I'm so excited for the upcoming Christmas season. While I'm not one for much decorating or Christmas baking, I do love having Christmas traditions that we do year in and year out. Many of these traditions I will write about as they come up. Whether it is the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Train Station in town or the delivery of gifts with Angel Tree, each event and activity we participate over the Christmas season we enjoy doing as a family as a way of giving a little back.
We know that our greatest gift came 2000 years ago at Christmas and we want to give some of that great gift away.
One of our families favorite will always be the 12 Days of Christmas Surprises that we've done over the past several years. I wrote all about this fun tradition last year (click on link above to read in more details) explaining how we drop presents in secret on the doorsteps of deserving families for the 12 days leading up to Christmas Eve. The gifts follow with the song the 12 Days of Christmas and try to incorporate some of the "hidden religious meanings" behind the Partridge, the Lords a Leaping, etc.
Most of all, we use these 12 days a way to bring joy to family who has experienced grief, loss of job, military deployment, accident or hardship in the previous year and could use a little extra dose of joy this year. Maybe you have a neighbor or friend from church who could use a little Christmas Joy this year and this is a wonderful witnessing tool for those families. Maybe you could get your small group, scout troop or neighbors to work together to come up with the gifts and deliver them in secret. The excitement and joy your family will get back in return is just an added bonus!
For the past several years, my Mom's Bible Study Group has adopted several families from our school community and delivered the 12 gifts. Let me tell you some of these ladies are really creative and have come up with some fantastic ideas for Ladies Dancing, French Hens and the ever present 12 Drummers Drummers. I tend to take the final day and bring a box of Ice Cream Drumsticks in a "drum box".
We leave a small note with each gift saying explaining the symbolism, wishing them a merry day and sign it from a group of "Caring Friends." Each note is printed to look similar so as not to give away the secret. This year, we are thrilled to have found printed Dayspring Cards with a 12 Days theme on the outside. I'll just calligraphy the inside with the message and "Day" and give to the gift giver.
On the final day, we will sometimes give our names away, but other times we keep it all a secret, enjoying the fact that they have no idea who we are.
Participating in the 12 Days of Christmas Surprises Works for My Family; for more WFMW Holiday Ideas check out We Are That Family.