You’ve heard it, you know it, you can maybe even recite it from memory: “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” This classic holiday song tells the story of a series of gifts given to the singer from his or her “true love.” The carol was originally published in England in 1780 and has gained worldwide popularity since then.
What you may not know is the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” actually start after Christmas is over. That’s right—the twelve days traditionally run from December 26th to January 6th. While the gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” may be a little strange by today’s standards, you can still celebrate by giving gifts in your community. Check out this unique spin on 12 ways you can show you care this holiday season.
1. Partridge in a Pear Tree
Share one kind action with a complete stranger. Whether it’s holding the door open, giving a bigger tip or just complimenting someone’s outfit, a little effort can make someone’s entire day.
2. Turtle Doves
Give an unexpected homemade gift to a friend. Even though the holidays are coming to an end, give a friend a lovely note or handmade ornament for them to remember the season.
3. French Hens
Spend extra time with your family. The holidays can be a very busy time, but don’t forget the reason for the season. Take some extra time to do something fun with your family.
4. Calling Birds
Make a coworker’s day. Work doesn’t have to be just work. You can brighten someone’s cold winter day by sharing a kind note, extra treat or helping accomplish a difficult project.
5. Gold Rings
Do something special for your significant other. Leave the kids at home for the night and take your partner out on a romantic date, just the two of you, to show some love.
6. Geese A-Laying
Learn about another culture. The holidays are a wonderful time to learn about different customs and traditions. Take this time to learn something new and give value to others’ cultures.
7. Swans A-Swimming
Remember the animals. Animals need love too, and you can show you care to those who have no voice. Volunteer, adopt or spend some extra time cuddling your furry friend.
8. Maids A-Milking
Surprise the kiddos. Sometimes the greatest gift we can give children is the gift of a memory. Make memories with the kids in your life by surprising them with something fun this season.
9. Ladies Dancing
Volunteer in the community. The lull after the holidays can be a difficult season for some nonprofit organizations. Keep up the good work by volunteering to help your neighbors in need.
10. Lords A-Leaping
Donate new or gently-used goods. The holidays may be ending, but winter isn’t, and the need is high. Show you care by donating goods you may have around the house.
11. Pipers Piping
Give financially. If you’re able, financial gifts are always helpful to those struggling. Give back this season by helping to lift the burden of others around you.
12. Drummers Drumming
Be present. The greatest way to give presents these next 12 days is to simply be present. Focus your attention on others around you and how to show them you care every day.
The holidays are coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the giving season has to. Enjoy the 12 days of Christmas this year by showing the people in your life you care. Whether it’s a great act or a simple gesture, a little kindness goes a long way.