Family Activity: The Twelve Days of Christmas

I know what you’re thinking, “Sarah, it’s barely November and you’re talkin’ to us about Christmas already? Put your holiday spirit on hold until after Thanksgiving, please.” Bear with me, though – because I’ve got a pretty awesome Christmas activity that requires a bit of pre-planning. You’ll be grateful I gave you a head start here, I promise.

If you read my post in the Relationships section, you’ll know every year in the days leading up to Christmas my husband gifts me with The Twelve Days of Christmas. This means that each day he gives me a gift – nothing too pricey! – in the countdown towards Christmas.

This year, I’m going to gift someone with the Twelve Days of Christmas. And my kids are going to help.

Things you need to know:

  • If you would like the last day to fall on Christmas Day, you’ll need to start with the first gift on Monday, December 14.
  • Whether you start with Day 12 and count DOWN or Day 1 and count up is up to you (we usually start with 12 and count down)
  • The point is not to spend a ton of money – but rather to give gifts you know will make the recipient smile (remember, ’tis better to give than receive, right?)
  • Sometimes you have to be creative with finding fitting gifts (one year, I was given a bag of beef jerky on Day 6 because it held six ounces of product!).
  • If you’re mailing it, you’ll probably opt to use lighter items so that shipping won’t be too expensive

Who should be the recipient of your Twelve Days project? That’s a good question! Do you have a neighbor that needs a smile? Maybe a family member that lives far away? Your college roommate that you don’t see often enough? Your kids’ favorite uncle?

Once you’ve selected your recipient, brainstorm ideas for things he or she likes – remember, the goal is not to make this an expensive project that you will resent. The goal is to let someone you care about know that they’re thought of.

Pick your twelve gifts, wrap them up separately. If you are shipping them to someone, put the details on each package (“Open this gift on December 20!”, for example). If your recipient is local, you can deliver a gift each day.

Then? Kick back and watch your Christmas spirit brighten someone’s (twelve) days. It’s definitely better to give than receive, and this is a fun way to show your children how fun giving can be.

Photo Credit: Fazen

What do you think?



  1. 2

    The 12-days of Christmas are actually the 12 days after Christmas leading up to the Epiphany on January 6th.

  2. 3

    This is such a wonderful idea. I’m going to try to find someone I can bless in this way. Thanks! 🙂