There is something so special about the tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas. I do it every year on my special Christmas Eve Spectacular on New Jersey 101.5. The reading still has such a strong bond with Christmas that many read it nightly this time of year to children who are anxiously awaiting the big day.

The Night Before Christmas eases a child’s mind to rest from the difficulty of school, home, siblings, or parents. For the 10 minutes that it takes to read the story, it takes that child to right where they need to be. I enjoy that tradition.

The reading was a poem originally titled A Visit from St. Nicholas written by Clement Clarke Moore on Christmas Eve 1822 when he was 43 years old for his children. 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 the Moore’s children mentioned the poem to a neighbor who then got a copy of the poem and 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 on Christmas Eve from 5 – 10 pm on New Jersey 101.5 radio or our station app and website for Big Joe Henry’s 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 New Jersey 101.5 Santa Tracking Station and I’ll be reading the Night Before Christmas between 730 and 9 pm. The entire show is with limited interruptions, have a Merry Christmas, and thank you for allowing me on your radio.

25 Christmas songs performed by NJ artists

If you celebrate Christmas, the next month of your life is likely going to be consumed with shopping for gifts, retrieving a tree, decorating the house, and going out on adventures to see elaborate light displays.

The one thing that you must have at the ready for all of these scenarios is Christmas music.

Since a lot of the songs you hear tend to get repetitive this time of year, why not pay homage to some of the great singers, bands, and musicians that make New Jersey's music history so rich.

Want to take these songs on the go with you? Here's the Spotify playlist.

Gallery Credit: Joe Votruba

LOOK: 25 over-the-top Christmas displays from across America

To help get everyone in the mood for the upcoming holiday season, Stacker compiled a list of some of the most over-the-top Christmas displays across America.

Gallery Credit: Annalise Mantz & Madison Troyer

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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