How to Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas as a Family

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This post is part of the 2017 Homeschooling Through the Holidays series and was written by Mali from Imperfect Homeschooler.

What do you think of when you hear, “12 Days of Christmas”? I gotta admit, the completely obnoxious 12 Days of Christmas song starts ringing in my ears. It is the Christmas version of the song that doesn’t end. Ick.

What if I told you that the 12 Days of Christmas is a lot more than an overplayed Christmas song? In fact, historically they are the 12 days that start on December 25, (when the church celebrates Jesus’ birth) and end when the church celebrates Epiphany (the day the wisemen presented their gifts to Jesus).

Ok….hold the phone…..I can already hear you asking,

“Why in the world would we drag out the holiday season?

How to Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas as a Family

By December 26 I am ready to put all of the Christmas stuff away and move back to the steady predictable rhythm of homeschooling as quickly as possible before we all loose our minds!!”

And even more pressing, “where do you find a partridge in a pear tree anyway?”

What benefit is there to celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas?

  1. To reclaim the spiritual focus of Christmas. Christmas day is awesome. But it is so secular. This is one way to go beyond the presents and truly connect with my family over the miraculous gift of Jesus and find the true meaning of the season again.
  2. To celebrate! By extending the celebration we allow ourselves to not put so much pressure on one single day but instead to slow down for a season and truly celebrate. The modern church is great at preparation but shies away from celebration. Our God is a God of celebration. By learning to celebrate we connect with him.
  3. To create family connection. It is so precious to slow down the rhythm of family life and just enjoy each other instead of rushing on to the next thing. This is the moment to truly savor the beauty and wonder of the miraculous gift of the season together. To connect over this season of beauty.

How are we Planning to celebrate?

  • Making space in our schedule for evening family time during these 12 Days
  • Lots of Hot Cocoa
  • Playing Games Together
  • Doing lots of puzzles
  • Making cookies
  • Hosting a huge family meal
  • Caroling
  • Doing a family service project
  • Researching a charity and giving a monetary gift
  • Moving the wisemen closer to Jesus every single day on our nativity
  • Family Devotions focused on different saints and how Jesus impacted their lives
  • Giving each other Presents on Epiphany

So instead of finding a partridge in a pear tree, let’s to slow down and find the peace in the process. Taking the time to intentionally set aside 12 Days for our families to focus on how Jesus’s birth changes our lives in this present day. Connecting over His amazing gift and the impact it has on our lives.


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  1. I love this post!!

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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