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Literature: Twas The Night Before Christmas
An 1823 poem by Clement Clarke Moore about a visit from St. Nick. Originally titled and also known as "A Visit from St. Nicholas".

Here it is as read by none other than the trumpet master Louis Armstrong, himself.

The poem contains the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The poem crystallizes a number of ideas about St. Nicholas first found in Washington Irving's Knickerbocker History of New York.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • "On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!" Only it isn't—the original poem retained the Dutch names Donder and Blixen, as was suitable to the old Dutch settlers of New York who introduced Santa Claus to America. Later re-printings Retconned the names into their more familiar German forms.
    • The phrase "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
  • Christmas Elves: St Nick himself is described as an 'elf' here, making this debatably the Ur Example.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Played with. "The moon on the crest of the newfallen snow / Gave a lustre of midday to objects below."
  • Trope Codifier: As stated above, this little poem etched in stone a lot of the core image we have of Santa Claus.

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