This year I did the 12 days of christmas for my stepdaughter. This is something that I have been contemplating doing for years. It was wonderful. It stretches out the fun and excitement of christmas, prevents christmas burn out, and is economical.
On christmas day we opened stockings, exchanged gifts, and ate a delicious meal together as a family. The gift that I had under the tree for my stepdaughter was a small photo album, to be filled with the beautiful nature photos that she takes. This matched up well with the gifts that her father gave her, which were photo paper and two tripods for her camera. He got our whole family a printer that can print photos since we never seem to print any at the store.
On the following days, my stepdaughter received small gifts, each wrapped and with a small card stating the date to be opened, and sometimes a little something about the intention behind the gift. On the day after christmas, we were packing to go take a trip to visit family. I hand delivered her second day of christmas gift, which was a toiletries bag. It was perfect timing, as she was just trying to figure out what to store all of her toiletries in. The next day she got a book written from a dog’s perspective to read while we traveled. The next day a chocolate bar. The next day a homemade coupon stating that she and I would go see an awesome nature movie soon on the giant screen at our local science museum. She got a pencil case for school, a hand painted doggie tree ornament, an coupon for dinner with me at a fancy Italian restaurant, and so on.
I really like this way of doing christmas. No more big bang holidays that feel over within hours. Each gift can be fully appreciated because it comes on it’s own day. And christmas day does not feel empty either. Family and friends also give gifts, so it in no way felt lacking. Next year I will do this for both of our girls. We also hope to start making holidays more about the experience that about the stuff. Next year for either thanksgiving or christmas or both, I am strongly going to advocate for spending christmas money on a cabin in the woods rather than gifts. A few gifts for the kids and a few for the folks and one from my husband to me and one from me to him. And there, we’re done.
ps another great aspect about doing the 12 days of christmas is that folks who were up to it could shop the post christmas sales and save quite a bit of money.