Jan Brett's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas


‘Twas The Night Before Christmas  by Jan Brett

Supplemental Stories

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas  by Mary Engelbreit

“Twas the Night Before Christmas  by

Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Book by Molly Rockwell

choose some supplemental St.Nicholas picture books to complete your study

Narration with innovation suggestions follow each subject. 

 *Trim the top of a red file folder for the lapbook into a miter to begin this project. We trimmed it with gold.


v After reading the chosen story discuss the virtues of humility and charity as modeled by St Nicholas. 

v Research the office of Bishop. 

 What qualifications are necessary?

 Do Bishops normally get nominated by the people as St Nicholas did?

 Who is your local Bishop? Archbishop?

v For which countries, causes, and groups of people is St Nicholas a patron saint?

v St Nicholas’ tomb in


was a popular place of pilgrimage. What is the Catholic definition of a pilgrim?

v The sailors of


made a box to hold St Nicholas’ relics. What is a relic?

v students may wish to follow the suggestion found on at St. Nicholas Center

 to give anonymous gifts to a needy person without seeking recognition. Alternatively, siblings could draw names to be secret St Nicks to one another for the remaining days until Christmas.

History/geography/culture study:

v Read about the life of St Nicholas

v Make a timeline

v Narration with innovation: cut a graphic of St Nick and trace several blank pages on which to narrate his bio. Compile in order and attach with a gold brad at the miter to make fan book.


v Find a map of Asia Minor and compare to modern day


     Narration with innovation: print and paste into lapbook

v Narration with innovation: A more in-depth geog option would be to compile St Nick customs  from various countries and make them into a map book – Could accordion fold paper and paste map on left side and the custom on the right.

v Identify the symbols associated with St Nicholas and narrate the stories behind them

     Narration with innovation: compile into vertical layered book (or tab top book) with symbols outside/explanation underneath

v Follow the development from St Nicholas as Saint of the Church into Santa the popular folk figure. Make a timeline. Who is responsible for the character of Santa as we know him now? 

v additional stories of St Nicholas for children can be found here and here, for older students.

v Watch the Jan Brett video online to see where the story is set.

v Find Stockbridge


. Put Twas the Night Before Christmas story disk on



v Look through the Norman Rockwell book to see how he depicted Christmas. Look for people and places in Stockbridge.

Language /Copy work options:

v *There are a number of stories about the life of St Nicholas on the Kids Pages link. Any of these may be used for copywork. 


St. Nicholas lived a long time ago, but he was a real person like you and me. When Nicholas grew up, he became a bishop. He kept on giving gifts to the poor, in Jesus' name.

"Here I live," smiled the man, "but after I leave my sticks I will carry your sack to your journey's end with a good heart, for it is Christmas when all men should help their fellowmen." 

from story on  St. Nicholas Center.


Nicholas vowed that he would bring the Gospel of Christ to the people and defend the faith from all those who would assail it. Bishop Nicholas then lived his life in faithful service to God as protector of the poor and helpless, as advocate of justice for those in need, and as a faithful defender of the Christian faith.

v select a poem to memorize this week.

v memorize ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

v Optional extras on the site include word searches or crosswords that can be completed as language fun work.

v preschool students may enjoy an echo story complete with hand gestures to act out

Additional titles to peruse!

Critical Thinking

v Compare/contrast St Nicholas and Santa

     Venn Diagram

  Narration with innovation: 2 flap minit bk



v Compare the art in the three versions of the book.

v Print a Saint Nicholas icon. Study pictures of real icons. They are certainly different from the art styles in the books we are using. Use glitter glue and glitter paint to paint the icon printed from the website.

v choose an art/craft project such as the felt puppet

    Narration with innovation make a pocket to store your puppet in the lapbook

v create stand up St Nick dolls

v color pictures of St Nick to illustrate a notebook-style report

v The graphics included in the craft pages on the site would be excellent to make into cards for the shut-ins of your parish.

v St Nicholas is especially loved in the Russian Orthodox church which is known for its icon art. Research icons and see if you can locate St Nicholas icons on the internet. Follow this link for a meditation on such an icon:


v Listen to and learn a traditional St Nicholas hymn or two.

v Music students may wish to print the sheet music and play traditional St Nicholas songs


v Students may choose a script and perform for the family.

v Older students may wish to organize a larger presentation for their homeschool group,  parish or local nursing home.


Read The Baker’s Dozen and make St. Nicholas cookies from the cookie cutters available on the website.