Monday, 4 January 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas

Musing on the idea of Christmas season - the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany.

Is 'and a partridge in a pear tree...' the only thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase The Twelve Days of Christmas?

It's a truism now that Advent has largely replaced the 12 days of Christmas as 'Christmas Season' in the popular imagination. Chocolate Advent calendars, celebrating treats for 24 days rather than the fasting and anticipation of 'old money' Advent, are the prime example. But even some churchgoers will telly you happily that they have taken their decorations down the day after boxing day!

I've written elsewhere that I don't think there's much mileage in the church attempting to resist the Christmassification of Advent. And in many ways, it's good: it certainly helps build the excitement around one of our major festivals.

But I would quite like to keep the Twelve Days of Christmas special too.

It's too late for this year, but next year I intend to make a Twelve Days of Christmas Calendar. Our permanent 'Advent Calendar' at home is a string of stocking bunting, each stocking numbered and ready to receive a sweet (or three, in my case, one for each child per day). I am thinking of making something similar for the Twelve Days of Christmas: maybe star bunting?

I found these images in a quick search of pinterest and google images - the paper one would be dead easy and you could make them into pockets by stapling two stars together at the bottom and sides. The fabric one has a free pattern here, and I'm sure it could easily be adapted to include a pocket.

What I'd really like is for someone to make an Advent calendar that DIDN'T have chocolates for the first 24 days, but then carried on for the 12 days of Christmas and DID have chocolates in those windows! Or (perhaps more commercially) had small chocs for Advent and big ones for the 12 Days. But my own stocking and star bunting combo could do the trick just as well!

Making the star bunting could be a great Advent activity for a youth group, don't you think?


  1. Love this idea... Maybe the pre-Christmas days could have suggestions of thought/reflection or charitable acts based on the preparation for Christmas (as some charities do) and then the 12 days of Christmas being the gifted treats as you suggest... could maybe have the last one as a thought to take you forward into the next season so it's not all dreary when the decorations come down?

  2. Find christmas gift for teenagers here:


We welcome your comments, especially if you have tried the week's exercise yourself! Give it marks out of ten, or just let us know what you think. Please be aware we may quote you if we ever do write this up as book!