A Cajun Night Before Christmas turns 50

The Cajun Night Before Christmas turns 50 this year. When I was a kid, my parents used to read me the story every Christmas. While both of my parents grew up in south Louisiana, they aren't Cajun, so it was always hilarious listening to them try to do their best Cajun accents. If you've never seen or read the book, you're really missing out, it's a pretty fun re-telling of the classic Christmas story, with alligators—named Gaston, Tiboy, Pierre, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste, and Renee—pulling the sleigh, and gumbo standing in for the classic cookies and milk.

The Advocate provides some history of the story and details of its 50th anniversary:

That beloved holiday tale, "Cajun Night Before Christmas," officially has been read and reread for half a century now.

To mark this bibliophilic occasion, Pelican Publishing has released two deluxe 50th Anniversary editions of the Bayou State take on the early 19th century poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Both new books went on sale on Monday.

The 50-year-old story, conceived by J.B. Kling, Jr., originally appeared as a Christmas message from Bergeron Plymouth Company of New Orleans. James Rice's humorous illustrations of a colorful bayou Christmas bring the tale to life.

Enjoy this reading of the tale by Aidan Dykes.