Wright Words: Uncovering the surprising secrets behind ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’
My own family has done our best to keep the tradition alive. We’ve not been as perfectly dedicated, and some years have passed with more busy excuses than quirky letters. But the spirit of the tradition is never far from our home or hearts.
Recently the elf family added a 13th day that takes place on Dec. 26, and I decided to fictionalize my childhood memories into a novel called "The 13th Day of Christmas." This bonus day was never part of my father’s version, but I think if he were alive today, this is where it would have evolved. It’s a new verse that suggests the real meaning of the sacred holiday is found the day after Christmas.
Are we different after celebrating the birth of the Savior? Are we rededicated to living better? Gifts, songs and laughs are meaningful, but following the Savior’s example is what gets us to our eternal home.
As Christmas approaches, you're likely to sing the carol a time or two — or 12. Next time you do, consider whether your family might be up to the challenge of selecting a worthy recipient and experimenting with the tradition.
You’ll be glad you did. And I promise that the Partridge family and Krispy Kremes will never be quite the same.
Jason F. Wright is a New York Times best-selling author of 10 books, including "Christmas Jars," "The Wednesday Letters" and "The 13th Day of Christmas." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or jasonfwright.com.
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