21 December 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas Tradition

I love holiday traditions.  They give me a sense of connection to others.  My favorite has been our Christmas Eve tradition of making hearty soups and attending a late church service.  The meal brings the family together without all the hub-bub of a fancy meal and gifts.  Church, of course, is the true reason for the season and where I feel totally blessed regardless of my baggage.  It has ended up becoming a very magical evening.

Then there are the fun traditions.  In high school, my mom started the twelve days of Christmas with us.  Each morning for 12 days (the 14th - 25th) in our stocking, we found a little gift.  They were little things she knew we would enjoy like chap sticks and favorite candies.  It was always so much fun to find a prize each day.

This year, I decided to share this tradition with cc.
For each day, she has a package waiting for her when she wakes up.  Attached to it is a slip of paper that describes the Christian meaning behind the saying.  For example:
"A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas.  In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's address over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem!  How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so..." (Luke 13:34)

I had no idea that the real 12 days starts on Christmas day and not 12 days before. 
In addition to the spiritual meaning behind the day I decided to get creative and give a gift that related to the saying of the day.  Since we are only on day eight I can't list them all, but I'll share a few of my favorites.

+On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.  The gift is a bottle tree for the garden.

+On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two turtle doves.  The gift is a photo I had made into a puzzle of my two favorite girls (two doves).

+On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, four calling birds.  The gift is a messenger bag since calling birds are messengers. 

Some of the gifts are a stretch, but it was a lot of fun coming up with them.  I honestly didn't think it would be a hit, but cc is getting such a kick out of it.  I might just have to keep this tradition. 

What are some of your holiday traditions?


As part of my December 4(for) green acres challenge, all the wrapping you see above is repurposed.  The cool, graphic paper came from West Elm.  They wrapped up something I purchased a while ago and I saved it and turned it into gift wrap.  You'll also see bubble wrap, bakers twine, safety pins from clothing tags, and vintage labels that I talk about here.


  1. Thank you for sharing you wonderful traditions, they are inspiring.

    I am a big believer in presupposed wrapping for gifts.

    I learned from my father, who was known for wrapping his gifts in plan old newspaper.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Thanks Amanda! What a great story about your father.


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