Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 24

Santa Clause Presents His Compliments . . .Santa Has Not Yet Arrived

‘Twas the night before Christmas . . .  How many of us have gone to bed Christmas Eve listening to that story and wondering if we really did hear Santa on the roof?  This item, the earliest movable book version of Clement Moore’s classic tale, was published in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1858.  The rare toy book includes a lithograph of a fireplace decorated for Christmas on one side, with Moore’s poem printed on the other.  Read more

Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 23

Cover, A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Moore, 1862

Cover, A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Moore, 1862

First published anonymously on December 23, 1823, Clement Moore did not acknowledge authorship of this poem until 1844.  Although Moore’s poem is largely responsible for the folklore surrounding Santa Claus from the early 19th century to the present, have any of you questioned the miniature sleigh, the tiny reindeer, and the jolly old elf, described as little several times — little old driver, little mouth, little round belly?  Maybe that is why all of us can envision Santa Claus coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve. Read more

Phillips Library Advent Calendar, December 22

Marley's Ghost, A Christmas Carol, 1887

Marley's Ghost, A Christmas Carol, 1887

The Christmas Carol has been one of the most popular holiday stories since Charles Dickens first published it in December 1843, financing the costs of publication himself.  In the preface to the first edition of the text, Dickens writes:

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.  May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Read more