Category: Blog, Librarian Mom|December 9, 2013 6:00 am

‘Twas the Night Before: Variations on a Christmas Theme Volume 2 (Day 9 of 25 Days of Christmas)

25 Days of Christmas

The classic holiday poem by Clement Clarke Moore begins, ” ‘Twas the night before Christmas.” As my daughter and I discovered while reading as many holiday books as I could carry home from the library, there are a number of updated versions of the classic story. From librarians to preachers and from dinosaurs to pirates, here are some more of our favorite variations on a classic Christmas theme.

Librarian’s Night Before Christmas (2007)

” ‘Twas a cold Yuletide evening, and I wandered the stacks,” begins Librarian’s Night Before Christmas by David Davis with illustrations by Jim Harris. As a librarian shelves books on Christmas Eve and laments about the lack of funding for her library, she is surprised to see Santa arrive in a flying bookmobile. He brings wonderful gifts of books, new carpet, and paid overdue fees, making the library as good as new. Children will love the rhyming story, and adults will enjoy the allusions to great authors, books, and library controversies. Librarian’s Night Before Christmas is a perfect holiday read for a librarian or any family that loves books.

Librarian's Night Before Christmas (2007) 1 Librarian's Night Before Christmas (2007) 2

The Principal’s Night Before Christmas (2004)

” ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town all the students and teachers had settled right down,” begins The Principal’s Night Before Christmas by Steven L. Layne with illustrations by James Rice. Although all the teachers and students have gone home for the holidays, one poor principal is left at his school on Christmas Eve, tasked with solving the problems of the school such as standardized test, bus routes, field trips, and naughty bullies. When Santa Claus shows up with his elves, will the principal finally get to go home for Christmas?

The Principal's Night Before Christmas (2004) 1 The Principal's Night Before Christmas (2004) 2

Preacher’s Night Before Christmas (2006)

” ‘Twas the night before Christmas at Spring Lane Creek Church, and Pastor McDougal was in quite a lurch,” begins Preacher’s Night Before Christmas by Steven L. Layne with illustrations by Carol Benioff. While preparing for the Christmas Even service, a preacher finds himself dealing with the problems of his congregation, all of whom seem to have forgotten the real meaning of the holiday. Then a man named St. Nick, whom the preacher at first assumes is a confused Santa Claus, shows up at the church. With the preacher and his flock finally remember the miracle of Christmas?

Preacher's Night Before Christmas (2006) 1 Preacher's Night Before Christmas (2006) 2

The Night Before Christmas in Arizona (2002)

” ‘Twas the night before Christmas; the reindeer and Nick were flying down low over Route 66,” begins The Night Before Christmas in Arizona by Sue Carabine with illustrations by Shauna Mooney Kawaski. As he flies over the Grand Canyon with his reindeer, Santa Claus begins to wonder if he has grown too old to deliver Christmas cheer to the children of the world. Should he instead retire to Arizona with the other old folks? Children will love finding out what Santa decides. Children who live in Arizona will love reading about local places throughout the story.

The Night Before Christmas in Arizona (2002) 1 The Night Before Christmas in Arizona (2002) 2

A Rugrats Night Before Christmas (1999)

” ‘Twas the night afore Christmas — our house was real still. Not a baby was cryin’ — nope, not even Dil,” begins A Rugrats Night Before Christmas by David Lewman with illustrations by Sergio Cuan. In this retelling of the classic poem, the babies of Rugrats investigate some jingly noises on Christmas Eve night. Upon sneaking down the stairs, the babies discover Santa Claus placing presents under the tree. At first Angelica claims all the new toys as her own, but will even she find the spirit of giving in her heart?

A Rugrats Night Before Christmas (1999) 1 A Rugrats Night Before Christmas (1999) 2

The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas (2006)

” ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the base only sentries were stirring — they guarded the place,” begins The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas by Trish Holland and Christine Ford with illustrations by John Manders. This variation of the classic poem takes place on an army base in the desert. The soldiers snuggle on their cots, waiting for the Santa of Soldiers: Sergeant McClaus. One solider wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of a convoy. Will McClaus bring a bit of home to the soldiers on Christmas?

The Soldier's Night Before Christmas (2006) 1 The Soldier's Night Before Christmas (2006) 2

The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas (2008)

” ‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the hall not a creature was stirring, there was no sound at all,” begins The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas by Anne Muecke with illustrations by Nathan Hale. Set in a museum of natural history, this retelling of the holiday classic begins as a little boy drifts off to sleep. He is suddenly awoken by creaking noises and is surprised to find the dinosaur fossils across the street reforming into dinosaurs. According to Santosaur, the dinosaurs hold a ball every Christmas Eve!

The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas (2008) 1 The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas (2008) 2

A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas (2008)

” ‘Twas the night before Christmas aboard the Black Sark. Not a creature was stirrin’, not even a shark!” begins A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates with illustrations by Sabastia Serra. In a story that takes place on a ship on the high seas, pirates await a Christmas Eve visit from Sir Peg, a mean-looking pirate who emerges from the ocean pulled by eight seahorses. With his nasty look and pointy hook, do the pirates have someone to fear?

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas (2008) 1 A Pirate's Night Before Christmas (2008) 2

The Teachers’ Night Before Christmas (2001)

” ‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the town every schoolteacher scurried — They could not slow down,” begins The Teachers’ Night Before Christmas by Steven L. Layne with illustrations by James Rice. As the Christmas holiday approaches, the teachers at the school are feeling frazzled from dealing with parties, room moms, and rowdy children all day. Then Santa Claus appears in a bus wearing a sport coat with suede elbows. Will the teachers be able to prepare for their own Christmases in time?

The Teachers' Night Before Christmas (2001) 1 The Teachers' Night Before Christmas (2001) 2

Do you have a favorite variation of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas?

Image Credits

Librarian’s Night Before Christmas (2007) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
Librarian’s Night Before Christmas (2007) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Principal’s Night Before Christmas (2004) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Principal’s Night Before Christmas (2004) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
Preacher’s Night Before Christmas (2006) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
Preacher’s Night Before Christmas (2006) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Night Before Christmas in Arizona (2002) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Night Before Christmas in Arizona (2002) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
A Rugrats Night Before Christmas (1999) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
A Rugrats Night Before Christmas (1999) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas (2006) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas (2006) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas (2008) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas (2008) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas (2008) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas (2008) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Teachers’ Night Before Christmas (2001) 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
The Teachers’ Night Before Christmas (2001) 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson


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