A few Christmases ago I gave my friend a special gift - it was a box filled with presents that went along with each verse of the Twelve Days of Christmas. My friend was having a particularly difficult year and the gift box was given to cheer her up and let her know that someone had her back. You can read the original post here. I know that many, many people have clicked through to that post and are obviously interested in the idea so I wanted to give a few more tips for successfully doing this project.
Here are my tips:
While you are supposed to deliver one gift every day for the twelve days before Christmas (or some would say for the twelve days after), I gave all the gifts at once on Christmas Eve packed into a large box. I know my limitations and felt I would never find the time to make the deliveries for twelve consecutive days. Delivering them all at once really took a lot of pressure off this project.
Traditionally, you are to deliver the gift anonymously by ringing the doorbell and running. Some people deliver the last gift in person to reveal who they are.
Since it is already a lot of work delivering the gifts every day, you might want to have everything bought and wrapped before you start so you aren't having to do both the shopping and delivering at the same time ... and you certainly don't want to run out of steam and deliver only eight Days of Christmas.
To wrap the gifts, I bought a package of brown paper lunch bags and used them to wrap most of the gifts. I printed a sheet with the descriptions of each gift and a sheet of numbers from 1 to 12. I cut out the descriptions and the numbers and glued them on the bags. I then popped the gift in the appropriate bag, folded over the top, punched two holes in the top, and tied it with a ribbon. It was a fast and easy way to wrap the gifts. A few of the gifts were too large to go in the paper bags so I wrapped them in gift wrap. Then I put all the gifts in a large cardboard box with my friend's name and a big bow on the top.
When I began looking for gifts, I sat down and brainstormed some ideas for each of the twelve days. I needed to have several ideas for each because I wasn't sure what I would be able to find in the stores and I was on a budget.
Who the recipient of the gift is will determine what type of gifts you will buy. Sometimes the gifts are to help someone in financial need so you might consider gifts that are food or clothing so they will be useful afterward. You can also tailor the gifts to individual tastes - like giving books that relate to each verse of the song for an avid reader, or toys for a family with children, or cooking things for a foodie. In addition, you have to consider how long the gift might be sitting on the doorstep - especially if it is subject to very cold or very warm temperatures and the item is perishable.
I have come up with a list of possible things to get for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. I checked around the internet and added some ideas to the ones that I came up with.
1. Partridge in a Pear Tree - a decorative pear made out of stone or metal; a tin of pears; a fresh pear; a bottle of pear juice; pear jelly beans; a stick with a picture of the Partridge family on it; pairs of socks or gloves on a small tree.
2. Turtle Doves - Turtle chocolates, Dove soap, Dove chocolates, a dove ornament. You could tape a picture of a dove on the Turtles and a picture of a turtle on the Dove chocolates or soap.
3. French Hens - a chic scarf, a miniature Eiffel Tower (or some other symbol of France), a loaf of baguette, French milled soap, a mug or plate with a hen on it; three French pens (three pens with the French flag attached to it); can of chicken noodle soup; a French food cookbook; gift certificate to KFC; The Little Red Hen book.
4. Calling Birds - four inspirational messages you find online; tea towels or kitchen things that are bird related; a CD of bird songs or Christmas music; a bird call whistle; stationary with a bird on it; a calling card; a toy cell phone; a book about bird watching.
5. Golden Rings - tin of pineapple rings; five round gold candles; five gold bangles; five doughnuts; five ring pops; golden napkin rings.
6. Geese-a-Laying - a decorative egg made of marble or soap or a candle; half a dozen eggs; a goose ornament; a quiche; six golden Ferrero-Roche chocolates that are round like eggs; breakfast cookbook; plastic Easter eggs filled with chocolates; microwave egg cooker; an egg slicer; an egg poacher.
7. Swans-a-Swimming - special soap or bubble bath (especially if you can find one that has a name that eludes to water); seven bath fizzy balls; blue jello in a pan with seven origami swans on top; The Ugly Duckling book.
8. Maids-a-Milking - milk-white narcissus; some chocolate milk; Dairy Milk chocolate; hot chocolate mix and a mug; a carton of milk and mini boxes of cereal; a toy cow.
9. Ladies Dancing - socks to comfort the dancing feet; dance music CD; DVD of the Nutcracker; pedicure set; ladyfinger biscuits.
10. Lords-a-Leaping - old-fashioned shoe ornament; a lordly-looking nutcracker; a game involving frogs or jumping; warm socks or slippers.
11. Pipers Piping - a piping hot drink like hot chocolate mix; a gift certificate to Starbucks for a piping hot drink; some angels trumpeting; pipe cleaners with instructions on how to make some Christmas decorations; bag of Bugles; bubbles with a bubble pipe.
12. Drummers Drumming - make a drum out of a coffee can and fill it with cookies; a drum ornament; a Christmas CD.
I have uploaded descriptions of each gift so you can print them off and use them if you want (feel free to edit them first if you buy different things) - Click here.
Hi, I'm Grace from Toronto, Canada. Welcome to Sense and Simplicity. This is my little corner of blogland where I like to talk about family, decorating, photography, food, and travel - all done with sense and simplicity.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org