Another one of my very favorite Christmas traditions is doing the 12 days of Christmas. We all love to doorbell ditch. I have been in the business since high school. And I love trying to find ways to work it into our family holiday traditions. I can still remember the first time I did the twelve days of Christmas. We were living in an apartment waiting for our house to be built in Tucson AZ. The new seminary teachers family had just moved in a few units down from us. Nicole, my sister two years younger, and I came up with the funnest things. We did a "Santa" themed 12 days. I remember my favorite day was when we left reindeer foot prints all over their walkway.
For the last five years (that I can think of) we have done our own 12 days. Unlike many who do it where you give one present on the 1st day, two presents on the 2nd day etc...we base ours on the traditions of Christmas celebrations around the world and then bring it all back to Christ. We pick a non-member family (except in 2006 when we had just moved back to Dupont in October and didn't know anyone yet except church friends). We start on the 14th so that we finish on Christmas day. And every night we sneak up to the door with a new surprise, ring and run. It is so much fun trying not to get caught. We also always enjoy making the special things that we deliver.
Here is the list of things we do. I have more than twelve so that we have back ups (sometimes I just can't find mistletoe or there just isn't enough time to make a wreathed crown with glowing candles).
Russia - Santa Claus - a stocking with three bags of chocolate coins and the story of Santa
Denmark - Christmas orange - chocolate orange, oranges decorated with cloves and the story
Sweden - Santa Lucia - her story and a wreath crown with candles
China - fireworks - sparklers (if I've remembered to save some from the 4rth of July)
Italy - La Befana - story and candy and coal (we ask them to leave there shoes out
America - Rudolph - story and the book and Pillsbury Rudolph sugar cookies
France - roasted nuts - a nutcracker and assorted nuts or yule log, story
Poland - painted eggs - we hand paint our own egg ornaments
Canada - taffy pull - taffy and story
Germany - gingerbread - gingerbread house kit, story
England -wassail and caroling - ingredients for wassail, story and a Christmas CD
Mexico - poinsettia - story and plant
Brazil - luminaries - hammered cans
I write a poem for each day. And then on the final day, Christmas, we deliver a nativity with the Joy to the world DVD produced by the LDS church and this poem that I love.