Classic Christmas poem comes alive at historic Delaware house

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Classic Christmas poem comes alive at historic Delaware house
It's 'the night before Christmas' all month long at the Historic Odessa Foundation's new exhibit.

ODESSA, Delaware (WPVI) -- 'Account of A Visit from St. Nicholas' was published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore. 200 years later, the world can recite its classic lines by heart.

As part of its bicentennial, the Historic Odessa Foundation has created an exhibit dedicated to bringing the poem to life. It's part of an annual tradition for the nonprofit that preserves 70 acres of history in Delaware.

"This began because the families that own these buildings were Quaker and they didn't celebrate Christmas," said Executive Director Deborah Buckson. "So, in order to get into the spirit of the holiday season, we make a complete departure from our normal interpretation and we recreate a story based on literature every year."

Associate curator Brian Miller spends nearly the entire year researching, scouring yard sales, and acquiring temporary donations for the exhibits.

"We're just taking out some of the most famous lines, then we're recreating the scene into little vignettes of each room that relates to the story," he said. "What I like to say every year is, it's as if you're walking through the book."

The 'Account of A Visit from St. Nicholas' exhibit will be open in the Corbit & Sharp House in Odessa for the entire month of December. A special reading of the poem will take place on December 23rd, the exact 200th anniversary of the poem's publication.

For more information and operating hours, visit the Historic Odessa Foundation website.

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