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Christmas Tradition-the Twelve Days of Christmas

Updated on February 15, 2018

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" has become a mini-musical production that our family puts on every Christmas Eve. Quite a few years ago my sister's husband, who happens to be a Professional Clown, approached us with the idea. Each of the adults was given artistic license to design the costume and props for three of the "Twelve Days" and bring them along to our Christmas Eve celebration. I seem to remember we picked our "Days" out of a hat and I picked "Two Turtle Doves", "Seven Swans A Swimming" and "Eleven Pipers Piping". I elicited the imaginations of my (then) very young children and we had the best of times creating costumes!

When Christmas Eve comes to an end the costumes are left with the person that hosted the celebration. There is an unspoken expectation that the costumes are in great form the following year. Over the years they have certainly evolved! Some costumes have been replaced completely, others have been embellished with feather boas, bangles, beads and beards. There is always a surprise lurking in that container that will be revealed at show time!

The cast is anyone and everyone who wants to play a part. That includes friends that drop by, significant others...any unsuspecting soul that has decided to join in our Christmas Eve celebration. The part one plays is decided by the costume they pick. We usually switch off and do a few performances! There are some that would rather "observe" and others that want to jump right in. When all the beaks, feathers and other costume parts are in place and the props are in hand, we begin. Oh, what fun we have!

I will start with the "Twelfth Day" which is inclusive of all the starring rolls!

On The Twelfth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me,













Twelve Drummers Drumming
Twelve Drummers Drumming | Source
Eleven Pipers Piping
Eleven Pipers Piping | Source
Ten Lords A Leaping
Ten Lords A Leaping | Source
Nine Ladies Dancing
Nine Ladies Dancing | Source
Eight Maid A Milking
Eight Maid A Milking | Source
Seven Swans A Swimming
Seven Swans A Swimming | Source
Six Geese A Laying
Six Geese A Laying | Source
Five Golden Rings!
Five Golden Rings! | Source
Four Collie Birds (aka Four Calling Birds)
Four Collie Birds (aka Four Calling Birds) | Source
Three French Hens
Three French Hens | Source
Three French Hens
Three French Hens | Source
Two Turtle Doves
Two Turtle Doves | Source
A Partridge in a Pear Tree
A Partridge in a Pear Tree | Source

A Timeless Tradition

Our "kids" now span 19-33 years of age, the adults are AARP eligible (and have been for awhile) and my dear Mom, who gave up her usual "Four Collie Birds" a couple of years ago made her comeback as the "Two Turtle Doves" at the age of 84! My two Great Nephews, 3 and 5 years old, were a very exuberant part of our production this year. They were so excited we went an extra round or two!

Since I hosted Christmas Eve this year I now have the costumes in my possession! My mind is twirling, those creative juices are flowing! What can I do to make it even better next year!?


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