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‘Five Golden Rings’

Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with DIY crafts


 While Christmas day has come and gone, the holiday season is not yet over. We are only three days into the 12 Days of Christmas.

 Many marketing campaigns advertise 12 Days of Christmas sales and run them for the dozen days leading up to Christmas Day. That timeline is incorrect; however — the Advent season starts on Dec. 1 and goes through Dec. 24. Christmas Day, Dec. 25, is the first day of Christmas, and the following days are also Christmas days, through to Twelfth Night, followed by Jan. 6 — the holiday of Epiphany.

 Whether or not you celebrate the religious aspects of this season, celebrating the “12 Days of Christmas” is a traditional fun way to extend a bit of cheer a bit longer into the winter.

 Since we don’t have a strong tradition in the United States of celebrating the extra Christmas days, we can DIY any type of celebration we want.

 Continue giving for another week and a half, play games, do crafts or bake treats to keep spirits bright.

 Using the carol The Twelve Day of Christmas as a guide can be a fun game in itself. As you probably know, each verse begins with “on the [insert day] of Christmas, my true love gave to me,” followed by a number of items matching the day (one thing on the first day, two on the second, etc.).

 The first two days have passed. To catch up, eat a pear or a pastry with pears in it, drink some pear cider or interpret “a partridge in a pear tree” in another way. Yesterday’s verse, “two turtle doves,” could involve pieces of Dove chocolate or make paper dove ornaments to add to the tree.

paper doves
Paper doves

 Three French Hens gives us two options — go with a chicken/hen theme or French. Either one can involve a good meal — make omelets, popovers or another eggy dish, or make a loaf of French bread. For bonus points, do both. 

 You could also use it more figuratively and have a virtual “hen” night — drinks or spa night with friends. Or apply a DIY French manicure. Gift children with the Little Red Hen book, or give a hens and chicks succulent to a plant-loving friend.

 Four calling birds can be motivation for getting in touch with loved ones you haven’t connected with recently — grab your phone and call four friends. If you’re not feeling social, build a birdhouse, download a bird identification app or buy a book on birds.

 Five golden rings can be making a batch of donuts, a DIY ring-toss game, or a pair of 5K golden hoop earrings.

DIY ring toss game
DIY ring toss game

 If you’re gifting for these 12 days, six geese a-laying could be six mini bottles of Gray Goose vodka or one regular sized. This day and verse could also be represented by six cream-filled chocolate eggs or a Mother Goose nursery rhymes book.

 To continue a food- themed 12 Days, make crème filled pastries in the shape of swans for the seven swans a-swimming verse. Alternatively, read the Ugly Duckling story to the kiddos in your family, or watch the Black Swan movie or the Swan Lake ballet.

 Eight maids a-milking is a tricky verse to interpret in a craft or gift, but don’t give up. Consider buying local milk through The Family Cow in Pennsylvania, or joining Colossians 2:16 membership dairy shop, or other local herd-share. If you already have milk, you prefer, buy a frother for DIY lattes, put together an artisan cheese basket, or just eat some milk chocolate.

 Nine ladies dancing can be represented in a personal dance party, taking an online dance class, or watching a ballet (some are available via digital download through the public library).

 Ten lords a-leaping also requires some stretching of the imagination for interpretation in gifts and crafts. Children may enjoy a small trampoline or DIY jumping paper dolls or marionettes. Or make a crown for the little lords and ladies who enjoy playing dress-up.

 Eleven pipers piping can be celebrated with a virtual music lesson, a cup of piping hot tea or hot chocolate, or giving kids pipe cleaners — might seem too easy, but those fuzzy wires can keep little hands delighted for ages.

 The last verse, twelve drummers drumming can be brought to life by making DIY drums by stretching balloons over tin cans or paper secured tautly over a cardboard tube. For a quieter activity, read the story of the little drummer boy or eat some ice cream drumsticks.

 If you don’t want to follow the carol for a theme, you can choose another theme or no theme at all, and just enjoy the season and extend the fun of giving gifts and doing daily crafts or activities.

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