The 12 Days of Christmas Break

christmas break

We’re not traveling this year for Christmas break, which means we will have A LOT of time to get creative with activities to keep the kids busy.

At dinner last night, we were brainstorming ideas and my 8-year-old, who was looking at our collection of hand-painted ornaments based on the “12 Days of Christmas,” became obsessed with the song.

“What is a bear tree? Or is it a bare tree?” she wondered, and we all giggled.

Anywho, now we’re all obsessed with the song.

Apparently, we’re not the only ones.

There is a PNC Christmas Price Index that, for 35 years, has calculated the prices of the twelve gifts from “The 12 Days of Christmas.” This year, it’s hovering around $39,000 for the lot.

There are diets based on the 12 Days of Christmas. And exercise programs. And a classic episode of “The Office.”

Plus, we’ve just recently discovered the Muppets version of the “12 days of Christmas” song in a duet with John Denver. (Oh, how I love Kermit!)

So, I think we may just get creative this year and create our own 12 Days of Christmas Break.  It’s never too late to start a new holiday tradition.

On the First Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree.”

The 12 Days of Christmas traditionally start on Christmas day, so we’ll keep it simple. A Partridge in a Pear Tree craft is the perfect thing to keep the kids busy after the presents are opened and the adults are busy preparing the big family dinner.

We found a cute and simple one on The Parenting Patch that only needs construction paper scissors and glue. The blog also has craft ideas for the other 11 days if you’re so inclined.

On the Second Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.”

The day after Christmas is a Wednesday this year and after being cooped up for a few days, I think the kids will be ready to get of the house.  I think an outing to the “winter” buildings at the zoo–or a pet store to look at the turtles and birds–will knock off two doves with one trip.

christmas break

On the Third Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 3 French Hens…”

I don’t speak French, but I think the third day of Christmas might be the perfect time to learn a few phrases. My kids love to draw, so creating a memory game by making our own cards in French could be fun. For each word, you can make a pair to match–one with a picture and one with the French word.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 4 Calling Birds…”

We’ll use the fourth day of Christmas to be calling birds, sending holiday cheer to loved ones. Each child can make a phone call, write a card or FaceTime with a loved one of choice, thanking them for Christmas gifts and spreading cheer.

On the Fifth Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 5 Golden Rings…”

When I think of five rings, I think of the Olympics. My kids love to be active, so this would be the perfect time to have a kid-sized Olympics. Events can include sledding, ping-pong, foosball and shooting (Nerf-gun targets).

christmas break

On the Sixth Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 6 Geese a Laying…”

After the excitement of the Olympics, my geese may be ready to lay down and nap, which sounds great to me. However, I think they will be more excited to try kids yoga. Now, I just need to find someone to demonstrate the goose pose…

On the Seventh Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 7 Swans a Swimming…”

We love to go to the indoor swimming pool in the winter and dream of warmer weather.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 8 Maids a Milking…”

We’ll be hoping for some fresh snow for Christmas, so we can use this day to make snow ice cream. You’ll need these ingredients:

  • 8-12 cups of fresh, white (clean) new-fallen snow
  • 300 ml can of sweetened condensed milk (10 ounces)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Gather 10-12 cups of fresh snow. Fold in the vanilla and condensed milk, combining everything. It might be a little more thick and icy than regular ice cream, but so yummy!

On the Ninth Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 9 Ladies Dancing…”

Dancy Party! My youngest daughter could do this every day of the week, but my older son may take more convincing. It might have to be a floss-off. Though, I’m afraid he’ll cite the technicality of “ladies” dancing and bow out.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 10 Lords a Leaping…”

I think Day 10 will be a movie day. The older kids have been asking to watch “Lord of the Rings” for a while now. The younger ones might prefer a lords-and-ladies flick like “Brave” or “Shrek.”

Christmas break

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas Break

“My true love sent to me: 11 Pipers Piping…”

It wouldn’t be Christmas break without a baking project, and we can always find something sweet to pipe. Unicorn cupcakes, anyone?

 On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

“My true love sent to me: 12 Drummers Drumming…”

Drumming up support for a philanthropic cause may be the most important of the activities kids can do around the holidays.

Kid-friendly ideas include: volunteering as a family to sort toys and clothes at a local organization, creating a family project to go through and find clothes and gently used toys to donate, or creating blessing bags with family and friends to hand out to those in need.

Happy holidays!

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