Magical Winter Nights

featuring the Nancy H. Marshall "A Visit from St. Nicholas" Collection
November 21, 2022 to January 5, 2023
A teddy bear dressed as Santa Claus enters a living room with Christmas decorations from the fireplace.
The Teddy Bears' Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Monica Stephenson. 
Rare Book - Nancy H. Marshall Collection PS2429.M5 N5 1998

The magic of Christmas morning begins the night before, on Christmas Eve. Clement Clarke Moore probably had this in mind when he wrote "A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822. By opening his poem with the line "'Twas the night before Christmas," Moore puts nighttime center stage. By lingering over whimsical details—the snowy landscape, mice asleep in their beds, the father in his cap, and stockings by the chimney—Moore creates a vivid narrative that is instantly recognizable. It is about what happens at night, when no one is looking and everyone is fast asleep. Blurring the line between dreams and reality, night becomes an event of change, expectations, hopes, dreams, excitement and whimsy.

Special Thanks:

  • Rob Haas, Program Services & Security Director, Williamsburg Regional Library
  • Desiree Parker, Marketing & Communications Manager, Williamsburg Regional Library

Color logo for Williamsburg Regional Library Galleries




Curation and Design:

  • Jenny Merriman, M.A. Student in History and Special Collections Graduate Apprentice

Fabrication & Install: