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A KNKX tradition: Staff read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'

A screenshot of NORAD's "Santa Tracker." A 3D rendered image of Santa Claus in his sleigh travelling from top right to bottom left over a satellite map.
North American Aerospace Defense Command
NORAD's "Santa Tracker." If poet Clement Clarke Moore had this advanced technology in 1823, Santa's sudden arrival wouldn't have surprised him.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas scarcely needs an introduction.

Written nearly 200 years ago and first published in New York's Troy Sentinel with the less-than-catchy title "Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas," the poem was an immediate hit.

Each year, we here at KNKX get into the holiday spirit with this sonic gift to our listeners. Here's our abridged rendition of Clement Clarke Moore's iconic poem:

Kirsten Kendrick, Morning Edition Host

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

Emil Moffatt, All Things Considered Host

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

Vivian McCall, Weekend Edition Sunday Host and Morning Edition Producer

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,

Freddy Monares, All Things Considered Producer

And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap

Amy Jeffries, Assistant News Director

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Will James, Special Projects Reporter and Producer

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

Guy Nelson, Fill-in Host

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,

Florangela Davila, News Director

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

Bellamy Pailthorp, Environment Reporter

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:

Paul Carlson, Jazz & Blues Host

Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,

On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

Mayowa Aina, Special Projects Reporter and Producer

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys - and St. Nicholas too:

Lilly Ana Fowler, Social Justice Reporter

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

Kari Plog, Sound Sound Reporter

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

Robin Lloyd, Jazz Reporter & Jazz Host

He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;

Mary McCann, Jazz Host

A bundle of toys was flung on his back,

And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:

Carl Pogue, Jazz24 Music Director

His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

Brenda Goldstein-Young, Marketing and Promotions Director

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

Abe Beeson, New Cool & Jazz Host

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

Carol Handley, Director of Music Programming

He had a broad face, and a little round belly

That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:

Grace Madigan, Arts & Culture Reporter

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;\

Cara Kuhlman, Online Managing Editor

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

Scott Greenstone, Reporter

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,

Joey Cohn, General Manager

And laying his finger aside of his nose

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

John Kessler, All Blues Host

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

Vivian McCall, Weekend Edition Sunday Host and Morning Edition Producer

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight

Paul Carlson, Jazz & Blues Host

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night

This story was produced by Weekend Edition Sunday host and Morning Edition reporter/ producer Vivian McCall.

Vivian McCall is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host. She previously spent eight years as a reporter in Chicago, where she wrote for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ public radio.