Christmas Traditions: From SinterKlaas to Santa Claus the poem that started it all

December 3, 2008

No not the more famous one by Clement Clarke Moore, there is an earlier, shorter version by William Gilley.

“Old Santeclaus with much delight
His reindeer drives this frosty night.
O’er chimney tops, and tracks of snow,
To bring his yearly gifts to you…..
Each Christmas eve he joys to come
Where love and peace have made their home”
William B. Gilley, The Children’s Friend, 1821.

This poem, published 2 years prior to A Visit From St. Nicholas, would be ignored for the most part by many.  Even finding information on the poem is difficult.  This version  introduced many of the images of the modern Santa Claus, sleigh, flying over roofs, and reindeer . 2 years later a fat old Dutchman became Santa Claus, and the rest as they say is history.