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This puzzle is part of the Puzzling Stack Exchange Advent Calendar 2022. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation.

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If you haven't already done so, it's time to decorate the tree! And what better way to do it than by singing along to some Christmas classics while we work?!

The Christmas tree-shaped grid below needs to be filled with the words missing from the titles of popular Christmas songs and the lyrics of traditional Christmas carols, all listed beneath it. Once the correct method to do this (which I am not explicitly providing) is found, the name of one more festive song will be revealed in the spaces occupied by red baubles.

TASK: Identify the words missing from the Christmas song titles and carol lyrics, and work out how to place these words into the grid. Each shape marked by black borders should contain a single word, whose first letter should be placed on the number, and the rest of the word spelled out in order following the shape's path. Letters placed on red baubles will ultimately reveal the name of a final hidden song.

Christmas tree-shaped grid, with red baubles marking special spaces
Penpa+ link

Popular song titles:

Have ________ a Merry Little Christmas (1944)
It's _________ to Look a Lot Like Christmas (1951)
_____ Baby (1953)
(There's No Place Like) Home for the ________ (1954)
______ Bell Rock (1957)
Rockin' ______ the Christmas Tree (1958)
___ Rudolph ___ (1958)
It's the Most Wonderful ____ of the Year (1963)
_____ Navidad (1970)
Happy ____ (War Is Over) (1971)
Make a Daft _____ for Christmas (1975)
Christmas at Ground ____ (1986)
Mistletoe and ____ (1988)

Carol lyrics:

"As with ________ men of old did the guiding star behold"
"Away in a ______, no crib for a bed"
"But mark how all things came to ____; from every door repelled, alas!"
"'Fear not', said he, for mighty _____ had seized their troubled mind"
"____ in royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed"
"It came ____ the midnight clear, that glorious song of old"
"Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let _____ receive her king"
"O ____, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant"
"Round yon ______, Mother and Child; holy infant so tender and mild"
"Shepherds _____ at the sight. Glories stream from Heaven afar..."
"The holly and the ___, when they are both full grown"
"Through the rude wind's wild ______ and the bitter weather"
"We three _____ of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar"

Note: The answers required for this puzzle can of course be found quickly and easily using an internet search engine. However, you will get much more enjoyment from the puzzle if you treat the questions as a 'pub quiz' in the first instance and just see how many you can recall from memory and prior knowledge, before filling in the gaps with Google - and I would be interested to see in your answer how many you were able to get before resorting to scouring the web!

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1 Answer 1

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The carol spelled out on the baubles is:

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

The missing words:
(I knew all the song titles, and about half of the lyrics, and once I had spotted the pattern could guess most of the rest, but still had to look up four of them just to make sure)

Have YOURSELF a Merry Little Christmas (1944)
It's BEGINNING to Look a Lot Like Christmas (1951)
SANTA Baby (1953)
(There's No Place Like) Home for the HOLIDAYS (1954)
JINGLE Bell Rock (1957)
Rockin' AROUND the Christmas Tree (1958)
RUN Rudolph RUN (1958)
It's the Most Wonderful TIME of the Year (1963)
FELIZ Navidad (1970)
Happy XMAS (War Is Over) (1971)
Make a Daft NOISE for Christmas (1975)
Christmas at Ground ZERO (1986)
Mistletoe and WINE (1988)

Carol lyrics:
"As with GLADNESS men of old did the guiding star behold"
"Away in a MANGER, no crib for a bed"
"But mark how all things came to PASS; from every door repelled, alas!"
"'Fear not', said he, for mighty DREAD had seized their troubled mind"
"ONCE in royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed"
"It came UPON the midnight clear, that glorious song of old"
"Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let EARTH receive her king"
"O COME, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant"
"Round yon VIRGIN, Mother and Child; holy infant so tender and mild"
"Shepherds QUAKE at the sight. Glories stream from Heaven afar..."
"The holly and the IVY, when they are both full grown"
"Through the rude wind's wild LAMENT and the bitter weather"
"We three KINGS of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar"

But how do we fit those into the tree?

Note that there are twenty-six missing words, and we have one starting with each letter of the alphabet. So let's put AROUND in the 1 box, BEGINNING in the 2 box etc..
And that works:
enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Spot on, well done :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 14, 2022 at 17:12

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