The Night Before Christmas – Clement C. Moore

POINTS: 2 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points

So, I have a total weakness for Christmas, and all things Christmassy, and a bit of a soft spot for this poem. There are many, many picture book versions of this floating around in the world, and the one we read isn’t even the one I’m linking to above, but most of the ones I saw follow roughly the same illustrative gist.

Unsurprisingly, there is no Bechdel pass and not a person of colour to be seen. This isn’t really surprising given the poem’s origins. And there may well be versions of it that at least show people of colour, but the one we got was pretty ordinary, predictable fare.

So it scores pretty low, but you know, there’s something very timeless and charming about this piece of writing, and it is a classic for a reason. It is one of the more iconic bits of poetry in the Western canon, and it actually mostly stands up pretty well to the passing years.

C loved it – but C, like his mother, loves all things Christmas related, so this isn’t really much of a surprise. He was most put out that there was no sign of Rudolph, and I had to explain that this particular story was from before Rudolph joined the team. Ahem. When your five year old doesn’t realise the story is fiction… 😉

It’s still great though, after all these years. If you’re the sort of person who loves Christmas, well, you probably already are familiar with it, but if not, you should pick it up. Solid stuff.

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