The Twelve Days of Christmas Tradition

I love holiday traditions.  They give me a sense of connection to others.  My favorite has been our Christmas Eve tradition of making hearty soups and attending a late church service.  The meal brings the family together without all the hub-bub of a fancy meal and gifts.  Church, of course, is the true reason for the season and where I feel totally blessed regardless of my baggage.  It has ended up becoming a very magical evening.

Then there are the fun traditions.  In high school, my mom started the twelve days of Christmas with us.  Each morning for 12 days (the 14th - 25th) in our stocking, we found a little gift.  They were little things she knew we would enjoy like chap sticks and favorite candies.  It was always so much fun to find a prize each day.

This year, I decided to share this tradition with cc.
For each day, she has a package waiting for her when she wakes up.  Attached to it is a slip of paper that describes the Christian meaning behind the saying.  For example:
"A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas.  In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's address over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem!  How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so..." (Luke 13:34)

I had no idea that the real 12 days starts on Christmas day and not 12 days before. 
In addition to the spiritual meaning behind the day I decided to get creative and give a gift that related to the saying of the day.  Since we are only on day eight I can't list them all, but I'll share a few of my favorites.

+On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.  The gift is a bottle tree for the garden.

+On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two turtle doves.  The gift is a photo I had made into a puzzle of my two favorite girls (two doves).

+On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, four calling birds.  The gift is a messenger bag since calling birds are messengers. 

Some of the gifts are a stretch, but it was a lot of fun coming up with them.  I honestly didn't think it would be a hit, but cc is getting such a kick out of it.  I might just have to keep this tradition. 

What are some of your holiday traditions?

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As part of my December 4(for) green acres challenge, all the wrapping you see above is repurposed.  The cool, graphic paper came from West Elm.  They wrapped up something I purchased a while ago and I saved it and turned it into gift wrap.  You'll also see bubble wrap, bakers twine, safety pins from clothing tags, and vintage labels that I talk about here.