Christmas Specials Wiki

The Night Before Christmas (1968)

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Directed by: Jim Pabian
Written by: Dick Woellhaf
Release date: December 1968
Running time: 30 minutes
Available on: VHS

The Night Before Christmas is a 1968 made-for-television animated special. It was based on an original story by Louise Turnbull, a fictional telling of how Clement Moore came to write A Visit from St. Nicholas.


Clement Moore goes on a short trip just before Christmas to give a series of lectures at a university. He promises to get his daughter Charity a storybook about Santa Claus for Christmas while he is away. Charity develops pneumonia while he is gone, and the doctor says she might not survive. Clement arrives back home early, just as the family servant Peter is dispatched to go get him. He is distraught to see his beloved daughter near death. He hadn't found any books about Santa Claus when he had gone shopping, and even through her fever she is asking for one. Feeling he has broken his promise, he decides to write a story of his own and read it to her. The story is "A Visit from St. Nicholas". The story pleases her, and she begins to recover the next day.

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