Its Christmas week and this year we need all the Christmas spirit and tradition we can muster.

One of the traditions that I have been doing each year on my Big Joe Christmas Eve Spectacular radio show on New Jersey 101.5 is reading "Twas The Night Before Christmas" in front of a roaring fireplace. I enjoy doing the reading and have respect for its heritage and tradition.

The reading was a poem originally titled "A Visit from St. Nicholas, written by Clement Clarke Moore for his children, on Christmas Eve 1822 when he was 43 years old. He never intended for the poem to be published.

Clement Moore lived in Manhattan and was a professor of Oriental and Greek Literature and was also a Divinity student and teacher for the Episcopalian Church. One of Moore’s children mentioned the poem to a neighbor, who then got a copy of the poem and she sent it to a New York paper which published the poem in December of 1823.

After that publication other periodicals from throughout the country also published Moore’s poem and the rest is history. It wasn’t until 1844 when a publisher of poetry wanted to confirm the identity of the author of A Visit from St. Nicholas, that Moore admitted to being the author.

The beautiful thing about radio is that it is and should always be a conduit for theater of the mind. When I read the poem on the radio the details in the poem paint a clear scenario and having it expressed over the crackling of the fireplace makes for a warm and fuzzy experience for all of us.

Join me Christmas Eve from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on New Jersey 101.5 FM or our station app and website for The Big Joe Henry Christmas Eve Spectacular. I’ll take your holiday hit requests and dedications, we’ll track Santa’s progress as he makes his way here to the Great Garden State with Bob Williams manning the progress, and I’ll be reading the Night Before Christmas between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Have a merry Christmas and thank you for allowing me on your radio.

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