Day 9: Another tradition that I grew up with is giving the 12 days of Christmas to a neighbor or friend. It’s basically 12 gifts delivered anonymously each night starting on December 13th and ending on Christmas Eve.
My new favorite way to do this is to buy 12 matching glasses and fill a different glass for each day with a treat or small present and attach a special note or quote.
A little trick that I’ve learned over the years is to leave a letter on the first night explaining that you will be leaving a present each day for the next 12 days and that from now on they’ll only receive a phone call that will ring once. That’s the signal that you’ve left something on their porch. In the United States, you can block your phone number from a land line by dialing *67 before you dial, when you hear the dial tone again start dialing the phone number. From a cell phone, just type in *67 and the phone number with area code. You might want to try it out on a few different people before calling the real person. After you’ve delivered the gift to their front porch, drive back home, place your call, let it ring once or twice and then hang up.
Or you can have your kids run the gift up to the porch, knock quickly, and then run and hide. You can be waiting in your car a little ways away. When the coast is clear they can run to your car and you can drive away unseen.
Have we ever gotten caught? We did get caught one year on the very last night–my daughter slipped on some ice while running away and the family opened the door and saw her. They called to her and she walked back to the door–they had a present to give us. I watched the whole thing from my car. But it’s a story we’ll never forget.
Photo by Nicole Hill Gerulat.