The 12 days of Christmas are a special time where 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 that 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
- Ideas for 12 Days of Christmas
- First Day of Christmas Ideas (A partridge in a pear tree)
- Second Day of Christmas Ideas (two turtle doves)
- Third-Day of Christmas Ideas (three French hens)
- Fourth Day of Christmas Ideas (Four Calling Birds)
- Fifth Day of Christmas Ideas (Five Golden Rings)
- Sixth Day of Christmas Ideas (Six Geese a-laying)
- Seventh Day of Christmas Ideas (seven swans a’ swimming):
- Eigth Day of Christmas Ideas (eight maids a’ milking)
- Ninth Day of Christmas Ideas (nine ladies dancing)
- Tenth Day of Christmas Ideas (ten lords a leaping)
- Eleventh Day of Christmas Ideas (eleven pipers piping)
- Twelfth Day of Christmas Ideas (12 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 to do the 12 days of Christmas?
- Gift Ideas for Family
- who should you do this for?
FREE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS PRINTABLES – DOWNLOAD HERE
You can click the PINK 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)
12 Days of Christmas Gifts
Ideas for 12 Days of Christmas
First Day of Christmas Ideas (A partridge in a pear tree)
- Can of pears or basket of fresh pears
- Pear Pie
- A Partridge Family Christmas Audio CD
Second Day of Christmas Ideas (two turtle doves)
- Dove Chocolate and Caramel Turtle Chocolate
- Items that come in pairs (fuzzy socks would be great!)
- Dove Soap
Third-Day of Christmas Ideas (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
Fourth Day of Christmas Ideas (Four Calling Birds)
- Three Hens and a Peacock (children’s book)
- A set of four stuffed birds
- Cell phone case
Fifth Day of Christmas Ideas (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
Sixth Day of Christmas Ideas (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
Seventh Day of Christmas Ideas (seven swans a’ swimming):
- Swan Princess (movie)
- Swimming toys (floaties, noodles, goggles, etc.)
- Bubble bath
- Rubber Ducks
Eigth Day of Christmas Ideas (eight maids a’ milking)
- Chocolate milk (or plain) and cookies
- Milk chocolate candies or chocolate chips
- Hot chocolate and a mug or hot drink holder.
- Hot chocolate bomb
Ninth Day of Christmas Ideas (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.)
Tenth Day of Christmas Ideas (ten lords a leaping)
Eleventh Day of Christmas Ideas (eleven pipers piping)
Twelfth Day of Christmas Ideas (12 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 recepients. 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 funt o 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 to do the 12 days of Christmas?
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 do this for?
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 currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
How can I get the list of items needed for the Twelve Days of Christmas? I was able to download the tags (thank you), but need the list in a condensed form. I’ve done the Twelve Days many times and I really like your ideas. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!
Hi, Ava! Send me an email at email@example.com, and i will send you a file 🙂
Merika Cheah says
Are the Printables still available? This looks like it would be so fun!
Yes they are!
Marilyn Sheaffer says
How do you get the colored cards and the suggestions? Only was able to download some black and white pictures that were different from the colored cards. Would also like the suggestions to be printable. Thanks
Unfortunately the colored cards are not available for printing – they are just placed as markers for ideas. I’m sorry!
This looks like so much fun. Thank you for sharing the 12 days of Christmas. I love this idea. I saw some one asked for the printable cards snd you replied to email you so that’s what I did.
Carol GREEN says
How do i get the 12 Days of Christmas printable cards?
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get them to you!
Wonderful ideas, thanks for sharing! What date do you start the 12 days of Christmas?
I’ve done it both starting on December 1st, as well as starting 12 days before Christmas 🙂
12 days of Christmas
Can you send me the 12 days of Christmas printables?
Alisa Beatty says
Thank you so much for generously sharing your 12 days of Christmas coloring pages.
You are very welcome!! I’m glad you enjoyed them 🙂
Thanks so much for linking to me! Great list, by the way! Show you how much I haven’t been reading SBL posts.
You are so very welcome 🙂 Always happy to send traffic your way! And believe me, I’m way behind. I’m lucky if I can read anyone’s posts!