Learning Through The Twelve Days of Christmas


Learning Through The Twelve Days of Christmas
Kids and the twelve days of Christmas – turn stress to learning what’s behind Christmas traditions.

In society, Christmas begins earlier and earlier.  In fact, it often starts before Advent even begins.  In religious tradition, it actually starts on Christmas day and continues to be observed for twelve days until Epiphany (January 6th).  This is also a time when children are often off from school which can lead to added stress in families.  Here are twelve video clips that you can watch with your children during this time.  As you do, you and your child(ren) will explore different aspects of the Christian meaning behind different Christian traditions.  You may simply use the viewing as an activity to do each day or you may chose to do something together in response to what you have heard.  However, you use these twelve steps, may they help you have peace in your family during this time.

Hopefully, this journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas has deepened your relationship with your children, your individual faiths and allowed you to have some fun together.  In so doing, may you find wholeness and peace in your lives.


1. The Manger: While Away in a Manger may be the most traditional song, here is another way to remember the importance of the humble beginning that Jesus had on earth.

2. Giving Gifts to Others as Seen in Santa Claus: This video explores the story of Saint Nicolas and his gift giving.  It is told in a way that is appropriate for children.  This provides a good opportunity to discuss about how we give to others as well.

3. Story of an Empty Stocking: In this 1947 clip, we are reminded of the one whose birth we celebrate at Christmas and made to think briefly about what Jesus would want in his stocking.

4. The Christmas Tree: Now that the presents are no longer the focus around the Christmas tree, this is a good chance to look at the meaning of the tree and how to use your Christmas tree to look at the meaning behind the holiday with your friends and family.

5. The Sweet Significance of the Candy Cane: This video reflects back to the origin of the candy cane and the sweet significance you can find in it if you have the right eyes to see them by.

6. The Circle Returns in the Christmas Wreath: While many of us use a Christmas wreath as another way to remember to meanings behind the Christmas tree, this video clip shows another way that they are used – going full circle to decorate the graves around the country of those who have fallen in war.  This use can help us remember the message of sacrifice that is where the birth of Christ will lead.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

The Rev. Christopher L. Smith

Marriage and Family Therapist

The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT has served as a national leader around mental health issues both within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in professional counseling organizations.  He works directly with individuals, couples, families and supervisees as the Clinical Director of Seeking Shalom in New York City.  He also brings his insight to help a wider audience through writing, speaking and consultations.

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LAC, LMFT, LMHC, MDiv
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Forgiveness, Spiritual
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