How to Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas

Everyone knows the classic Christmas song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". It can be a fun way to celebrate Christmas, by following the song's requirements, in some way or another.


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    Prepare for the first day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for a partridge in a pear tree. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Buy a pear tree and make a paper partridge to place in it.
    • Make an origami partridge in a pear tree.
    • Carve a partridge in a tree out of a pear.
    • Draw a partridge in a pear tree.
    Also write up your Christmas gift list, your list of things to do and check to see whether you need to buy new decorations for the year.
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    Prepare for the second day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for two turtle doves. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Make two turtle doves from paper cut-outs.
    • Paint a picture featuring two turtle doves.
    • Print off a picture of two turtle doves ad frame it.
    Dust the house, choose some Christmas baking and candy recipes to make shortly and finalize your Christmas gift list.
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    Prepare for the third day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for three French hens. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Stitch three well stuffed French hens from felt and sew on some sequins and buttons for decoration. Add a hanger to hang them on the tree.
    • Paint three French hens on an aging piece of furniture that could do with a pretty facelift.
    • Buy three hens and start a chicken coop in the backyard or under cover (depending on the weather in your neck of the woods).
    • Cook chicken for dinner, with all the trimmings.
    Decide whether you'll get a real or an artificial tree this year. Determine where to buy it from and head out to get it.
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    Prepare for the fourth day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for four calling birds. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Download some bird song or bird sounds from the internet. Find bird music and listen to the calls of the birds.
    • Go birdwatching. Find four birds calling and cross these off your list. If you prefer owls, go owl watching at night.
    • Paint four birds singing a song. Hang it on the wall or paint these birds onto plain baubles, for hanging on the tree.
    Put your tree up. Begin hanging all the delightful ornaments and crafts onto it.
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    Prepare for the fifth day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for five golden rings. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Play Sonic until you get five golden rings.
    • Buy five golden rings––costume or real jewelry, curtain rings, napkin rings, earrings, whatever.
    • Make a display feature five rings. You could use the Olympics symbol for inspiration or design the rings any way you like. Add the rings to a frame and hang them up.
    • Clean your gold jewelery in time for Christmas season wearing.
    Do some Christmas baking. Do a test run of any dish you'd like to cook for Christmas but haven't ever yet tried. Be sure it works well.
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    Prepare for the sixth day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for six geese a laying. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Buy six goose eggs and make an omelet.
    • Buy six female geese and add them to your poultry display in the backyard. Should you be this bold, ensure that you have a very large backyard, preferably a farmlet, as six geese will be a handful and leave a lot of mess about. Nice birds, although you may also need how to get rid of geese if they get out of hand.
    • Buy six geese from the butcher's and donate them to a charity preparing dinner or donating poultry meals for those undergoing hardship.
    • Draw six geese laying eggs on some baubles, a canvas or download a print from Pinterest. Hang this in your room or on the tree.
    • Learn to pluck a goose.
    • Watch a YouTube video of six geese laying eggs. Or six videos of geese laying eggs.
    How is the gift shopping coming along? Check off those you've already purchased and get them wrapped. Make a concerted effort to get on with buying or making the remaining gifts.
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    Prepare for the seventh day. Follow the song's requirement for seven swans a swimming. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Go to a lake where the swans do swim. Check out their swimming action.
    • Embroider seven swans onto a tea towel for use in the kitchen.
    • Download images of swans and use them to inspire some craft work. Or just stick the images up somewhere nice.
    • Make swans from napkins. Line up seven napkin swans in a row.
    • Crochet seven swans. You will probably need more than tonight to make this many swans, but at least get them started. They make great gifts and excellent dust catchers.
    Take the children to see Santa, go and choose presents with them to give to their friends and bake cookies with a Christmas theme.
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    Prepare for the eighth day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for eight maids a milking. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Visit a ranch or farm where women are milking cows. Watch either eight women milking cows or one woman milking eight cows. Or just watch cows being milked.
    • Draw eight milk maids with their eight cows.
    • Drink plenty of nutritious milk, as a smoothie, a milkshake, a milky coffee or a hot chocolate.
    • Make homemade hot chocolate gift packs for Christmas cheer gifts to hand out at work, church, to friends and neighbors.
    Plan your Christmas drinks. Will you have special drinks, a special night for drinks or just special drinks on Christmas Day?
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    Prepare for the ninth day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for nine ladies dancing. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Go out dancing with nine ladies. If you're a lady, go out dancing with eight, as you'll fulfill the ninth. Party on all night!
    • Sign up to dance lessons. Beat the New Year's Eve resolution rush by getting in early.
    • Dress up nine dolls in their dancing gear. Make a stop motion movie featuring their dance antics.
    Finish the Christmas gift shopping. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
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    Prepare for the tenth day of Christmas. Follow the song's requirement for ten Lords a leaping. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Visit the House of Lords in London as a tourist. If you don't live in London, a trip to London is a good Christmas gift to yourself.
    • Buy yourself a title. There are many on the market; what a lovely personal gift for Christmas.
    • Listen to Lorde. Download her album and rock away to the current most famous Kiwi on Earth.
    • Paint a leaping lord onto a napkin using fabric paints. Do this nine more times and you have a lovely Christmas themed set of napkins for Christmas lunch.
    Ring the butcher's and check they haven't lost your order for the turkey, ham, turducken or vegetarian equivalent.
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    Prepare for the eleventh day. Follow the song's requirement for eleven piper piping. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Go to Scotland to see eleven pipers piping. If you're already visiting London from the previous step, this should be a cinch and will add gravitas to your British visit.
    • Get the kids to find their old recorders out and to play some Christmas tunes. Even better if they're proficient with the flute or piccolo.
    • Make a table centerpiece featuring models of pipers in a circle. Add a candle in the middle, and a bit of holly, and you have a very original centerpiece for the Christmas table.
    Be cooking anything that needs to be cooked ahead of Christmas Day. Don't get caught out leaving it until the last minute.
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    Prepare for the twelfth day. Follow the song's requirement for twelve drummers drumming. Here are some ideas for fulfilling this:
    • Go to a parade to see 12 drummers drumming. Failing which, look up YouTube videos with drummers of any musical persuasion.
    • Play drum music. Loud and long. Keep everyone lively and awake.
    • Learn to play the drums. This will be a Christmas present for everyone in your house, as you'll be paving the way for them to make New Year's resolutions about finally getting around to soundproofing the house and giving you that granny flat you very much want out in the backyard.
    • Hang little drummer boy ornaments on the tree, twelve of them in all.
    Play the song The Twelve Days of Christmas and sing along, heartily.


  • Vary any and all of the tips to suit your preferences and schedule. It's just a bit of fun, not to be treated as an absolute. Turn it into whatever creative results fit in with your family's or household's wants.

Things You'll Need

  • Fortitude and a sense of humor
  • Hens, geese, doves, partridge
  • Ladies and Lords
  • Milk maids and cows
  • Dancing shoes
  • Airplane fare and ticket
  • Other things as advised
  • Digital player and a download of The Twelve Days of Christmas

Article Info

Categories: Christmas Parties