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12 Days of Christmas

This year I couldn’t wait for Christmas to roll around. My husband and I have been dreaming up fun and clever ways to gift my parents the Twelve Days of Christmas. We started thinking about this back in April and then started collecting the gifts in November for the big twelve days reveal.

Since my parents split their time with us and their Florida house, we don’t’ always see them at Christmas, but this year they decided to stay a little longer. This made it easy to sneak down in the early morning and place the gifts outside their basement door. Besides, we thought, who wouldn’t like the joy of receiving fun gifts for twelve straight days?

I got all of these fun gifts from Amazon, Dollar Tree, and Walmart. You can make these twelve gifts elaborate or really simple. To top off this gift giving, I bought the true meaning of The Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments from Dickins Store, and placed an ornament with each gift. Here’s the twelve days so you can plan your own gifts for next year.

The true meaning of Christmas starts here....On the 1st Day of Christmas my true love (God Himself) sent to me (every Christian) A partridge in a pear tree. "Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God's greatest gift of all, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas time." (Luke 2:11-14)

For this one, I used a Christmas tree I already had and usually displayed in my kitchen each year. This got a brand-new set of green and yellow pears. I had to tie strings on the top and attach to the tree, I also tucked in a lifelike partridge bird, and accompanying 1st ornament.

On the 2nd Day of Christmas my true love sent to me... Two turtle doves, (The Old and New Testaments). For this one, I used two winter white sweater mugs and filled them with Dove chocolates and Turtle pecan candies.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas my true love sent to me... Three French Hens, (The three virtues- faith, hope, and love. 1 Corinthians 13:13). For this one, I used a mother hen and chicks garden sculpture set. I got a Zaxby's "chicken" gift card to go along with this one. And to make it appropriately French, I drew a beret on the gift card and placed an Eiffel Tower ornament beside it so you could tell they were definitely "french" hens.

On the 4th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Four Calling Birds (The Four Gospels). For this one, I got a small bird feeder and bird seed. I placed a string of battery operated lights inside the feeder to make it festive.

On the 5th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Five Golden Rings (The First Five Books of the Old Testament, called the Pentateuch). I was stumped on this one and had to get really creative. So I got glazed donuts and iced them with cream cheese icing, and then sprinkled the most beautiful edible gold glitter sprinkles. Placed them on a glass pedestal cake plate and presented at their door.

On the 6th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Six Geese a-Laying, (The 6 Days of Creation, Genesis 1). For this one, I found golden Easter eggs and placed money inside. Then I placed the eggs on top of the nest, made from a wreath.

On the 7th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Seven Swans a-Swimming, (The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Okay, this one stretched me the most! After much thought, I grabbed an old kiddie pool from the garage, and placed blue battery operated lights in the bottom and crumpled blue tissue paper on top to mimic water. Then, I blew up seven white swans that are used to float your cans around the pool, but this time their job was to carry Pepperidge Farm goldfish snacks. I snuck all this down to the basement and assembled it in the wee hours of the morning, so my parents would be super surprised when they opened their door. It worked!

On the 8th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Eight Maids a-Milking, (The Eight Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12). For this one, I snagged some cute glass milk bottles with lids and filled them with all kinds of "milk" chocolate. I added Malted Milk balls, Milk Duds, M&M's big and mini, Reese's peanut butter chips and candies. You name it, and I probably grabbed a bag of it. It was a sweet treat!

On the 9th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Nine Ladies Dancing, (The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22). For this one I just ordered a fun Christian dance music CD. Wrapped some battery operated lights around it and placed the ornament on top. It was a rocking good time!

On the 10th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Ten Lords a-Leaping, (The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1-17). This one also stretched me, but I pulled a really funny tenth gift idea out. I got the Lord of the Dance performance on DVD and coupled it with microwave "pop"ing corn. We laughed, and laughed at this one!

On the 11th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Eleven Pipers Piping, (The Eleven Faithful Apostles, Acts 1:12-14). For this one I went in search of old timey candy. I found red licorice pipes at Legacy Toys. I put them in a fun little cardboard candy shop house I found at Dollar Tree, and a string of lights and my gift was complete.

On the 12th Day of Christmas my true love sent to me.... Twelve Drummers Drumming, (The Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostle's Creed). The final gift was an easy one, because For King & Country just released a new album titled A Drummer Boy Christmas. I've had the joy of hearing Little Drummer Boy live awhile back, and I knew my parents were in for a treat! But, the fun didn't stop there. I grabbed a box of mini DrumSticks ice creams and taped arrows on the floor over to the basement freezer, and placed them inside with a shiny bow. And just like that the twelve days were complete. My parents were overjoyed with the daily parade of gifts and so were we.

I've learned that the Twelve Days of Christmas is usually seen as a fun carol that celebrates the Christmas season with its imagery of gifts, music and dancing. However, some have suggested that it originated in 16th century England at a time when Christians were persecuted for their faith. Each phrase of the song was said to contain a hidden reference to a teaching of Christianity. While historical truth of this has been debated, the song still can be a delightful reminder to all of God's grace shown to us through the Bible. Amen and Merry Christmas. Love, Sandy

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