The Twelve Days of Christmas

twelve days image

For most folks, Christmas is winding down. The gifts have been opened, the food has been eaten, and the parties have ended. However, the Christmas holiday was not traditionally a one day show. In fact, historically, the gift-giving would be just beginning, as the Twelve Days of Christmas ushers in a series of feasts honoring saints through the ages (Including the Feast of St. Stephen, the Feast of St. John, and the Feast of the Holy Innocents).

For Christians, honoring Christmas traditions allows us to soak in the meaning of the holiday. It’s not just a time to give gifts in honor of the Greatest Gift, but to reflect on that divine gift and what it means to us. Advent is a countdown to Christmas–an expectation of the Savior’s birth, while the Twelve Days of Christmas is a celebration of what that divine birth accomplished and a time to think about how it should impact our lives here on earth. Read more in this great article.

Different folks put the beginning of the Twelve Days of Christmas either today or tomorrow. Our family chooses to begin our Twelve Days on December 26th. Since the purpose of the Twelve Days is to be ‘sent’ out into the world to shine the light of Christ, I prepare 12 days of RACK (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness). When we started this tradition, the older kids were pretty little, so I would put together a gift for them that corresponded to the RACK for the day. For example, if they were going to tape quarters to a toy machine, they also got quarters to spend.

This year, since my “bigs” are, well, bigger, I thought I’d try to infuse each day with some additional meaning. Although there is no evidence that the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” corresponds to any faith-based meaning, I really like this little explanation that adds a bit of extra meaning to each verse of the song. I created some new RACK cards using Canva.com (amazing site!) for my kiddos. These are personalized with our name at the top, but feel free to download this freebie, if you like! 🙂

The Palmer Family’s RACK

Our activities this year include a mixture of meaningful activities for the older kids and fun ones for the little one.

  • Donating food to a food pantry
  • Sending Bibles to Love Packages
  • Quarters on a vending machine
  • Mailman thank you
  • Redbox popcorn
  • CVS Gift Card

Each activity card has an explanation of the “meaning” for each verse of the song, a corresponding Bible verse, a reminder of the traditional day’s events (if applicable) with their RACK mission, and a thought for the day. My hope is that my kids will get just a little bit more out of the season this year. 🙂

Enjoy!

Karen

 

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