Calvin Coolidge
Christmas In July

The last post card I received was an antique one commemorating the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

I did not receive it at Christmas time. It came just the other day and no, it was not lost in the mail for seven months. Actually, I sort of sent it to myself since I bought it on ebay.

As a member of the Van Rensselaer Garden club, I help decorate the Hart-Cluett Museum on Second Street in Troy for the yearly Greens Show. The theme for the show is different each year. For instance, this year the theme is “Children’s Holiday Books”. Each room in the mansion will be decorated following the story in a children’s book. I will be working on a room decorated like “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Every ten years, the theme is “The Night Before Christmas.” This was the theme in 2013 and will be again in 2023. They do this because the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was first published anonymously by the Troy Sentinel on December 23, 1823. “Twas the Night Before Christmas” is the first line of the poem.

Authorship of the poem has become controversial. For many years, (from 1837-2013), the poem was said to be written by Clement Clarke Moore. Moore acknowledged authorship in 1837. Recently, a Professor Donald Foster suggested that Major Henry Livingston Jr., a New Yorker with Dutch and Scottish roots, should be considered the chief candidate for authorship. A mock trial was held in the Troy Courthouse in December of 2013 with two prominent Troy attorneys arguing over who the true author is. You can google the poem to learn more about the authorship.

Regardless of who the true author is, I am looking forward to decorating the mansion in 2023. I hope to have a collage of postcards of the poem to hang in one of the rooms. Like Hallmark, I am starting to prepare for Christmas in July.

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