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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Celebrating the 12 days of Christmas

with nary a partridge in a pear tree

It all began the morning of Dec. 26 as I watched my neighbor toss his Christmas tree onto the curb. I wanted to call out, “Christmas isn’t over yet!”

AngelHow could this happen? The world around me was gearing up for Valentine’s Day while I was just beginning to enjoy Christmas. Our congregation, which sang only Advent hymns the four Sundays before, did sing a few carols on Christmas Eve. But that was it.

I was feeling carol-deprived.

Taking my Lutheran Book of Worship off the shelf, I chose 12 of my favorite Christmas hymns and decided to sing (and ponder, and learn a few more words to) one carol each day.

I soon began to discover that there’s a lot more to them than I’d suspected. Take the third verse of “It Came upon the Midnight Clear”:


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