“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me….” I won’t torture you with the entire song but I will encourage you to SERIOUSLY consider celebrating the full 12 days of Christmas. We started celebrating them a few years ago and it has stopped the “After Christmas Blues” from coming to town. Each night we add a candle to our window sill until there are 12 candles lit for Twelfth Night. It is beautiful.
One of our favorite parts of the 12 Day Celebration is listening to a new Tullyport Story each day. Sparkle Stories puts out this LOVELY audio series for the 12 days of Christmas. Throughout the series Martin and Sylvia (siblings) “explore what it means to celebrate the traditional ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ inspired by twelve delightful stories from 18th century Maine.” (Sparkle Stories Website). You can CLICK HERE to learn more. If you are short on time each day, they also have a series with the just the 18th Century Stories from Tullyport Maine (a fictional coastal town). These stories are truly magical, CLICK HERE for that series.
We have been a Sparkle family since they began and this is our FAVORITE series. You can get a free 10 day trial which would get you through most of the 12 days of Christmas and you’d be able to see all that Sparkle Stories has to offer. This is not an advertisement, I am just a true fan.
What else do we love to do during the 12 days of Christmas?? Here is a little glimpse into all we have planned this year.
Day 1–Christmas Day-This will be a quiet day for us this year. We plan to stay in our jammies all day, hang by the tree and enjoy a wonderful dinner made by dad.
Day 2–Boxing Day (Kwanzaa Day 1)–We will be having a family Christmas party this day.
Day 3–Hibernation Day–This is the day we do NOTHING. We play games, read books and just chill. I love to hibernate and this is one of my favorite days of the week.
Day 4–The Forgotten Gift–Every year one of the gifts gets “forgotten” under the tree. The kids open it on this day. It is usually a book to share or a board game to play. They love having this fun surprise.
Day 5–Family Goal Setting-(Click HERE to learn more)
Day 6–Homemade Christmas (Click HERE to learn more)
Day 7–New Years Eve– New Years Eve is usually very low key for us and we like to celebrate at home. We usually make a nice dinner and when the kids were little we would do an 8 o’midnight celebration with a live ball drop from our upstairs. Having 8 o’midnight meant we are always in bed by 10, which I LOVE. Now the kids are older and enjoy staying up until midnight but this mama loves her sleep and is often in bed by 12:02!
Day 8–New Year’s Day–Every year we have a BIG New Years Day fancy breakfast. After the meal, we complete our New Years Day Interviews. You can read all about the Interviews and get your own copy by clicking HERE. We’ve been doing these interviews for years and it is always fun to go back and see how we have grown and changed.
Day 9–Plan out Service Projects for the Year--This year during the 12 days I want to have a family meeting where we map out the organizations that we would like to volunteer with this year. 2018 was a big year of service for us but we were flying by the seat of our pants and it felt like we were saying “YES” to everything. This year I want to be more intentional about our volunteer hours and the money we donate.
Day 10–Family Game Night–On the 10th night we are hoping to break out the new games the kids got for Christmas and a few old favorites and have a big family game night.
Day 11–Family Movie Night–We are hoping to pop the popcorn and find one last holiday movie to watch. There are a bunch we have not watched yet this year, so I am sure there will be lots to choose from.
Day 12–Family Twelfth Night Celebration--This year Twelfth Night falls on a weekend night and so we can do more than our traditional candlelit dinner. We are hoping to do a bonfire with s’mores, write some wishes on pieces of paper and send them into the new year by burning them in the fire. We will also bake a Kings Cake and the person who finds the bean will be the wish keeper for the celebration. They will hold everyones wishes for the new year in their heart.
Epiphany or Three Kings Day–3 Little presents arrive on this day. One for each child and one to share. They are not big presents, just a small item of fun to open and my kids are sooooo excited for this day EVERY Year. This is also the day we pack away our Christmas decorations and give thanks for all of the fun and magic we had throughout the season.
I loved this graphic from the Art of Simple. You may incorporate some of these things into your 12 days. They have a great post about the tradition and history of the 12 days that you can find HERE.