“12 Days”

I like Christmas to linger.

My decorations come down in mid-January.

The season gets so swiftly carried along by December

busyness and events.

“Christmas-Linger” lets it soak in and

resonate in my heart, as I ponder and ease

into the year ahead.

This year a unique and unexpected event happened at our house in December, at our front door: twelve days, ending Christmas Eve. 

In my current phase of reminiscence, I have to share it with you!

Every day (usually morning), a gift appeared at the front door! (Very early!) Each contained scripture and a tag…. “From your friends”!


The twelfth day, Christmas Eve, a knock came and our “12 Days Of Christmas Family” appeared, in person.  They told us how their tradition started, over 20 years ago, when their oldest children were toddlers and “Mom” wanted some Christmas joy. She read about this and adopted it as her personal way of focusing on giving, not getting.  A Holiday Tradition was born. For years, she chose a family (or families) and delivered 12 Days of Christmas goodies to their doorstep, anonymously. (They don’t always reveal themselves on the twelfth day.)

As years passed, her family insisted on joining the fun. Even the few years, she didn’t think she could pull it off, her family would not allow the tradition to fade. They haven’t missed a year! Each year, they pray and let God put a name/names on their hearts.

This year, “God chose us”, they explained!

Just those words… “God chose you”… shivered a love-wave through our hearts. It felt like God was hovering close, focusing on our unworthy dwelling, and tending our hearts/spirits by leaving daily reminders on our doorstep. Being the “hands and feet” of Jesus was poignantly displayed to us for twelve days. We did nothing to earn it or deserve it!


I cannot explain how very touching this was. After a difficult number of months, these 12 mornings brought, fun, joy, giggles, excitement, anticipation, encouragement, and love. We were like kids in a candy shop, checking for the “drops”. We smiled just walking to the front door. 

One day … the morning “goodness” did not appear.

By evening, we were listening for outside noises, like children listening for hooves on the rooftop. Standing in the kitchen, we heard a noise outside. Our heads tilted, mouths gasped, “what was that”? Hubby sprang to the door to glimpse our mystery guests. Ha… the prize had been delivered… we missed the giver!  We were kids again, experiencing surprises at Christmas. We felt like a Star shone over our residence calling the wisemen to visit. The gifts were of the rarest type, worth more than silver or gold. They were gifts of the heart conveying undeserved care, thoughtfulness, kindness, and love. 

Family and friends who knew about “12 Days” texted asking, “what we got” and “had we figured out who it was”. We did handwriting analysis, even sending pictures of the writing to see if anyone close recognized it. Believe me, we guessed lots of people. But, in the end, I had never met them … my husband had!


We have decided this tradition is going to become a staple in our household, as well. It reminded us that the simplest things can add so much joy. To know someone was thinking of us with tangible reminders, was priceless. The scriptures included with each gift, filled our hearts.

It has been a long time since Christmas surprises appeared, out of no where, from unknown givers, with our names on it, sort of like, Santa climbing down chimneys and leaving gifts in secret. Or God, sending His love for centuries of people, yet to be born, who didn’t know they needed His gift.

It was such a lovely gesture to us,

I just had to spread the joy! 

We’re still smiling!

Maybe your family needs a new tradition😉

What was your favorite unexpected gift/happening this Christmas? Leave a comment below.


Loved Beyond,



16 thoughts on ““12 Days”

  1. Elaine, I love this! Years ago, our family “adopted” a family to “give” Christmas too. The dad had just lost their job and there would be no presents under the tree… so they thought. Our extended family joined in and we had a wonderful, special time shopping and delivering these gifts. The joy we received in the giving still resonates with us. Thank you for this reminder. I expect God has plans for our family’s giving in the years to come 😊. Happy New Year and may God bless you and the Stone family!!

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  2. I’ve never heard of this tradition before, but it’s the best! What a wonderful way to share God’s love during the Christmas Season and I don’t know of a family more deserving than yours! Happy New Year sweet friend!

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  3. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. To this family, the Stone’s, can only imagine how much it meant to you. Praying for you as you start a new journey.

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  4. Elaine, thank you so much for another wonderful blog, we also Christmas linger, as you said, the busy-ness crowds the time to reflect on God’s precious gift of love. I love the tradition your gift givers have, what a wonderful way to express God’s love

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  5. Gene, the children and I did a similar thing over the years with a couple of families. Both of them had lost their husband/daddy. Our children got the biggest thrill out of it! I can only imagine the excitement of secretly gifting someone for 12 straight days!! I enjoy the Christmas-Linger too. I’m lingering extra long this year…waiting for a special someone to come home in a couple weeks. Thank you for sharing your story. I may have just found a giving project for next Christmas ♡

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