Catford Christmas Challenge – T’was The night before Christmas


Catford‘s Christmas Clement Clarke Challenge (‘T’was the night before Christmas’)
This Christmas, Love Catford, The Corbett Community Library and the Catford South Local Assembly, are encouraging people of Catford to come together to read the same poem and share their experiences with each other online.
We feel it is a nice way to all do something together in the community, even at times when we cant always get together as a community.

The text of this poem is below or you can download a copy of the poem here
You can also visit Torridon Community Library to pick up a copy of the poem.

Leaving a comment on this webpage, or tweeting @Love_Catford using the #CatfordXmas, We would love you to tell us:

  • where you read the poem
  • who you read it with
  • how it made you feel
  • maybe even tweet or send us a picture
  • don’t forget to use #CatfordXmas in your tweets so we can follow what everyone is doing when reading the poem
  • Together we create community

    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 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 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!”


    About Author

    Hi. I am the coordinator for the Catford South Local Assembly and a friend of all things Catford :-)


    1. Lucy Formolli on

      The Lewisham Usherettes are performing the poem at the Positive Ageing Council Christmas meeting on the 8th. Can’t wait to launch this in the Catford community.

    2. The team at Love Catford are excited about this project, it is the first time we have tried something like this. Thanks so much to the library team Especially Julia and Peter for being so completely up for doing this with us – as they always are 🙂
      We really hope you will comment on your experiences of reading the poem in the community

      • Popped into Torridon Library to pick up copies of the poem on Thursday 8th but they had no idea what I was talking about! However, I did manage to download a copy. We read it at the 8th Catford Brownies. We were 5 girls and 3 adults. The children quite liked the poem but did not understand some of the terminology as I was reading it a voice would pipe up with “what does that mean” quite often. We forget that a lot of the things mentioned in the poem, including chimneys, no longer feature in the lives of young people. The younger girls (aged 7/8) said it was a bit of an adventure. The older girls (aged 9/10) said it was ok but not over exciting. We’re glad we gave it a go. Lets have more such challenges, it encourages us to do things that we wouldn’t otherwise.

    Leave A Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.