Everyone knows the Christmas song “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Almost every musician who has recorded a Christmas album has done a cover of the song, from Bing Crosby to Perry Como, Burl Ives to…Twisted Sister (!).

My personal favorite is the one sung by The Muppets, and if you don’t love the Muppets you can’t be my friend.

Andy Williams popularized a variant on the song, with different gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas.

As we approach that happy holiday, I think it might be nice to look at the twelve things mentioned in that song and find spiritual application.

Working up from one to twelve, we start with “a song for the Christmas tree.”

Hopefully, if you celebrate Christmas, you’ve already got your tree up. It is the fifth of December, after all. Some families have a tradition to wait until Christmas Eve to erect and decorate their tree, but I always found that tradition odd, as one my favorite things is to sit in a darkened living room and admire the dancing colors of the twinkling lights.

We put our tree up on the day after Halloween. You might find that tradition odd but that’s fine. I don’t need to give you anything for Christmas.

Whenever you put up your tree I hope you will let your children (if you have them) take part. Any opportunity to gather together and do something as a family should be encouraged. Family members tend to be more distant and self-centered these days. Let this holiday season be a chance for you all to remember that God made you to live together, sing and laugh together, and strengthen one another.