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A Collector's Guide to The Night Before Christmas

By Katharina Koch. Dec 14, 2014. 10:05 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Christmas Books

With my favorite holiday approaching, there is no better way to get in the Christmas spirit than reading and collecting The Night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. This essential children’s book has long been one of my favorites. When I first began collecting, I knew I wanted to focus on something that I had cherished as a child; so naturally I chose The Night before Christmas books, among a few others. Still a classic to this day, The Night before Christmas encompasses the magic of Christmas that is treasured by children and so often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the season. 

Throughout years of collecting this title, I have learned that a comprehensive bibliography is essential--as is true for starting and maintaining any other collection. Nancy Marshall’s The Night before Christmas: A Descriptive Bibliography holds an important spot on my shelf and is invaluable, since it includes all editions of the title from 1823 to 2000. While I have acquired many of the books included in Marshall’s bibliography, here are a few of my favorites:

A Visit from St. Nicholas

A Visit from St. Nicholas

This edition is quite special as it contains the first formal appearance of Clement Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicolas," now also known as the children's classic story The Night Before Christmas. Although there were previous appearances of the poem, this was the first time that Moore was identified as the author. Published in 1837, this is a beautiful and unique piece of Christmas history.

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The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas, Pop Up Edition

This edition of the Christmas classic is signed, limited, and illustrated by Robert Sabuda. I particularly enjoy this copy because it is a pop-up book, which makes reading it both interactive and entertaining!

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The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas, Tasha Tudor

This edition is a favorite of mine because it is not only a lovely copy of The Night before Christmas, but it’s also a miniature! This edition has gold lettering on the cover and is beautifully illustrated by Tasha Tudor with colorful images of Santa and his reindeer throughout.

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The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas, Gennady Spirin

What makes this edition of The Night before Christmas so magical is the red satin clamshell case tied closed with a ribbon which houses the book. This particular copy is also beautifully signed inside by illustrator Gennady Spirin in gold.

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Christmas Nutshell Library

The Christmas Nutshell Library

Since reading Eloise as a child, Hilary Knight has been one of my favorite illustrators. He has illustrated this – also miniature!  The Christmas Nutshell Library contains The Night before ChristmasA Firefly In A Fir Tree, A Christmas Stocking Story, and Angels & Berries & Candy Canes.

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The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas, Grandma Moses

This The Night Before Christmas is especially unique because it is illustrated by Grandma Moses, also known as Anna Mary Robertson. Her folk-style art captures the magic and simplicity of Christmas with illustrations of the holiday being celebrated in the rural countryside of New England.

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Please visit our website to find a complete listing of our The Night before Christmas titles, a perfect gift any time of the year, but especially with Christmas just around the corner.

Browse Copies of The Night Before Christmas

Katharina Koch

 

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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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