The Hymns and Carols of Christmas


Alternate Translations: I Am So Happy on Christmas Eve and
How Glad I Am Each Christmas Eve

Words: "Jeg Er Saa Glad Hver Julekveld," Marie Wexelsen, 1859; translated from Norwegian to English by Peter Andrew Sveeggen (1881-1959). Wexelsen (1832-1911) published three children's books, among them Ketil, en Julegave for De Smaa ("Ketil, a Christmas Gift for Little Ones"), where this Christmas carol introduced a longer story. At that time she entitled it "The Child's Christmas Carol."

See also Mike and Else's Norwegian Songbook (Bloomington, MN: Skandisk, 1985)

Music: "Jeg Er Saa glad" ("Christmas Eve"), Peder Knudsen (1819-1863), 1859
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Meter: C. M.

1. I am so glad each Christmas Eve,
The night of Jesus' birth!
Then like the sun the Star shone forth,1
And angels sang on earth.

2. The little Child in Bethlehem,
He was a King indeed!
For He came down from heaven above
To help a world in need.

3. He dwells again in heaven's realm,
The Son of God today;
And still He loves His little ones
And hears them when they pray.

4. I am so glad on Christmas Eve!
His praises then I sing;
He opens then for every child
The palace of the King.2

5. When mother trims the Christmas tree
Which fills the room with light,
She tells me of the wondrous Star
That made the dark world bright.

6. She says the Star is shining still,
And never will grow dim;
And if it shines upon my way,
It leads me up to Him.

7. And so I love each Christmas Eve
And I love Jesus, too;
And that He loves me every day
I know so well is true.


1. Or? The night the Star shone like the sun, Return

2. Alternate translation:

I am so glad on Christmas eve
Our grateful praises raise,
To Jesus, who has opened wide,
His own sweet Paradise. Return

Of the few Scandinavian hymns that crossed the ocean and was remembered into the next generation, this Christmas tree hymn from Norway ranks among the top, along with "Children of the Heavenly Father." Written to be sung on Christmas Eve when the tree was being decorated, it tells parents, especially mothers, how they should teach their children about the faith as they decorate the tree. The first stanza of the text is well known in Norwegian yet in America. This hymn first appeared in the Nynorsk Salmebog of 1926. It very quickly appeared among the Norwegian Americans and was translated by P.A. Sveeggen, for inclusion in The Concordia in 1931.

Notes from the Hymnuts

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