Our Twelve Days of Christmas {A Giveaway}

Monday, November 26, 2018

We love to celebrate Christmas all the way through Candlemas (February 2), but after spending Advent really preparing instead of celebrating early, we like to make sure we celebrate each day of the Twelve Days of Christmas! After we finish our Advent books, we shift the focus a little. Here's what we're doing and reading this year:

This post contains affiliate links

December 25

There might not be much reading getting done today! If you can, read through today's Mass readings before you get to church.

Activity: Stockings in the morning filled with non-perishable breakfast foods, Mass as a family, then home for brunch and gifts with extended family.

December 26 (St. Stephen)

St. Stephen's Feast

Stephen, a young page, accompanies King Wenceslas on a mission of goodwill, bringing food and supplies to a poor family, and ultimately joining them in a feast.

Activity: Sing Good King Wenceslas! Then find a way to help your local food bank, whether by helping stock shelves, making a monetary donation, or bringing canned goods that are on their "wish list."

December 27 (St. John the Apostle)

Christmas in Noisy Village

We love the other Noisy Village chapter books, with their wholesome, family-friendly story lines. This takes some of the Christmas stories and traditions from those books, adds quite a few details, and incorporates lovely illustrations to show how the children celebrate their Christmas.

Activity: Traditionally, wine is blessed on the Feast of St. John. Ask your priest if he can bless some for you, and enjoy it this evening while the kids drink sparkling apple cider.

December 28 (Holy Innocents)

The Little Match Girl

You are probably familiar with this story from your childhood, and I find it particularly appropriate for the Feast of the Holy Innocents! Heartbreaking, but sometimes we need our hearts broken a little to allow room for charity.

Activity: Put together donations for your local pregnancy center—they'll likely have a list of current needs like diapers, formula, clothing, strollers, and pack n plays.

Suggestions from friends:
A Mom's Peace
Maggie's Place
Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem

December 29

An Angel Came to Nazareth

An angel gives four animals the choice of four travelers to carry on a journey. But which will be the best of all the travelers?

Activity: Sometimes we let the biggest & oldest get first choice—let the youngest in the family take charge for today!

December 30 (Holy Family)

Joy to the World: The Night of Las Posadas

As the townspeople prepare for the celebration of Las Posadas, snow begins to fall, making travel difficult. Mysterious friends arrive with their own burro to take the place of the couple who was supposed to play the part of Mary and Joseph... But at the end of the night, they disappear!

Activity: Invite another family to dinner—if not tonight, pick a night to extend this hospitality soon, and allow the children to help prepare the meal. Make sure to sing some Christmas carols together! (This book is absolutely wonderful if you have musicians around!)

Traditionally the Posada happens on the nine evenings before Christmas, so if you have a church near you that observes this tradition, try to work it in!

December 31

Merry Christmas, Strega Nona

When everything goes wrong with Strega Nona's Christmas preparations, she resigns herself to no celebration this year... But the townspeople take matters into their own hands!

Activity: Family party! Have an appetizer feast for dinner with a sparkling apple cider toast. Make sure everyone plays their part in preparing the meal!

January 1 (Mary, Mother of God)

The Illuminated Rosary: Joyful Mysteries

This lovely book is one in a series, and perfect for the Christmas season! Beautiful art accompanies not only each *mystery* but each *prayer*—the entire book is full of gorgeous sacred art that is sure to inspire your meditations while praying the rosary. You might find some good ideas to use for picture study, too! (Make sure to enter the giveaway below!)

Activity: Holy Day of Obligation! Get to Mass! Then pray a rosary (or at least a decade) as a family, meditating on the joyful mysteries.

January 2

Angela and the Baby Jesus

When Angela sees the baby Jesus lying in the manger at church, cold and alone, she snatches him up in a fit of pity, taking him home to warm him. When her brother Pat spills her secret, he selflessly agrees to take the blame!

Activity: Do you have a Special Olympics organization near you? Find a way to support those with special needs.


Jill's House

January 3

All for the Newborn Baby

This lyrical, beautifully illustrated book relates all the beauty of creation to the gift of Jesus in the manger.

Activity: Take a walk as a family, and point out the wonder that is God's creation.

January 4

Joy to the World: The Story of the Three Wise Kings

In this short tale, we prepare for Epiphany by reading a story of the Three Kings who visited Jesus, bringing Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Activity: It gets dark early! Step outside and look at the stars for a while.

January 5

The Legend of Old Befana

Old Befana visits all the children in Italy on January 6, to leave gifts and sweets because she was too busy cleaning to welcome to Christ Child in time. This story tells of the legend, and warns of the dangers of becoming too focused on material things when we need to be preparing our hearts to receive Jesus every day.

Activity: Clean house! But do it without grumbling or complaining, and allow for little interruptions cheerfully throughout the day.

Epiphany: January 6

This is the day we do our family gifts, 3 for each person, and we also have a King Cake of some sort for dessert. The person who gets the baby or coin in their piece throws the Mardi Gras party!

Are you totally at a loss when it comes to figuring out how to come up with ideas for living liturgically? You do NOT have to be fancy! My friend Jenna wrote a great, simple book called The Lazy Liturgical and sent me a copy to check out. It has tons of very simple ideas for celebrating the liturgical year, and the format is easy enough for my kids to read to themselves to get ideas! No crazy-elaborate paper mache crafts, just simple things to connect feast days with your everyday life. And she has a copy for YOU!

You can find her book on sale today (20% off!) on Etsy (digital and hard copy) or you can enter the giveaway below and win your own!

In addition, Gracewatch Media is giving one of you a copy of The Joyful Mysteries, one of the books in their illuminated rosary series. You can preview all the books in the series and see what art is included, and I think you will see that these are an incredibly rich, beautiful source of art that will help your family pray together! Look for deals here or order your copy on Amazon.

I would love to hear about how your family celebrates the Twelve Days of Christmas! Please share in the comments, and remember to enter the giveaway!

Click below to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love using blessed chalk to bless the doorway of our house for epiphany. It seems really special. Also, I love all of the seasonally appropriate books that I can read to my children. It's my favorite time of year!

    1. My husband always brings home blessed chalk in a special bag and it feels so exciting!

  2. Our Christmas’ always change so much because of travel but these would be fun things to do while we’re on the road!

    1. We definitely brought books on the road with us during Advent last year!

  3. My trouble with celebrating the 12 days of Christmas is that we always leave town for most of them and so we don't have our usual resources around. We do try to visit a fun light display at our destination and usually have a Christmas meal with our family while we are visiting. We try to sing the 12 days of Christmas each day, adding a day each day as well.

  4. On Epiphany, we process with our wisemen around the house singing "We Three Kings" until we get to the Nativity set. Then we have a crown cake (just a bundt cake frosted yellow) for dinner. I think I'm going to diffuse some frankincense this year to add to the ambiance. Thanks for sharing the giveaway!

  5. We have a beautiful Good King Wenceslas book that we read every St Stephens day.

  6. I love Holy Family Mass the best during the 12 Days of Christmas. I'm so sad when it's suppressed because of the solemnity of Mary on the 1st. (Even though of course I love Mary herself too!)

  7. We don't do the 12 days of Christmas very well either. Like mentioned above, we're out of town for some of it so those days are relaxed and celebratory but nothing specific. Maybe this year I can something to those days?!

  8. We will do our Christmas baking and cookies during the 12 Days and we like to do the house blessing on Epiphany ..i just have to remember to buy chalk ahead of time so our priest can bless it. We try to go to an extra Mass or two also.

  9. Definitely do Epiphany house blessing, and can't forget King cake ;) (kids don't lete anyway!) But I'd like to do more to celebrate all 12 days...


I *love* reading your kind comments and will always try my best to reply right here in the comment box so we can keep the conversation going! If you have a blog of your own, please do link to it so I can visit back :)

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan