One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is the 12 Days of Christmas.  For as long as I can remember, my mom has been making up fun little packages of 12 Days gifts for widows or widowers.  She would drive up to 40 miles to deliver these packages, most the time not even knowing the person who was recieiving them, just finding out that they needed Christmas cheer.

We have kind of done this on and off for a few years, but decided to pick this up last year as a family and delivered one bag full of fun gifts to a single lady who doesn’t have family near.  It was so exciting to drop the bag off and run and just know that she was going to have a fun surprise awaiting her each night til Christmas.  This year we are going to deliever to her again and two other elderly couples in our neighborhood.  We can’t wait.  It is such a great thing to teach my young daughters that the real joy in Christmas comes from giving and not receiving.

So here is how you can do the 12 Days of Christmas.

Gather 12 gifts for each person.  Some ideas are:

  • Holiday hand towels
  • Small box of chocolates
  • Holiday note paper
  • Holiday pen
  • Holiday mug with hot chocolate
  • Small holiday decor
  • Christmas story
  • A holiday place-mat
  • Small nativity (Nik’s block nativity would be SO fun)
  • Candle
  • Ornament
  • Snow globe

Basically, I go to the dollar store and find anything that I could use.  Target also has a fantastic dollar section where I found most of these things.  I also will buy some things after Christmas and place them in my Christmas totes to store them for next year.  Then I am ahead of the game with at least a few items. :)  You will also want to buy a large Christmas bag to place all the presents in.

Next you will want to wrap your presents.  Make sure you know who is getting what if you are doing more than one person, so that you don’t duplicate presents to someone.

My mom has written some fun rhymes for each day.  She said that I can share these with you.  It is a Word document and you can make a fun tag with them or do whatever works for you.  Place these on each present and place them all in your sack.

Take the presents to the lucky recipient, ring the bell and run!  You will be surprised at how exciting and happy you feel!

Now, this isn’t just for people you don’t know.  You could also do a fun 12 Days for your kiddos, your hubby (I’m sure those husbands need a reminder of how much we love and appreciate them), parents, grandparents.  You wouldn’t have to do these in secret.  Just hide the presents somewhere you know they would find them, like in the car for your husband, in your kids dresser.  You could have a lot of fun with this.

I hope this helps you feel the spirit of giving this season.  Let us know how you go about teaching your kids about service during this season.  We <3 to hear your ideas!!

Merry Christmas!


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  1. We do this same thing for family members but during the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany. I like the idea of surprising a neighbor with little gifts, as well. Collecting these items when they’re on sale for the next year is a good tip. Thanks, Jill

  2. YES!!! We’ve always done the 12 Days of Christmas!!! My grandmother would do it every year for someone and as kids we would help! She passed away in August so this year, I’ve taken on the tradition! In fact, my box of presents is in my car to deliver as we speak! So nice to find someone else who does it too!

  3. This is such an easy to do idea and sooo sweet!!
    I LOVE it!
    Thank you!

  4. This is such a cute idea I think I may do it for my kids or even co workers :) thanks for sharing!

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Monica, The Crafting Chicks. The Crafting Chicks said: Is the 12 Days of Christmas a tradition in your home? It is in Becky's! […]

  6. […] Ideas for the 12 days of Christmas from The Crafting Chicks […]

  7. Becky,
    This is such a great and sweet idea, I love it!
    I love the little poems your mom made too. I
    am going to do this! :)

  8. Thanks for these darling ideas. I loved the way you did your 12 Days of Christmas. I also did a post for CK this week on the 12 Days of Christmas. For additional ideas here is the link.
    There is also a free download! I love your website and just get giddy about the AWESOME stuff you post here. Thanks for being a great creative inspiration to me!

  9. We have done a 12 days of Christmas for either a single person without immediate family to share with, a widow or widower or family in need. Our gifts vary each time according to the person. We’ve played this for many years… and my kids ages 14 1/2, 12 and 7 love it. While the teenage girl isnt as into knocking and running like she used to be BUT she is the one who picked one of our “receivers” this year…. a disabled young man who is struggling to live on his own, he’s mentally handicapped and has the support of his single mom but is living on his own. It’s wonderful to see my kids understand a different side to Christmas than the commerical one!!!! It’s been a great learning experience and its a beautiful feeling to be able to give with no thought to ever being recognized for the gifts!

  10. Needed a new twist. Thank you so much for sharing.

  11. Sharon Scheulen Says: December 27, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Does anyone out there know about the 12 days of Christmas from the Christian side, I have some of the items but not all (star, angel, candy cane, etc. and the bible verse (or meaning for each symbol? Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

  12. Donna West Says: November 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Do you still have the 12 days of Christmas rhymes your Mom made up??
    Would you still share them please?
    Donna West

  13. Donna West Says: November 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Do you still have the 12 Days of Christmas Rhymes your Mom made up to share?
    I want to do this for older neighbors this year!
    Thank you
    Donna West

  14. Saw where you were giving a small nativity and noted that (Nik’s block nativity would be SO fun) could you tell me what that is sounds interesting. Thanks

  15. Do you have printable tags for the 12 days of Christmas?

  16. Thank you…I’m doing a 12 days of Christmas project and will definitely use the poems!

  17. This was the first year we did this and my kids chose a child abuse safe house. It was so amazing to see the notes that were left at the door for us. Thank you so much for your amazing ideas. May God bless you and yours for sharing your wonderful ideas to help others spread peace and joy.

    • Tiffany!
      You made my day! Thank you for sharing this. I am so happy that this was able to touch the lives of children! Not only the ones you served but your own children.
      Thank you!

  18. […] few years ago I shared how our family does the 12 Days of Christmas each year for some neighbors that are elderly and alone for the […]

  19. Becky,
    I so love this idea. I feel sometimes a better helper than doer. If I can help in any way – I would love to. I am surrounded with blessings – however, my only child, he and his new wife are celebrating with her family – out of town. I shared Christmas 2013 with someone I loved – who is not here this year. It is important that I begin my own traditions and new memories. If I can’t help you – I promise I will do this in my own way. Thank you for the wonderful ideas.

  20. This is such a great idea! I have been looking for something different to do for the holidays and this would be perfect. Thank you so much for sharing!


  21. Julie Adams Says: December 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Dear Becky,

    I am the recipient of the 12 days of Christmas (I think). Tonight I received day #3 with a door bell ring, a gift, and someone running away from my home. I don’t know why it took me three days to figure this out. But tonight’s surprise – brought tears of joy. I can tell the world, this is a great thing, because I am experiencing it.

    Also, I DID 12 days of Christmas for my married son and his wife of one year. I did have it all in one box because they live out of town. When I talked to them, they said it was so fun they had to open all at one time. They LOVED it!!

    My ball is rolling and will only get bigger and better each Christmas – just like a Snowman!!!!
    I am soooooo grateful I met you on line and hope to stay in touch. Merry Christmas to you and your family and a wonderful New Year.

    My love to you.

    Julie Adams

  22. Julie Adams Says: December 20, 2013 at 10:50 am

    would love to hear from you…..

  23. Rachel Byrne Says: December 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I do this every year too. I usually try to pick someone who had a rough year that year & usually do about 4 people like one year did my parents & my inlaws & another did two sets of aunts & uncles who had a bad year. I like to keep in the 12 days theme do like for turtle doves I do dove chocolate & French hens will either do something w/ a chicken or gift card to McDonald’s for “French” fries or this year I found planners from Michaels craft store w/ an Eiffel Tower for frAnce & they were on sale 75 cents. Love this tradition so glad so many others do too!

  24. Lois douglass Says: September 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    i would love to have the 12 poems! Thank you in advance!

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