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One of our favorite things about Christmas isn’t the presents or the cookies, although we certainly don’t hate either of those things. What we really love, though, is hearing the traditions that others share with their families. Decorating the tree the day after Thanksgiving, opening presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, secret eggnog recipes, cookie baking nights and the reading of either the Christmas story from the Bible, or Clement C. Moore’s classic poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”

If the latter is part of your holiday routine, you might want to check out the new rendition of the story, also popularly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” that the staff at Orlando, Florida, country radio station WWKA (K92.3) managed to capture during their visit to Nashville for the CMA Awards in November.

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The Rare Country radio partner asked some of our favorite country stars to each take a few lines of the family favorite holiday story, and the results are awesome and funny and animated and, well, just great.

Billy Ray Cyrus kicks things off by introducing what is to come, then Luke Bryan takes over with the start of the historic poem. Cole Swindell then picks up and the poem rolls into full swing with a sprinkling of snowflakes indicating the change from one star to the next, including Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Frankie Ballard, Kelsea Ballerini, Chase Rice, Brett Eldredge, Thomas Rhett, Hunter Hayes, Dustin Lynch, Rascal Flatts, Billy Currington, Trisha Yearwood and finally, Garth Brooks.

We give all of the artists props for delivering their lines with thought and feeling, but we have to point out that both Rascal Flatts and Billy Currington showed a particularly impressive flair for the dramatic with their respective verses. Also worth noting is the vast difference in the artists’ accents, from Luke’s south Georgia twang to Keith’s Australian brogue. That’s good stuff!

Now, who’s ready for a little tinsel trivia?

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According to Trivia People, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” was originally published anonymously in 1923, then Clement C. Moore was credited with composing the poem in 1837. Also, the original lineup for the eight tiny reindeer included the names Dunder and Blixem. Yikes! Fortunately, they got an upgrade to Donner and Blitzen. Poor Rudolph, though, he didn’t get his moment of glory until 1939 when he found his way into an ad for the Montgomery Ward chain of department stores.

If you read this seasonal favorite annually, you might have noticed that the country music version is a few verses short of the original, which boasted 54 lines. So, they cut out a few descriptives.

And finally, even though most of us call it “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” the official name of the holiday bedtime story actually  is “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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