishers determined that it was written by a man named Clement Clarke Moore, but Moore himself did not publicly acknowledge that he had written it until 1844 ... 21 years after the poem first appeared. He said his reluctance to be identified with the poem was that he was a scholarly writer and didn't want to be associated with such a simple story for children.

By 1844 the poem had become such a part of popular culture that he finally acknowledged that he had written it and included it in a collection of his writings. He said that he originally came up with the idea for the poem while riding in a sleigh and wrote it for his children.

Night BEfore Christmas from 1896
Click on this cover to read the story as it was published in 1896, near the time of Sam and Abby's adventure.

The middle-grade novel "Secret Santa: The Mystery of the Stereoscope" (2015 Planert Creek Press) puts forth the idea that Moore wrote the story as part of a cover-up plan to conceal the identity of the man who was the real Santa Claus. He submitted it to newspapers anonymously so his connection to the real Santa, a distant cousin of his named Nicholas Clark, wouldn't be discovered.

According to the theory posed in "Secret Santa," the poem's continual publication over the decades, with many different illustrators providing their visual interpretations of Santa as a short, jolly old elf riding around in a reindeer-powered sleigh, continues to assist in hiding the actual identity of Santa, as originally hoped by Moore and his cousin.

Read more about Clement Clarke Moore:

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Published by Planert Creek Press


Page updated: 10/29/2015