Y’all, Her Happy Home has been seriously neglected. Between pregnancy, toddlerhood, and the holidays…it’s taken a total backseat! But I am so excited to be posting about one of my favorite holiday traditions: 12 Days of Christmas for my awesome hubby! No, I’m not talking about my least favorite Christmas song of all time (ugh, it’s like the Christmas version of 99 Bottles of Beer….#amiright?) “12 Days of Christmas” is the 12 days leading up to Christmas (December 12-24) that I get to spoil my hubby with little gifts and treats each day.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking….
Why would I want to add 12 Days of Christmas to my already massive Christmas to-do list?
I know guys….the Christmas season can get crazy. Between decorating for Christmas, Secret Santa, Christmas shopping, ordering matching pajamas for the whole family, and Elf on the Shelf, Christmas can feel more like a looming Doomsday than a holiday to be enjoyed and celebrated with friends and family.
So why add one more thing?
Well, I could give you the long answer about how “it’s better to give than receive”, “it’s a way to show you love your husband”, “it brings joy to others”, etc.
While all of those things are true, the short answer is: because it’s fun.
Forreal. It’s as fun for me as it is for my husband. He loves getting little gifts each day, and I love seeing his happiness over something that is really effortless on my part.
Plus, it’s something that really brings us closer in our marriage, especially during such a busy season when sometimes marriage is put on the back burner. With all the busyness of the holidays also comes anxiety, irritation, and a loss of patience….sometimes aimed right at my spouse. On my end, treating my husband reminds me of how much I really do appreciate everything he does for our family, and it really does make my heart happy to be able to show that appreciation to him. On his end, experiencing a selfless act from his wife, in turn,
reminds him of how awesome I am increases his love and appreciation of me. It’s really a win-win!
I will say this: if you feel like your husband doesn’t deserve 12 Days of Christmas gifts from you (whatever your reasons may be), then I say that’s an even better reason to do it. You might be surprised at the changes you see in yourself and your husband after 12 days of selfless giving.
So, if you want to give it a try:
What kind of gifts do I get my husband for 12 Days of Christmas?
Ok, let’s not get crazy here. I’m not talking about 12 full sized Christmas gifts from Santa. Think more along the lines of stocking stuffer type things. But make sure it’s something meaningful to your husband…not just a rand-o item you picked up at the last minute.
About a year ago, I printed these lists from The Dating Divas (which is an amazing site for TONS of date night ideas). My husband and I each filled them out, and I keep his in my wallet so it’s always with me whenever I want to buy him something. It includes a list of all his favorite foods, activities, clothing sizes, etc. It’s an awesome resource to have! And I use this a lot for 12 Days of Christmas.
Here are some easy small gift ideas:
1.Scratch off tickets: I mean, is there anyone in the history of the world that doesn’t enjoy a scratch off?
2. If your hubby is a craft beer lover, lots of grocery stores (HEB and Kroger I know) sell bottles individually.
3. Gift cards: I’m talking like $5. iTunes, Starbucks, Chick-fil-a….his favorite fast food place to grab lunch.
4. Candy/Snacks: On the list I linked earlier, there’s a spot for his favorite candy and snacks. My favorite place for foodie items? Stores like Ross and Home Goods have really neat snack and food selections.
5. Hobbies: What does your hubby like to do? Chase loves to cook, so random kitchen utensils (again Ross and Home Goods always have good selections on the cheap) are always a good bet. Also, Chase likes to play the guitar and plays golf…..so guitar picks….golf balls.
6. Phone chargers: Y’all. My hubby is the worst with phone chargers. I swear he eats them in his sleep….he can never find one and always ends up
stealing using mine. You can usually find some cheap ones close to the register at some stores, or even Amazon has a cheap selection. I don’t bother spending a lot on these, because they’re guaranteed to be lost in a few months.
7. Movies: Rent a Redbox movie he’s been wanting to see.
9. If you’ve got a practical dude, you can’t go wrong with undershirts, socks, and undies. Just sayin’.
10. If your husband is a minimalist, or you’re already stretched thin with your Christmas budget, try random acts of kindness instead. Leave a note saying you’ll cook his favorite meal that night, or he gets control of the TV for the night. Be creative!
Here is my 1 suggestion to make this whole experience stress free (and way more enjoyable on your end): plan ahead. Do NOT, I repeat….do not wait until the day before each day to figure out a gift. Sit down, make a list of 12 gifts and go to the store and buy them. All at once. Then, all you’re responsible for over the next 12 days is pulling out a gift that you already bought and giving it to your husband. I can’t imagine the stress I would be under if I didn’t already have all of my 12 Days of Christmas gifts purchased before December 12th.
Ok, now that you have all of your gifts…it’s December 12th. Time for you to surprise your husband with the 1st day of Christmas!
What does the “delivery” look like?
You can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. The way I give Chase his gifts ends up being different each year. One thing you want to make sure to do is cut or print out some number cards 1-12 to have next to the gift (to go along with each “day” of Christmas).
Here are some things I’ve done in the past:
1.The first year I did this, we were newlyweds….married just 3 months! So I kind of overachieved and wrote cheesy little rhymes that went along with each gift. I still have them all too! I remember I took the “number 1” and wrote on the back:
“You’re a great husband,
no ifs, ands, or buts.
To show that I love you,
here’s a bag of nuts!”
I know. Great Shakespearean writing right there. Anyway, I’d have that next to a (obviously) bag of nuts…..and put it in a random place in the house where I knew he would find it.
**Oh, side note: If this is your first year doing 12 Days of Christmas for your husband….don’t tell him what you’re doing! It’s more fun that way. By day 3, he’ll probably figure it out (that’s why you want to make sure you have numbers next to your gifts)…but it’s fun to watch him be surprised at the fact that he keeps getting gifts.
2. Cardboard Christmas mailboxes.
You can buy these Christmasy mailboxes almost anywhere you can find Christmas décor. I got mine half off after Christmas one year. I kept it on the kitchen table, and when I put a gift in there I’d raise the little flag to signal that it was filled with something. Sometimes it was fun to wait until the end of the day to put something in and raise the flag…mainly because it was hilarious watching Chase walk by the kitchen table 50 different times throughout the day trying to covertly look to see if the flag was raised.
3. Just leave them in random places. Don’t feel like you need to have a mailbox or anything. One year it was fun to just leave the gifts in difference places at different times of the day. Like on the bed, in the shower, in the refrigerator. That year was fun because he never knew when/where he was going to get his 12 Days of Christmas gifts.
4. Elf on the Shelf. This year I’m introducing Elf on the Shelf to my 2 year old (it’s actually more for me because I think it’s fun) and I thought it would be fun to incorporate the elf with the 12 Days of Christmas. So whatever the elf is doing that day, he’ll have a little gift (for my hubby) next to him. Sorry Lincoln, no 12 Days of Christmas for you.
To wrap, or not to wrap? Don’t feel like you need to wrap your 12 Days of Christmas gifts. Up until this year, I never wrapped them. I only decided to wrap the gifts this year, because they’re a part of my advent table.
So who else is going to do 12 Days of Christmas for their husband? You can make it as easy or elaborate as you want (if this is your first year….go for simple. He won’t know the difference.).
A word of warning: if you plan on starting this tradition…you’re in it for the long haul! Haha! My husband loved 12 Days of Christmas the first year, and was genuinely surprised each day. Year 2…I don’t think he was expecting it to happen again, so he was still pretty surprised. Year 3….I purposely waited until the evening of December 12th to give him anything, and hilariously watched him semi-pout most of the day because he thought 12 Days of Christmas wasn’t happening. By this year, he knows it’s a tradition of ours and has already said “I can’t wait for 12 Days of Christmas!”….which makes me super happy.
I’d love to hear your ideas for small gifts in the comments! What Christmas traditions do you have that are special to you and your husband?