Fun holiday tradition: 12 days of Christmas

When I was a kid, I always looked forward to a fun tradition. For the twelve days leading up to Christmas, my mom would wrap small gifts for my sisters and me. Every day before school, there were gifts on the kitchen table for us to open.

The gifts started out extremely small — a pack of gum or a candy bar. As we got closer to Christmas, they would get a little fancier, but still small — the biggest gift on Christmas Eve would maybe be a CD or a DVD. The gifts were essentially stocking stuffers that we opened in the days leading up to Christmas instead of Christmas morning, but it was so much fun!

This year, Tony and I decided to do our own 12 days of Christmas. Every day until Christmas, we’re exchanging very small but thoughtful gifts. It’s a fun tradition, and a great way to show that we’re really paying attention to each other.

It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money or any money at all to show your kids or your spouse how much you love them through small gifts. I considered making a “pizza night” certificate for Tony. Since he does the cooking, I thought he’d like to have a pass to skip cooking and order pizza any night he wants. I ultimately decided that was sort of lame, since he already has that power anyway, but I thought it was a fun idea anyway. I also joked that he should give me a gift certificate for a free outing by myself while he keeps Judah at home. We’ll see if he takes my suggestion, but I doubt it since he said I can already do that whenever I want. (I’ll have to remember that from now on!)

I can’t reveal what I did get for him for the remaining days, but for days 1 and 2, he received a bag of M&Ms and a 6-pack of Coke in glass bottles — two of his favorite treats that he rarely indulges in. He gave me a mug for drinking tea or coffee and a package of Starbucks hot cocoa.

I apologize for not sharing this idea with you early enough that you could do your own version, but I literally decided to do it Monday, and we exchanged our first gifts Tuesday. So it was last minute for us, too.

Judah is too young to receive gifts like candy, and he really doesn’t need more toys. But I can’t wait until he’s a little older, and I can carry on this fun tradition for him.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

4 thoughts on “Fun holiday tradition: 12 days of Christmas

  1. anne

    You DO realize that the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas Day, right?
    The first day of Christmas is Christmas day.
    The 12th day is on January 5…then the next day (January 6) is the day the 3 Wise Men found the baby Jesus.
    It’s a misconception a lot of people have that the 12 days come before Christmas. They are the 12 days between the birth of Jesus and the day that the Wise Men found him.

  2. Ericka

    I love the idea. However, sometimes even thought we have the freedom to go out without out children or to order a pizza, having someone do it for us is nice. Maybe he could get you a $5.00 gift card to Starbucks and you can go one evening and just relax or you do something similar for him.
    In my house December gets kind of lonely because our extended families don’t do anything until Christmas day so we do a family Advent calendar. Every day until Christmas we do activities together like bake cookies, tell jokes, play a game or go out to breakfast. We started this 3-4 years ago and my kids ask every day what’s the next advent activity and they are all teenagers. I hope to keep the activity alive as long as I can.

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