The First Viral Christmas Poem

Remember the story? Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house… yada, yada, yada.

When I was a child I believed this little tale was the annual punctuation to the whole kid year. However growing up in the late twentieth century in a southern tourist destination, a lot of the language was foreign to me. I remember thinking things like:

What’s a sugar plum?

Stockings? The only think I knew about stockings were they were slowly being replaced by pantyhose. I don’t know about you, but I wore socks.

And then there’s this line: “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow” Now even as a kid I knew that breasts and snow went together like paisley and plaid.

You get where I am headed with this?  The poem, written in December of 1823, was a snapshot of the era, but in the twenty-first century has become somewhat outdated.

The original poem has influenced the picture of Santa Clause across several generations.  From the names of the reindeer to Santa’s red suit, the imagery and culture of the jolly old man grew from this poem. Amazing how a piece of literature can so subtly impact legend and history.

On top of that, ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’ may be the most parodied of all time. Here’s just a few stand-out examples:

The poem has been done by such television programs as:

  • The Simpsons (The Fight Before Christmas)
  • Home Improvement (Twas the Night Before Chaos)
  • Home Improvement (Twas the Blight Before Christmas)
  • The Honeymooners (Twas the Night Before Christmas)
  • The Golden Girls (Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas)
  • Hallmark movie – The Night Before the Night Before Christmas

To sum it up, we’ve taken a very old Christmas poem, squeezed every dime we possibly could out of it and continue to look for more creative ways to milk this gravy train.

Here are some of my ideas…

Twas the Dark Lord Before Christmas (Harry Potter)
Twas the Death Star Before Christmas (Luke – I am not Santa Clause)
Twas the Speedway Before Christmas (NASCAR)
Twas the Pinhead Before Christmas (Bill O’Reilly)
Twas the Cell Before Christmas (Martha Stewart)
Twas the Tax Bill Before Christmas (President Obama)
Twas the Kite Before Christmas (Ben Franklin)
Twas the Bite Before Christmas (Twilight)
Twas the Byte Before Christmas (Steve Jobs)
Twas the Flight Before Christmas (US Airways pilot “Sully” Sullenberger)
Twas the Right Before Christmas (Glenn Beck)
Twas the Spite Before Christmas (Nancy Pelosi)
Twas the Tight Before Christmas (Mel Gibson)
Twas the Write Before Christmas (ME!)

“Christmas is the Disneyfication of Christianity” ~Don Cupitt

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