Literary Calligraphy by Susan Loy

From Clement C. Moore


8 cards, 4-1/2” x 5-1/2” with 8 white envelopes.

Susan Loy hand-lettered the entire Clement Moore 1823 poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” or “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” in this Literary Calligraphy® Christmas card. On the front of the card, an old-fashioned Santa leads his team of “eight tiny reindeer” surrounded by half of the hand-lettered poem. The poem concludes inside and highlights Santa’s words, “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.” Santa smiling face with his holly wreath decorates the back of the card along with rich background material on St. Nick and the poem.

The background material on the card: “Clement Moore’s description of St. Nicholas, first published in 1823, played a major role in shaping the American vision of Santa Claus. Moore drew upon European and American traditions. St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children and sailors, had his roots in Europe; he was a bishop and gained a reputation of bestowing gifts upon children; he was later depicted in his bishop’s robe and hat, bearing gifts. Clement Moore knew Washington Irving as well as Irving’s description of St. Nicholas in his History of New York, published in 1809. Both Irving and Moore described a more elf-like St. Nick than the traditional stately bishop. By the time Moore wrote the poem in 1822 for his three children, other American writers had already outfitted St. Nick with a fur-trimmed red suit, pipe, a sack full of toys, a sleigh, and reindeer. Moore incorporated these elements into his image of Santa Claus and solidified Santa’s association with “eight tiny reindeer” by naming and numbering them. Moore’s poem has been widely published, and many artists have portrayed St. Nick in association with this poem. Susan Loy drew inspiration from Thomas Nast as well as other nineteenth century American artists, who often depicted Santa adorned with holly, a symbol of eternal life, foresight, and protection.”

Read the COMPLETE TEXT for "T'was the Night Before Christmas"

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