People often think the 12 days of Christmas refer to the 12 days preceding Christmas, but in fact, Christmas Day is the FIRST day of Christmas and the 12 days of Christmas lead us to the Feast of the Epiphany when the kings come bearing gifts for the Christ Child. Here are some family activities to celebrate each of the twelve days of Christmas!
1st Day of Christmas – Read together, as a family, the story of the first Christmas from the Gospel of Luke (2:1-19). Make this your first Christmas Day activity – before celebrating with gifts and food to remind everyone of the true gift of Christmas.
2nd Day of Christmas – Sometimes we forget that Christmas is a season and not just a day. There were lots of visitors at the manger. Today, think of someone your family can visit this Christmas season.
3rd Day of Christmas – The Christ child was born in a humble stable. This reminds us that what’s most important is who we are on the inside – not our clothes, homes or toys. Today, think of someone you can reach out to with a helping hand or a friendly gesture. SEE Christ in others and be Christ TO others.
4th Day of Christmas – Christmas is a time to reflect on what’s really important in our lives. How about having playing a family board game or watching a family movie together to celebrate those who are most important to you?
5th Day of Christmas – When Christmas Day is over, the real work of Christmas begins. Be careful not to pack away all that peace & goodwill toward others with the Christmas decorations. Talk today about the your gifts and talents that you can share with others.
6th Day of Christmas – Christmas is a time of surprises. Has something good ever happened to you when you least expected it? The surprises of the Christmas season teach us to be open to God’s unexpected surprises in our lives. See Jesus in new experiences, new people and new ways of looking at things! Why not try something brand new today?
7th Day of Christmas – Today we get ready to welcome in a brand new year. What can you do this year to make a little more time for those closest to you? Can you set aside some “device free” time as a family or begin a new prayer practice in your home? Why not share a moment of gratitude each day?
8th Day of Christmas – Happy New Year! Today we celebrate Mary, the Mother of God. Mary had some pretty big challenges to face but didn’t hesitate in saying “YES” to God. Is there something in your life that God’s asking you to say “yes” to? Today, read the story of Mary giving praise to God in the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) – a special prayer of Mary.
9th Day of Christmas – The true gift of the Christmas season is God’s incredible gift of love to each one of us given in the birth of the Christ Child. We are united in love as ONE family of God – despite our differences. Consider today what you can learn from people who see things differently than you do. Make every effort to listen with your ears and with your heart!
10th Day of Christmas – Did something so wonderful ever happen to you that you could hardly wait to share it? That must be how the disciples felt! They shared the good news of Christ with others and this Good News is still being passed from generation to generation today! This is an AMAZING thing to be a part of and each one of us has a role to play. Who can you share your faith with? Who shares their faith with you?
11th Day of Christmas – What would our world be like if each of us lived the season of Christmas in our lives every day? What if each of us did our very best to always find the good in the other – especially those we find challenging? Why not try to put your best foot forward and treat the challenging people with the same kindness you show your favourite people? Begin today with a warm smile and a kind greeting for everyone you meet.
12th Day of Christmas – The kings brought their gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to the Christ Child. Make a list today of all the things your family has been gifted with and offer up gratitude to God for these gifts. Let your gratitude be a birthplace for even greater generosity to those in need. Who has God placed in your life right now to reach out to?