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"Why did he throw up the sash? Had he eaten too much sash?" Okay, I made that last one up, but the poem really is filled with difficult phrases like "the lustre of mid-day", "his coursers they came", and "The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow".  It is also full of ideas that are now out of date - Santa is referred to as St Nicholas, he is dressed in fur, he is an elf, and worst of all, he is a smoker! As I was reading The Night before Christmas to my daughter then, I was thinking to myself "Some modern children's writer should rewrite this, take out the archaic words, and update the references so that we recognize Santa."  Then I thought, "Hang on, I'm a modern children's writer, I should do it!"  So I did.  I am fully expecting the traditionalists out there to be horrified by the idea, and I am prepared (well, maybe half-prepared) for a torrent of abuse from them, and possibly death-threats.  My response to them is that if you don't like the updated version, and you and your young children are happy with the original, just ignore me.  The original is still there, and it will never go away. Twas The Night Before Christmas Twas the night before Christmas, and 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 old Santa Claus soon would be there. The children were sleeping all snug in their beds, With sweet dreams of Christmas time filling their heads. And mamma in her nightdress, and I in my cap, Had just settled down 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. I went to the window - oh, what would I find? I opened the curtains and threw up the blind. The moon shining bright on the new-fallen snow Lit up very clearly the scene down below. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a magical sleigh, pulled by magic reindeer. When I saw it I was excited because I knew that the driver must be Santa Claus.