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Don’t eat all your Christmas cookies on December 25th! Catholics celebrate 12 days for Christmas from December 25th until January 5th. Then we enjoy the feast of Epiphany of January 6th! Spread out your celebrations for these 12 days with some of the ideas we’ve listed below. This is another example of how our Catholic faith runs counter-culturally. As most people are ready to pack up their Christmas decorations on the 26th, we are just getting settled into our twelve-day party!

Be Intentional

 

Most of all, just choose to celebrate each of the twelve days of Christmas. To the right is a handout that you can print and post on your refrigerator! Plan an activity for each of the twelve days of Christmas so you and your family can enjoy the whole season!

TWELFTH NIGHT

Twelfth night is often when families have a big party or a big feast to celebrate the… twelfth night of Christmas! It happens on January 5th.

Because it comes on the eve of January 6th which is Epiphany, it often involves activities about the Wise Men or a theme about Christ revealing Himself to us as a King.

Here is the 12th Night recipe Ashley uses:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/marys_galette_38999

Here is a fun Epiphany Cake recipe from Pioneer Woman, although it’s probably not good for little kids who could choke on the hidden treasures!

It’s also a great day to sing the 12 days of Christmas or read one of the following books!

Click on the images below to purchase from Amazon.

CHRISTMAS ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

There are many ways that you and your family can stretch your Christmas celebration to twelve days. Below are some ideas for simple things you can do as a family to keep the
Christmas spirit going!

Remember St. Stephen

The feast of St. Stephen is December 26th. He was the church’s first martyr. A lovely way to remember him is to spend some time online researching poverty issues in your area. Make a commitment to volunteer or donate to a local cause! There are many people in need of coats or diapers this time of year. Cleaning out your closet or your pantry can be an easy way to help those in need!

 

Watch a Christmas Movie!

Snuggle up and watch a Christmas favorite! There are lots of family movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Pick one and enjoy it as a family! You can easily pop some popcorn on the stove or in an air popper as a Christmas treat!

If you’re up for some sticky fingers, here’s a fun marshmallow popcorn recipe!

 

Read Books Aloud

During the year, it can be challenging to find the time to clear your schedule and sit down to read together as a family. There always seems like something more important that needs to get done. One of the gifts of the twelve days of Christmas is that it’s often a slow time of year when everyone is at home.

Carve out some time and read some picture books or chapter books together as a family!

Here are some chapter books we recommend!

 

Bake Everything!

In the Jaquith household, we don’t eat a lot of sugar or do a lot of baking. Christmas time is the one time of year that I try to really embrace my apron-wearing alter-ego and do things like bake cookies and let the kids decorate them!

If you’re looking for some Catholic cookie cutters, we adore the ones from Catholic Curio, pictured to the right!

 

Pray Over Christmas Cards

Light a candle and sit down with all the Christmas cards you receieved. You can each take turns saying a prayer for the family of every card. This is a wonderful way to start the new year!

Since many families don’t sent Christmas cards anymore, you can also make a list of your friends and family and take turn praying over their names!

 

Play Board Games

This is a time-honored family tradition! Again, celebrating Christmas is often simply about clearing your schedule and allowing yourself to “waste” time with your family. Just be present with them and play board games together. The cleaning can waite.

We want to impress upon our children that the twelve days of Christmas are special, that the birth of Jesus is such a momentous occasion that we put aside our work to really honor and lift up our Savior!

 

Music!

Break out those Christmas carols. Take the time to teach your children how to sing a few classics. Kids love it when the family sings together! There are plenty of Christmas playlists on Amazon Music, Spotify, or Pandora!

 

Light Twelve Candles

Much like the Advent wreath, you can light a candle for each of the twelve nights of Christmas. Start with one candle on the 25th and then each night, light another. Children love watching the glow of candles. You can do this at dinner time or in the evening while you pray or read books!

 

Support a Pregnancy Crisis Center

December 28th is the day we remember the Holy Innocence, all those children that King Herod ordered to be killed. To honor these babies, you can go to the store and buy diapers or baby clothes and drop them off at your local pregnancy crisis center. Pray for all the unborn babies with your children.

 

PATRON SAINT FOR THE YEAR

If you didn’t choose patron saints for the year at the start of Advent, January 1st is a wonderful time to do this! We put dozens of saint names in a bag and each person picks one out. Then we choose a patron saint for the family as well. You can celebrate this saint’s feast day when it comes up. Kids love this tradition!

Below is a PDF document with over 150 saints. It is designed to be printed on Avery 8293 which features 1.5″ circle labels.  This way you can peel off the stickers and put them on poker chips to make them sturdier! You can also simply print it on cardstock and cut them out!

Click the PDF file on the left to download the saint names! Or you can visit http://saintsnamegenerator.com/ if you want a website to choose a name for you!