Enjoy free printable pdf copies of the classic Night Before Christmas poem to share with loved ones & decorate your home this holiday season.

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Christmas Decorated Mantlepiece with Twas The Night Before Christmas poem art in frame in centre

It’s the poem that’s been whispered by countless generations, invoking the magic of Santa’s Christmas Eve journey.  Whether you’re looking to print out a copy, add some cute Christmas décor to your home, or simply want the lyrics of this classic Christmas piece, we’re here to help!  

In our homes, Christmas Eve always draws to a close with snuggles on the sofa and a rendition of Dr. Clement C. Moore’s famous poem as the fire crackles and dances behind.  Even now as adults Jo and I still beg our father to read it to us!  It’s one of those childhood traditions that has followed us firmly into adulthood.  In fact we recently rediscovered the original copy of the book Mum bought for us as children, still wrapped in its brown paper bag!  Hannah’s family keeps their copy in the Christmas Eve Box to be brought out each year. 

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Surely one of the most popular Christmas poems of all time, let’s discover the story behind the story!  

This iconic poem, originally titled “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” was penned in the early 19th century. First published anonymously in December 1823, it was later attributed to  American writer Clement Clarke Moore (though there is still some dispute over this claim today!).  Born in New York, Moore, an academic and scholar, is said to have composed the piece during a sleigh ride shopping trip on a snowy winter’s day. Little did he know that his words would go on to become a cherished tradition for families across the world.

The poem’s enchanting narrative follows the anticipation of a family as they await Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve. It’s responsible for shaping many of the popular modern depictions of Santa – the plump, jolly figure with a red suit and the eight named reindeer leading Santa’s sleigh. Clement Clarke Moore’s creation has undoubtedly played a significant role in making Santa Claus the iconic symbol of Christmas that we know today.

Given The Night Before Christmas’s legendary status, it’s famous first verse makes for fabulous Christmas décor.  

We’ve created free printable downloads of a cute design that can be added to a frame and displayed on the sideboard or mantel at home.  

Free Printable Poem

We’ve created a free printable version of the poem for you to download.  Add it to a book advent calendar or Christmas Eve Box.  Pop a copy on the table at a North Pole Breakfast or read it by fairy light once the tree is decorated.  It’s so much part of the fabric of our Christmas festivities that there are countless ways to enjoy incorporating ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas into your celebrations.

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas Printable Home Décor

First Verse of Twas The Night Before Christmas Artwork Design

The lyrics of this classic story are so iconic that they make a great way to add easy Christmas décor to your home.  Print out our free design, pop it in a frame and add it to your mantlepiece or sideboard for instant festive flair.  

You can of course print it yourself at home, or use a company such as Photobox to print it for you for a more professional finish.  These simple frames are a good option for display – their plastic front makes them lighter than glass frames so they are easier to hang on the wall. We love Command strips for hanging frames on the wall as they can usually be easily added and removed without leaving a mark. 

Again we’ve created versions in A4 and US letter sizes, and pdf and image versions too.  So just choose the option that best fits your need.

Please remember all our free printables are created for your personal use only.  Copyright ©  Jolly Festive.  Please do not reprint or share. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.

The Night Before Christmas Poem Lyrics

Here is a complete copy of the lyrics of the original poem.


The Night Before Christmas

by Clement Clarke Moore


    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

    The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

    While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

    And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,

    Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

    I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

    Away to the window I flew like a flash,

    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

    The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

    Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

    When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

    But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

    With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

    I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

    More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

    And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

    “Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

    On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

    To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

    Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

    The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

    As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

    Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

    He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

    And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

    A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

    And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

    His eyes–how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

    His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

    And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

    The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

    And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

    He had a broad face and a little round belly,

    That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

    He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

    And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

    A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

    Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

    He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

    And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

    And laying his finger aside of his nose,

    And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

    He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

    And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

    “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”