"A Visit from St. Nicholas", more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas" and "Twas the Night Before Christmas" from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823, and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who acknowledged authorship in 1837. The poem, which has been called "arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American", is largely responsible for some of the conceptions of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today, and has had a massive impact on the history of Christmas gift giving. Prior to the poem, American ideas about St. Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors varied considerably. It became a popular poem which was set to music and was recorded by many artists. On Christmas Eve night, while his wife and children sleep, a father awakens to noises outside his house. Looking out the window, he sees St. Nicholas in an air-borne sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. After landing his sleigh on the roof, the saint enters the house through the chimney, carrying a sack of toys with him. The father watches Nicholas filling the children's Christmas stockings hanging by the fire, and laughs to himself. They share a conspiratorial moment before the saint bounds up the chimney again. As he flies away, Saint Nicholas wishes everyone a "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."