Every time it snowed during the winter of 2000-2001, I went outside and took pictures. To this day, when I see new-fallen snow, it's hard not to grab my camera. This one is of my backyard, back when I lived in Arlington, Massachuestts. Guess I forgot to put the patio furniture away...
I decided to set the story in Beacon Hill, in Boston, since the buildings in that neighborhood were from the right time period. I spent some time wandering around Beacon Hill, and settled on The Nichols House Museum as the perfect setting. For one, it's a beautiful building. Plus, it's a museum house, so it looks much the same as it looked back in the 1800's. And most importantly, there's a lawn outside! I realized that I needed a house with a lawn, because of the line, "When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter".
One day I headed into Boston right after a snowstorm and got some great pictures that really helped me envision how I wanted my book to look.
|This is the point of view I decided to use for the scene when Santa is landing on the roof.|
|Same view, different snowstorm.|
|They even let me inside!|
|Tobin Anderson kindly posing as the narrator in 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, while my then-girlfriend, now-wife Sarah works as lighting technician. I'm sort of the director at this part of the process.|
I wanted to make sure Santa looked really good in my book, so I went right to the big guy himself. He took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to pose for me. Fortunately he was at the mall, so I didn't have to go all the way to the North Pole (good thing, because I didn't have any money!).
My wife, Sarah, remembered that there was a barn full of old sleighs and wagons at the horse farm where she used to work when she was in high school. So we took a road trip up to Maine, and found this amazing red sleigh, which I used as the model for Santa's sleigh:
|sidenote: I used a slightly altered version of this sleigh in Over the River and Through the Wood|
Sarah and I were on vacation in New Orleans when I found this great model reindeer. Sure, I probably could have found it at a store in Boston, but I bought it. His antlers mostly survived the plane ride. I would hang him in front of my drawing table while I was drawing.
And my mother-in-law's cat, Oscar, kindly agreed to pose as the cat.
Happy Holidays, everyone! Thanks for reading my blog.