We love the 12 Days of Christmas over here. It's one of our favorite songs and a very popular decorating theme in our Christmas paraphernalia. A few years ago, we decided to try out what the twelve days of Christmas would be like to celebrate. Christmas is technically the 12 days from December 25th to January 6th. We made up our own little traditions and gave it a go. Turns out we loved it! I can tell you one of the main things that I loved, it was that at the end of December 25th, I didn't feel bloated, underwhelmed, and busted. And as the years have gone by, I've felt less stressed about getting it all done, because instead of having to fit everything in to one day, I have 12 to make it happen!
So what exactly is it that we do? Well, we open one present a day for twelve days, if there are any leftover, we open them on January 6th, but we've never had extra. Often, we get to the 6th and we're kind of done with it. Though I would say that if your doing twelve gifts, make sure that socks and underwear land somewhere in the middle. Trust me you do NOT want to end on a sock note.
What else do we do? My husband takes time off directly after Christmas. We hang out, watch Christmas movies, go to museums, plan fun meals together, you know, love on each other type stuff.
And then on the 6th, we take down the Christmas tree and the decorations and sit in our empty room and marvel at the space God has created.
Would I do this with younger kids? YES! I wish that we had started right away with our family. One of the best parts about it is those little gifts that you buy for your kids, thinking they are really cool, but not something they would ever ask for, well those gifts get opened all by themselves one day and they really are cool and your kid plays with it, ALL DAY. As opposed to lost in the shuffle and cast aside for those big ticket items they just had to have that will be broken in three months and in the trash in a year. What I'm getting at is that every gift we open has a much greater chance of being appreciated. And that's cool in my book.
Alright so what do we do ON Christmas day?!? We open our stockings, we open one present (if Santa comes to your house, you could do Santa's presents plus another gift), we light the advent wreath, make a birthday cake for Jesus (sometimes) and sing Him happy birthday (every time) and we hang out in our pajamas and eat tons of goodies, including breakfast for dinner with lots of traditional family foods like homemade bagels, sour cream eggs, and hot tea.
So all this is to say, I do love Christmas and I'm totally loving the 12 days of celebrating, because it's pretty much awesome!