(ed: so, obviously, this is the season for gift giving and receiving but sometimes, it feels like a lot of people get lost in the receiving end. know what i mean? it’s all about what can be snagged, rather than understanding the joys of giving. my friend tracy has a wonderful idea that helps bring these ideas into perspective. here’s her story.)
A friend did the 12 days of Christmas for me 6 years ago. Being the type of person where gifts from the heart mean so much to me, I was touched (not to mention excited like a little kid) and looked forward to it every night. I saved the cards that came with each gift determined to spread this wonderful joy to others the following year.
Christmas seemed to take forever to arrive again. But, it did, and I made my picks: My grandparents since my grandfather was VERY ill, my grandparents neighbors who had been so good to our family during my grandfather’s illness, and then last minute I added my son’s daycare provider when I heard that his father passed away.
About 5 days into it, I was delivering one of my packages in the wee hours of the morning when I saw a note on the daycare door telling me that this has given them something to look forward to each day and has made a difficult time easier. I thought I would cry. I decided that day I would do this for at least one family each year. With the help of family and friends I’ve been able to do this for 2-3 families a year.
The best reward for me is seeing those I have done this for give to others by continuing the gift. A few friends and I have developed a running list of ideas and websites to obtain our “favorite” things to give (via after Christmas deals of course!) which are listed below (this list was one done for adults).
In a nutshell, for the 12 Days of Christmas, a gift is anonymously left everyday on someone’s door in line with the 12 Days theme. On the first day we usually leave pears (Partridge in a Pear Tree), etc. We tailor it to the person we are giving to. If some are children, we purchase children’s toys/gifts. On the 12th day when we deliver the last package we reveal who we are!
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a partridge in a pear tree. So there’s no partridge, just enjoy the pears. (idea: fresh pears)
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me: two turtle doves. (idea: Turtle candies and Dove chocolates)
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me: three French hens. We hope you’ll settle for one, not three, and let this hen, your supper be. And even though it is really not French, we expect this hen, your hunger will quench. (idea: a fresh chicken)
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: four calling birds. Could it be they are calling “Happy Holidays” to you? (idea: bird ornaments or bird soaps)
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: five golden rings. These golden rings, though not of gold, won’t break your teeth or so I’m told. They’re not your run of the mill rings, they happen to be tasty things. (idea: doughnuts)
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: six geese a lay’in. These geese flew south for the winter. But that our plans won’t hinder. (idea: deviled eggs)
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me: seven swans a swimming. Well, they were swimming until things froze up. Bet they wish they’d gone south with all those other birds. (idea: chocolate swans ‘swimming” in a bowl of blue jello)
On the eight day of Christmas my true love gave to me: eight maids a milkin’. The cows have done their best, the maids have done the rest, the results are, as you can see, cookies and milk to you from me. (idea: cookies & milk)
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: nine ladies dancing to beautiful Christmas music. (idea: Christmas music CD)
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: ten lords a leapin’. You see there’s not ten, forgive me for fibbin’, there’s only three to leap around your tree. (idea: frog christmas ornaments)
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me: eleven pipers piping. Eleven pipers these are not but you can serve it “piping hot” (idea: chicken soup)
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: twelve drummers drumming. (idea: Drumstick ice cream)
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thanks, tracy, for sharing with us your inspiring gift-giving treat!
seriously, friends – wouldn’t you like to wake up to find these surprises on your doorstep? just imagine how someone else would feel – and how you’d feel knowing you made someone’s morning.