In the church calendar, Christmas does not end on Christmas Day. It is only the beginning. Back in the days, Christmas lasted for 12 days (from December 25 to January 5) - a tradition from which we get the well-known Christmas song that many of us know by heart. During the winter holiday season, everywhere you go, you can hear about Two Turtle Doves, Seven Swans-a-Swimming, and Eleven Pipers Piping. However, besides being a festive tune, "The 12 Days of Christmas" also serves as an enjoyable and meaningful way to create a theme for your upcoming holiday activities with your family, friends, and colleagues.
To give you some inspiration on how to celebrate 12 Days of Christmas, we've rounded up a list of 12 ideas fit for any age, all vary in expense, time commitment, and complexity. The most important part is to have fun together – so there’s no need to take every verse of the classic carol literally. Let these ideas serve as a starting point, think outside of the box, and be more creative this year!
1. Write your own “12 Days of Christmas” carol
The winter holiday season is a time when simple pleasures often mean the most. If you have creative kids and a sense of humor, you can easily create your own lyrics of the classic holiday song – the Twelve Days of Christmas. Start with the gift of Jesus and then add angels, shepherds, and all of the words that pertain to Christmas or to winter in general.
2. Plan a special family day
This Christmas, try to plan an activity to do together as a family. Go on an outing, visit your local cathedral, view Christmas decorations at a beautiful church, attend a Christmas festival, make gingerbread houses, or select any other activity that allows you to spend some time feeling the joy of Christ’s birth with your beloved people.
3. Do an unconventional countdown
Some people may not be interested in continuing the Christmas partying after the big day itself, but a lot of other people – especially children – stay at home during the bulk of the twelve days. If you’re looking for a fun way to observe the magical 12 days, create a list of 12 Days of Christmas activities, print it out, stick it on the wall, and follow the activity prompts listed every day beginning on December 25.
4. Go to a nursing home or visit the residents
Volunteering may not make you rich, but it gives you something more valuable than money: happiness. Remember to bring holy cards, Christmas treats, or cupcakes to pass out. They are sure to love that and you can make someone's whole Christmas this year. And the kids can help.
5. Make Christmas cookies
Didn't get a chance to bake the festive cookies you wanted to have done before Christmas? Yay, now it has become a Christmas activity and a legit way to celebrate. Those sweet treats can be shared with your family, friends, and neighbors as a gesture of kindness throughout the holiday season.
6. Go Christmas caroling
Christmas caroling isn’t just for before Christmas, but it takes place during the surrounding Christmas holiday season, too. Organize your caroling event at a few homes or in your neighborhood during the 12 days of Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ and spread as much holiday cheer as possible.
7. Open Christmas gifts throughout the 12 days of Christmas
This may be extremely challenging to do, but it is a perfect way to treasure every Christmas gift you receive. Instead of opening everything in one day, unwrapping one Christmas gift on each of the 12 days of Christmas is sure to spread excitement and fun. Besides, in case your Christmas gifts can't arrive by the holiday, 12 Days of Christmas is an opportunity to take the ultimate pressure off.
8. Look through the Christmas cards together
If you’re looking for a way to keep the Christmas cheer alive, gather up all the Christmas cards you’ve received and pick one at random to read at dinnertime. If you live with family or friends, share some interesting stories about the person who gave you the card. If you live on your own, recall your memorable moments together and arrange a catch-up in the coming week.
9. Host a wine and cheese tasting party
Another great way to get into the spirit of Christmas after the big day is by hosting a wine and cheese tasting party with your friends. It’s a fun way to spend some time with your favorite people, and you may get to taste several wines you wouldn't otherwise have tried before. Adults deserve a Christmas gift, too!
10. Play outdoors
Play in the snow, build a snowman, go sledding downhill, or have a snowball fight! Christmas break is a great opportunity to be active and enjoy the outdoors together. If you live in a place without snow, opt to run a family race together or organize a football game in your local area to celebrate Christmas time.
11. Make 12 Days Of Christmas dance
The family who dances together stays together. You can create dance moves to the “12 Days Of Christmas” song and have someone video your family finished dance to enjoy again and again. Gather up with your whole family, put on cute and ugly Christmas sweaters and get down and dirty to some good Christmas music!
12. Celebrate the twelfth night
Epiphany (traditionally on January 6) celebrates the visit of the magi and is also the final day of the 12 Days of Christmas. To honor this day, consider making traditional recipes such as King’s Cake or wassail. Besides, the Victorians are believed to have started the tradition of putting away Christmas decorations and Christmas trees on this day so that everybody could return to work after the holidays.
We hope you found this article on 12 Days of Christmas activities helpful. No matter how you decide to celebrate, we wish you a wonderful, amazing, peaceful, and magical Christmas - all 12 days of it. Merry Christmas with lots of love!