The 12 days of Christmas are a special time when we get to celebrate with family and friends through an anonymous act of kindness. It can be hard to think what thoughtful give to leave on the doorstep of your loved one, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we will share super easy and budget-friendly gifts to make it the best 12 days of Christmas ever!
You know what Christmas song I really don’t like — I don’t care to listen to it, and I especially don’t like singing — is?
The 12 Days of Christmas. I know, bah-humbug. But it’s such a long song, and it’s really not that exciting. I mean, half the song is about birds…and I don’t really love birds.
However, I do love doing the 12 Days of Christmas to people, and even being the recipient.
A few times growing up, our ward at church would organize a 12 Days of Christmas — anyone who wanted to participate would sign up and get matched with another family and anonymously leave small gifts or treats for 12 days.
It was always so fun to try and catch the people, or to go drop off treats and get away before the other family caught us!
It’s also always such a great experience to do the 12 Days of Christmas for a family in need. While we aren’t in a position to be able to do that right now, I look forward to doing it in the future. I know of several people who have been the recipients of the 12 Days of Christmas, who may not have had much of a Christmas otherwise and have been so grateful.
- FREE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS PRINTABLES – DOWNLOAD HERE
- A Partridge in a Pear Tree
- Two Turtle Doves
- Three French Hens
- Four Calling Birds
- Five Golden Rings
- Six Geese a-laying
- Seven Swans a’ Swimming
- Eight Maids a’ Milkin
- Nine Ladies Dancing
- Ten Lords a-Leaping
- Eleven Pipers Piping
- Twelve Drummers Drumming
- Where to Get Gifts?
- What to Include for Each Day?
- Why Would you do the 12 Days of Christmas?
- Does the 12 Days of Christmas Have to be Anonymous?
- What are the Best Gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas?
- How Does the 12 Days of Christmas Work?
- Gift Ideas for Family
- Who Should you Pick for 12 Days of Christmas?
FREE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS PRINTABLES – DOWNLOAD HERE
You can click the checkout button below to get printable versions of these cards listed below (they are not the same pictures that are above each day’s ideas. It is free and you just need to add them to your cart. (ONLY these pictures are available for download)
A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Two Turtle Doves
- Dove Chocolate and Caramel Turtle Chocolate
- Items that come in pairs (fuzzy socks would be great!)
- Dove Soap
Three French Hens
- French macarons (because, you know, you have to use eggs to make these!)
- Sorting eggs learning toy
- Chicken noodle soup
- A gift certificate to Chick-fil-A, KFC, or Raising Canes
Four Calling Birds
Five Golden Rings
- Five Ring Pops (maybe even paint the wrappers gold!)
- Pineapple in any form
- Unpeeled pineapple with pineapple slicer and corer
- Five golden chocolate coins (they look like rings, right?)
- Bag of frozen onion rings
- Bag of Funyuns
- Peach Rings
Six Geese a-laying
- Six eggs and ingredients for fancy omelets (maybe an omelet pan with instructions to make the perfect omelet.)
- Breakfast sandwich maker
- A gift card to Fast Food Restaurant for egg mcmuffins, perhaps?
- Quiche Dish to make quiche in (with recipe)
- Cadbury Cream Eggs
Seven Swans a’ Swimming
Eight Maids a’ Milkin
- Chocolate milk (or plain) and cookies
- Milk chocolate candies or chocolate chips
- Hot chocolate and a mug or hot drink holder.
- Hot chocolate bomb
Nine Ladies Dancing
- The Nutcracker book or movie
- Tickets to a ballet
- Just Dance video game
- A CD with great dancing songs (or maybe one of the bazillion versions of Kidz Bop.)
Ten Lords a-Leaping
Eleven Pipers Piping
Twelve Drummers Drumming
- The Little Drummer Boy Book
- Pentatonix CD with Little Drummer Boy
- Little Tikes Tap-a-tune drum
- A bag of dum dum suckers
Alternatively, you could just go with the number of the day, instead of the theme, and give a certain number of items on that day!
- Christmas Candy
- Chocolates (like truffles). I always like to get them at Costco this time of year!
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Little toys
- Toy cars
- Hot chocolate
Where to Get Gifts?
There are so many great places where you can get gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas – and on a budget! Here are some of my top places for buying these items:
- Amazon – this is my go-to for anything bulk
- The Dollar Tree (or another dollar store)
- Bullseye’s Playground at Target – sometimes called the Target Dollar Spot. Though I rarely see anything a dollar there these days
- Thrift Store – you never know what you’ll find! Sometimes thrift stores get items from stores like Target and Walmart too.
- Oriental Trading Company
What to Include for Each Day?
There are no rules on what you have to include each day – it’s really up to you, and it can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Here are some suggestions:
- Printable tag about the day (such as one from our download package!)
- Scripture verse
- Wrapped or not wrapped – either is fine!
Why Would you do the 12 Days of Christmas?
There are so many reasons why you might want to do the 12 days of Christmas.
Does the 12 Days of Christmas Have to be Anonymous?
It typically is done anonymously, but there is no rule that says it has to be! You can definitely do it as a secret Santa-type project, or you can sign your name. Some people may feel better about knowing where their gifts are coming from, especially if you are including homemade baked goods.
What are the Best Gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas?
I think it all depends on the recipients. Some people may love homemade desserts and snacks, while others would prefer things that are pre-packaged and from the store. I think it’s fun to mix things up – have a baked good one day, a beverage the next, and a movie the next.
The best gifts are the ones that come from the heart. I know that sounds so cheesy! But it’s absolutely true.
How Does the 12 Days of Christmas Work?
Typically, you choose a family, neighbor, and friend that you want to do the 12 days of Christmas for. We usually have done it starting 12 days before Christmas, but you can do it at any point during the Christmas season.
Then, each day you go and drop off the package on their porch. If you are doing it anonymously, you’ll run/drive away, so you want to time it right. You can do one gift or day or drop everything off at the same day with instructions on what packages to open on which days. This can be less time-consuming than going every day!
You can include poems or printables about the classic carol, homemade gifts relating to the day, and really whatever you want to make it special. There are so many ways to create a successful 12 Days of Christmas!
Gift Ideas for Family
Coming up with ideas for a family can be tricky, especially if they have a lot of people. I think it’s good to do things that everyone can enjoy! Gift sets, candy boxes, lots of treats, or even a set of 12 books would be cool!
Who Should you Pick for 12 Days of Christmas?
Really, whatever makes sense to you! While some people may want to give consent before getting 12 gifts, most people just appreciate that you thought to give 12 days of Christmas to them.
Here are some ideas:
- Family member
- Someone in need in your community
- Church member
- A classmate of a child
If you need ideas, it can be helpful to reach out to a clergy member at church or a faculty member at a school for ideas. They usually will have plenty of names of people who are in need of some holiday cheer.
Remember, it’s the thought that counts and you are sure to uplift and delight the recipient with your gift-giving! You’ll love doing the 12 days of Christmas with or for your friends and family, and we hope that some of these fun ideas will resonate with you this holiday season. Giving the twelve days of gifts to someone in need – both adults and kids – will be a memory you’ll never forget!
Other Christmas Ideas You May Enjoy
- 14 Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas
- Dollar Tree Christmas Decor
- Best Christmas Products to Buy at the Dollar Tree
- 30+ Memorable Christmas Traditions for Families
- 40+ Christmas Games and Activities for Kids: Free Ideas and Printables
- The Best Christmas Eve Traditions for Families
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.