12 Ways to Do the 12 Days of Christmas

It's Christmas time- a season of giving and loving. Join in the spirit of Christmas love and fun with one of these 12 Days of Christmas ideas! If you have not done one of these yet, there are two main ways to go about it. The traditional way is to give one present a day to the family of your choice. Each night you leave a gift on their doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run away fast before you get caught! The other method is to do it for your family. Each day you can wrap up the surprise, leave it under the Christmas tree, and open it as a family. 


12 Days of Nativity

This is a great one to do if you really want to keep the focus on Christ this Christmas. Each day you give a piece of a nativity scene so by the time you give the last piece, they have a whole set. You can print cute notes to go with it (scripture or rhyming) or adjust the days to how many pieces you have. We received this one year and loved it. Here's a great 12 piece nativity set that you can use.

12 Days of Family Fun

Take this tradition and make it a great way to create new family memories. Each day you can open an envelope with a new family outing or activity. For example, one day can be going to see the Christmas lights together and another might be watching your favorite Christmas movie with hot chocolate. It's a great way to spend the time leading up to Christmas. I love the way Katherine Marie organized her 12 Days of Family Fun. There are also a bunch of ideas over at Or So She Says.

12 Days All at Once

If you have little time or energy but still want to gift the 12 Days of Christmas to someone, this is the one for you. Simplify the 12 Days by dropping all the gifts off at once. Attached a numbered tag to each gift so they know when to open each one then place everything in a big box. You can still have the joy of leaving it anonymously without the stress.  

Psssttt....download 12 Days of Christmas gift tags (pictured above) at the bottom of this post.

Traditional 12 Days of Christmas Variation

There is of course, the traditional route to go with a slight variation. Instead of 5 golden rings, you can give 5 golden doughnut rings and instead of  2 turtledoves, give 2 Dove chocolate bars. If you need more ideas, I like the one from Giggles Galore.

12 Days of Teacher Thanks

This is the perfect way to spread some holiday cheer to those teachers that work so hard to educate your children. Marci Coombs has cute cards and ideas you can use or head to Little Bit Funky and A Sprinkle of Inspiration for more ideas. 

12 Days of Spouse Gifts

Spend the holidays strengthening your marriage as well! This 12 Days of Christmas for Your Spouse from The Dating Divas makes it easy to put together. Each day includes a themed gift that will let your spouse know how much you love them. Plus when you get the 12 Days of Christmas pack from The Dating Divas, you will also get one you can do for the neighbors! 

12 Days of Household Help

This is the one I cross my fingers for every year. I just might have to give it to myself this year! Each day drop off something useful for your friend. Ideas include paper plates (and lots of them), tape, wrapping paper, plastic cups, gift card to a fast food restaurant or a frozen lasagna, favorite Christmas treat, napkins, gas station gift card, Thank You cards, Christmas wreath or garland, gift tags, trash bags, etc. Basically anything you think would take a load off your neighbors back. 

12 Days of Service

Focus on others this Christmas by challenging your family to do an act of service each day. You can head to Mormon.org to find all sorts of great suggestions (there are actually 25 days but you could pick 12). There are all sorts of great helps to #LIGHTtheWORLD throughout Mormon blogs (including my ideas for Feeding the Hungry) or print out this cute Christmas Kindness Santa. 

12 Days of Christmas Movies

Get all your favorite Christmas movies in with this simple spin. Make it more fun by wrapping up each movie and randomly placing numbers on each one so its a surprise for everyone which movie you will watch. Add a box of popcorn, hot chocolate, or other favorite movie treats too! With services like Netflix and Amazon Prime it is easy to find a new movie to watch too. Some of our favorites are:

12 Days of The Living Christ

Memorize The Living Christ with this fun advent version. Each day there is a small part for you to memorize plus tips on how to do it. You can take the challenge on yourself or use it to give to a neighbor. You can combine this one with the nativity version or think of small gifts to correspond with each day.


If you want to go another Christ centered route, enjoy some Christmas hymns while you study their meaning in this 12 Days of Christmas Hymns Study.

12 Days of Game Tournament

Bring out your friends and family's competitive side with an ultimate game tournament. Each day play a different game and give points to the top three players. Then award a trophy to the winner on day 12 (like they get to pick the next game you play). Need some game ideas? Check out these 12 games. 

12 Days of Christmas Books

Wrap up your favorite Christmas books and place them under your tree. Each night gather around to read a Christmas story together by the Christmas lights. Don't have many Christmas books? Your local library is a great resource especially if you can reserve some books early. Begin your 12 Days of Christmas Books with this fun holiday party idea. 

Looking for a grown up version of 12 Days of Christmas books? Use Deseret Bookshelf PLUS to discover a new Christmas book every day. 

Whichever version you choose to do, download my free 12 Days of Christmas gift tags to help keep you organized.