Waddingtons The Night Before Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle Review

Almost every year, with a few exceptions, Waddingtons release a limited edition jigsaw puzzle for Christmas. As a fan of Christmas themed jigsaws, I collect vintage puzzles as well as new.

The Night Before Christmas is a Waddingtons limited edition jigsaw puzzle. They've actually released one with this name twice, once in 1997 and once in 2005. Here I'm reviewing the older design.

Obsessed with Christmas and doing jigsaw puzzles? So am I. The Night Before Christmas by the artist Simon Williams was made exclusively for Waddingtons as their annual collectible jigsaw.

Waddingtons The Night Before Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle Review: Limited Edition 1997

Waddingtons The Night Before Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle Review: Limited Edition 1997 Puzzles Jigsaws 12 Carols Twelve

Title: The Night Before Christmas

Publisher: Waddingtons

Release date: 1997

Artist: Simon Williams

Cutting style: Grid cut

Number of puzzle pieces: 1000

Finished size approx: 49 cm x 69 cm / 19.2 x 27 inches

The Night Before Christmas (1997 version) is the 4th in a series of Waddingtons limited edition Christmas jigsaw puzzles. It came complete with a certificate of authenticity and a gold colour tree decoration.

I enjoy collecting jigsaw puzzles almost as much as the process of making them. I especially love many of the older, vintage limited edition Waddingtons Christmas puzzles because of the traditional and detailed pictures.

➡️ Love this jigsaw? Come and try the FREE Night Before Christmas Search and Find Game.

Simon Williams was the artist who designed the exclusive 1997 jigsaw puzzle art which features grand old houses, a pub or drinking establishment, carol singers and a glimpse into Victorian life with people going about their business.

This jigsaw puzzle design is even more special since it is double-sided (I won't show the reverse of it on this page as that would be a spoiler) and there is also a fun game to find references to twelve Christmas carols hidden in the design.

Waddingtons limited edition 1997 Christmas jigsaw puzzle the night before christmas certificate and medal tree decoration

My completed puzzle and the original certificate of authenticity plus the 1997 gold colour tree decoration or medallion. 

If you're lucky, you may be able to get a copy of this jigsaw still in good condition. And if you're really, really lucky, you may also get one complete with the certificate of authenticity and the gold colour tree decoration as well.

Puzzle Quality Notes

It would be unfair to compare the quality of a vintage jigsaw puzzle with a much newer one. My copy of this is complete, however there has been quite a lot of peeling on the reverse of the jigsaw especially.

The quality is okay but it's often harder to work with vintage jigsaw puzzles which are more than 20 years of age.

You often get some peeling with parts of the design lifting up from the thick cardboard, especially around the tiny tabs. Peeling can often happen on the reverse side as well, usually more than the top because the reverse has more friction with being moved around on a board.

There may be wear and tear such as scuff marks mainly on the edge pieces which take the bulk of any knocks or scrapes.

My own version shows all of these common age faults but actually looks pretty good on the front side once it has been completed. The back looks less good with some small but visible tears.

If buying a vintage jigsaw, for example on an auction site, you really want to see a recent photo of the jigsaw completed and look closely at it. Many sellers are honest about the condition and you can ask questions before you bid or buy to ascertain the quality and whether it is all complete.

Jigsaw Puzzle Construction Order and Tips

Jigsaw puzzle traditional house top edge in the works not completed

I really struggled with the top edge of this jigsaw puzzle. Only once I'd got the tops of the buildings in place was it possible to finish it off.

My usual strategy is to complete the edges and then work on the inside of the jigsaw. That strategy failed miserably with this particular design.

I got the bottom edge and the two sides done, though the left edge pieces were a challenge. However, the top edge was a fiend and I just could not work out how these pieces fit together. Sky is often hard and in this case, very.

So I gave up on the top edge and left that section until last once the buildings were all in place. I suggest you may wish to do the same with this particular design.

I decided to work on the greenery first. The holly and ivy leaves were fairly easy, the tree on the left which was covered in snow less so! I had a piece missing from that tree right up until the last handful of pieces. Just very hard to put together.

On the face of it, it doesn't look like this is a particularly challenging jigsaw puzzle design. But I can tell you that it is.

There are lots of pieces that look similar in terms of colours and patterns. Lots of wood pieces and snow that could fit in numerous areas on this design.

I found it easier to pick out the people and start piecing them together bit by bit, the red door and the text. A lot of the curtains are the same colours just to make doing the window areas harder.

Overall it's a pretty hard puzzle to put together. Despite that, I enjoyed every minute of it. It wasn't too hard to actually take away from the fun. One of my more challenging Christmas designs.

What to Look for on Completing This Jigsaw Puzzle

The original jigsaw puzzle came complete with a seek and find game to hunt for visual references to 12 different Christmas carols.

Whether you have a copy of this puzzle or not, you can come and do my free search and find game here.

Overall Experience With The Night Before Christmas by Waddingtons

It's a wonderful old fashioned, Victorian style design with the added bonus of being double-sided and having a fun game to challenge you once you're done.

If you can manage to pick up a complete copy of this vintage jigsaw, still in a good condition, it is a lovely, detailed Christmas design. It was challenging but still highly enjoyable.

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Articles are accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in medical, business, financial, legal, or technical matters. All images on this site are my own or are product and public domain photos that are used with permission.