Here are some great Traditional Christmas Poems to help you get into the holiday spirit! Some of these poems take me back to my childhood, when I couldn't wait to put out cookies and milk for Santa in hopes that he would bring my favorite toy.
Included in these Christmas Poems are "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" and "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Happy reading!!
Twas the Night Before Christmas
I use to love to read this Traditional Christmas poem to my daughters, Kaitlyn and Haley on Christmas Eve when they were younger. It was wonderful anticipation they felt before going to bed with sugarplums in their head.
This Christmas poem was written in 1822. Before then, St. Nicholas or Santa Clause was never associated with a sleigh or reindeer!
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 Donner 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!"
Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863)
This is a great Traditional Christmas Poem about the man in the little red suit.
He comes in the night! He comes in the night!
He softly, silently comes;
While the little brown heads on the pillows so white
Are dreaming of bugles and drums.
He cuts through the snow like a ship through the foam,
While the white flakes around him whirl;
Who tells him I know not, but he findeth the home
Of each good little boy and girl.
His sleigh it is long, and deep, and wide;
It will carry a host of things,
While dozens of drums hang over the side,
With the sticks sticking under the strings.
And yet not the sound of a drum is heard,
Not a bugle blast is blown,
As he mounts to the chimney-top like a bird,
And drops to the hearth like a stone.
The little red stockings he silently fills,
Till the stockings will hold no more;
The bright little sleds for the great snow hills
Are quickly set down on the floor.
Then Santa Claus mount to the roof like a bird,
And glides to his seat in the sleigh;
Not a sound of a bugle or drum is heard
As he noiselessly gallops away.
He rides to the East, and he rides to the West,
Of his goodies he touches not one;
He eateth the crumbs of the Christmas feast
When the dear little folks are done.
Old Santa Claus doeth all that he can;
This beautiful mission is his;
Then, children be good to the little old man,
When you find who the little man is.
When Santa Claus Comes
I love this Traditional Christmas Poem, it reminds me of the excitement of a child when they are waiting for Christmas day!
A good time is coming, I wish it were here,
The very best time in the whole of the year;
I'm counting each day on my fingers and thumbs,
the weeks that must pass before Santa Claus comes.
Then when the first snowflakes begin to come down,
And the wind whistles sharp and the branches are brown,
I'll not mind the cold, though my fingers it numbs,
For it brings the time nearer when Santa Claus comes.
Here is a cute Traditional Christmas Poem about mistletoe. Too cute.
Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Some one came, and kissed me there.
Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen—and kissed me there.
Walter de la Mare (1913)
Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
I know this is not really a poem. It is however a Traditional article that is over 100 years old. That is why I put it in this collection of Traditional Christmas Poems.
I have to tell you about something that happened in our family, with permission from my daughter, Haley. When she was in 6th grade, her friends were telling her there was no Santa. I thought she had already figured it out (she was like 12, after all). She was beyond devastated and accused us of lying to her for her entire life. I felt awful!! But her Grandfather came to the rescue. This article ran in his newspaper and he sent it to her with the DVD, "The Elf" and a personal letter about the first Christmas. After reading it, she felt much better and she came through it all just fine! (Thank God!)
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
The New York Sun - 1897
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
- Virginia O'Hanlon
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Lady Selecting Her Christmas Cards
Decisions...Decisions. Do you ever find yourself standing in front of Christmas cards at the store trying to decide which cards to buy? Do you send a cute snowman, a jolly santa, or a religious card with Baby Jesus? What message do you want to send to friends? The woman in this Traditional Christmas Poem reminds me (sans gloved fingers)of myself making that most important decision.
Fastidiuosly, with gloved and careful fingers,
Through the marked samples she samples she pursues her search.
Which shall it be: the snowscape's wintry languors
Complete with church,
An urban skyline, chldren sweetly pretty
Sledding downhill, the chaste, ubiquitous wreath,
Schooner or candle or the simple Scottie
With verse underneath?
Perhaps it might be better to emblazon
With words alone the stiff, punctilious square.
(Oh, not Victorian, certainly. This season
One meets it everywhere.)
She has a duty proper to the weather-
A Birth she must announce, a rumor to spread,
Wherefore the very spheres once sang together
And a star shone overhead
Here are the Tidings which the shepherds panted
One to another, kneeling by their flocks.
And they will bear her name (engraved, not printed),
Twelve-fifty for the box.
More Traditional Christmas Poems on the Way!!!
I am in the process of collecting more Traditional Christmas Poems for you and your family to enjoy. I hope these Traditional Christmas Poems enhance your holiday season.
Spiritual Christmas Poems
Funny Christmas Poems