Night before Christmas

Suzanne Wones slwcalcifer at
Fri Dec 15 10:28:53 EST 2000

You might be referring to Ruth MacDonald's "Santa Claus in America: the 
Influence of 'The Night Before Christmas'" (Children's Literature 
Association Quarterly, v.8, issue 3, pp. 4-6.)  Although I'm not sure that 
discusses the question of authorship.

>From: "Gili Bar-Hillel" <abhillel at>
>Reply-To: dwj at
>To: dwj at
>Subject: Re: dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #248
>Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 08:34:54
>Santa Claus: My mother reported reading a very interesting article about
>"The Night Before Christmas", which many consider to be a major source for
>the American image of Santa Claus. I did not read the article myself, so I
>don't know any of the names, and I can't give a reference. However,
>apparantly, TNBC was first published in a magazine or newspaper 
>Years after it became a hit, a certain author/poet whom I shall call Mr. A
>stepped out and took credit for writing it, and untill recently was
>considered the author of the poem. However, this has been cast into doubt
>recently, due to the work of a researcher who analysed word choices in the
>poem (the researcher is the same person who figured out, through analysis,
>who the true author of "Primary Colors" was). The researcher claims that 
>actual author was probably Mr. B, a writer of Dutch origin who was no 
>alive when Mr. A took the credit for writing the poem. Mr. A was not a
>speaker of Dutch, and thus did not know that there was a misprint in the
>first publication of "The Night Before Christmas" - "Donner and Blitzen"
>should have been the Dutch words for thunder and lightning, but they're not
>This seemed to be relevant to the Santa discussion, and timely, too. If
>anyone has read this article and can give me a reference, I'd appreciate 
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