Maggie Montgomery
Nine-year-old Maggie Montgomery will take turns with her other family members in reading aloud 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (a.k.a. A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore) on Monday, December 24, Christmas Eve.

Where will you be reading the story this year? "I think my Dad said on the way home from Victoria we're going to read it."

You're going to Victoria? "Yeah."

How come? "Hold on.... [Asks Dad.] For fun."

What's your favorite part of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas? "I like when they describe Santa."

How do they describe him? "They compare him with other things like roses and cherries and snow."

Is Santa like roses and cherries and snow? Did the writer get it right? "Sort of."

How would you describe Santa? "I would describe what he wore, what his red suit was like."

That book doesn't do it? "It doesn't say specifically how soft or how tough it was."

What about your least favorite part of the story? "I don't really have a least favorite, but if there was something I would change, at the end it says, 'I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!' I would make it 'Merry Christmas to all.' We don't say Happy Christmas--that's what they say in England and other parts of the world."

Do the kids get presents in that story? "He brings in toys. The book doesn't talk about the toys, but it illustrates some of them--a trumpet, a doll, horseshoes...."

Is that what you want for Christmas this year? "No, they're not the sort of things I play with."

Do you think How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a better story than 'Twas the Night Before Christmas? "It gives more details about the Grinch, and this one doesn't give details about Santa. It gives some more details about why the Grinch doesn't like Christmas."

What do you think of the Grinch? "It's well written."

I mean the character, the Grinch. "He's funny. The way he speaks, what he eats. He looks funny too."

Is Santa funny? "He is, sometimes. Not always. He has to be really quiet though, because he can't wake anybody up. Especially if there are dogs and cats in the house."

Interview by Brian Goedde

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