Does the title of this short Christmas story inspire visions of Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick, sugar plums, presents and little children? Or perhaps you imagine the comfort of a good night’s sleep and the joy of Christmas morning? Well, wipe those thoughts right out of your mind. Gogol’s The Night Before Christmas is as far from the favourite poem of my childhood as I could imagine. He tells of adultery, the devil, thievery and unrequited love in a way that’s rather odd but extremely amusing. It’s certainly a different perspective on a very important evening.