“On the First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…”

Written by contributing writer, Trina Holden.

Chances are this week you’re in the thick of making a list and checking it twice and I’m sure you don’t think you need one more thing to think about. But even while encouraging simplicity this Christmas, I’m gonna throw out a unique challenge.

I’m gonna suggest you add one more thing to your list.

Your husband.

Yes, I know you have him on your list already, and maybe you’ve already found just the right gift to bless him on Christmas Day. But what about today? What about the busy weeks counting down to Christmas, when your time and energy are stretched to fulfill all that this season requires of you as a wife and mother and homemaker? Is there a way you can keep this most important relationship – this man God has given you, in the forefront of your thoughts, maintaining your friendship even in this hectic season?

There is a way you can add a little holiday spice to your marriage. It’s so simple, it’s almost corny. But I’ve been keeping this little tradition with my husband for 6 years and every year he says it’s his favorite part of the whole season.

We call it “Twelve Days” but it has nothing to do with Partridges and Pear Trees. The idea is that I give him a little gift on each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas. The gifts are not big, often just a favorite cookie or candy, but the value of the gift lies in that I’ve thought of him. When he finds 3 envelopes on the ‘Third Day of Christmas’ or a half a dozen of his favorite cookies on Day Six, his eyes light up like a kid at Christmas, and I fall in love with the tradition (and him!) all over again.

If you’d like to start this tradition in your house, it’s not too late! I usually call Dec. 13th our ‘first day’, so you still have time to gather some things from around the house or on your next trip to town. Here’s a list of items to get you started…

Day 1: Any single object – this is where I usually spend a little money and give him something I’d otherwise have tucked under the tree. A hat, tool, piece of masculine jewelry, etc.

Day 2: Think pairs! Socks, gloves, matching mugs for him and her, sunglasses, pants, long underwear, tickets to a concert or a game.

Days 3, 4, 5, and 6: What comes in packs? Golf balls, socks, briefs, favorite candy, guitar picks, favorite beverage, refills for his razor.

Days 7, 8, 9, 10, 11: Higher numbers get a little trickier – just think ‘small’ and you can do it! Cookies, packaged and delivered to work. A CD with 11 songs. Post-it-note love notes hidden through the house.

Day 12: Think ‘by the dozen’ or ’12 months in a year’. A magazine subscription, coupons for a monthly date night or a dozen chicken wings for lunch.

More ideas…

  • A book or film with a number in the title
  • A series of emails or texts sent to him throughout the day
  • A gift certificate or coupons for his favorite meal
  • A collection of poems (Haiku is a quick and easy!)
  • One year I publicly praised my husband by posting 10 things I loved about him on my blog

Get Romantic!

  • Decorate your bedroom with a number of lit candles
  • Love letters — New or old
  • A custom CD of your favorite love songs
  • Coupons to redeem for a massage — given by you!

Once you’ve collected your little gifts, wrap the items up and stash them away where he won’t find them. I jot down which gift I’m giving him on which day in my day planner so I don’t forget. I also like to plan when and how to present each gift — under his pillow, on his vehicle seat, in his work boots — so I have everything thought out in advance, and I can pull off our little tradition with ease despite the rush of those final days leading up to Christmas.

It takes just a little extra effort on my part to fit this in with everything else, but it is totally worth it for the sparkle it brings to our relationship at a time where it might otherwise suffer. It helps me keep my man my priority even when so many other things call. I look forward to Dec. 13th and eagerly anticipate to the look on his face when he realizes his favorite tradition has begun again.

About Trina Holden

Trina enjoys offering hospitality from their 1800’s farm house in Upstate New York. She loves to encourage women to nourish their families, celebrate the journey, and choose to thrive at TrinaHolden.com.

347 Responses to “On the First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…”

  1. Jamie November 27, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    1 pair of headphones (he has been wanting a new pair)
    2 dinner and movie for two
    3 cook all three meals for him
    4 pairs of boxer briefs
    5 all five assassin’s creed video games
    6 pack of beer
    7 lotto tickets
    8 pairs of socks
    9 packs of gum or candy
    10 dollars to a restaurant close to his work
    11 credits on itunes/app store
    12 a dozen of his favorite cookies

  2. corrie anne November 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Super fun idea!!!!

  3. Missy November 26, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Day 1: Day one of Santa’s Surprises is finally here, so this slice of caramel pie is just for you, my dear. Caramel pie from Oh Charley’s his favorite pie.
    Day 2: Day 2 is gonna be groovy, here’s two tickets to a movie.
    Day 3: For day 3 here’s something I never do, I’m going to cook all 3 meals just for you.
    Day 4:
    Day 5: Today is day 5 and I have for you 5 eye popping, heart racing, SEXTS from me. But open in private so no one else can see.
    Day 6: For day 6 here’s pepsi and chips but be careful, eat too much and it’ll go straight to your hips.
    Day 7:Lucky #7 is today, keep these coupons in your wallet and cash them in when you want to “play”.
    Day 8: Don’t be late, meet me at (name of restaurant) at 8:00 for our dinner date.
    Day 9: These nine new boxers are for day 9 because I know when you wear them you’ll look oh so fine!
    Day 10:
    Day 11: Star shaped cookies w/ reasons why I love him. I love you more than all the stars in the sky but here’s 11 reasons why.
    Day 12: Kisses on 12 different parts of his body with reasons explaining why I love those parts (hands – working so hard for his family, etc.)

  4. jolanda November 26, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    12 : his favorite chocolate
    11:love notes ( sticky notes around the house)
    10:candies
    9:cookies
    8:beer ( his favorite or a mix, not sure yet )
    7:sweetheart candy
    6: coupons for date nights ( in / out the house )
    5:not sure yet for this one
    4:movies ( i will watch with you without complaining and sleeping maybe LOR )
    3:xmas ornaments that represent my husband
    2:two hobbit tickets ( movie comes out on the 14th)
    1:pair of jeans
    starting on the 13th with 12 and end on the 24th with 1 and then on Christmas day i want to give my husband one bigger Christmas present.

  5. jolanda November 26, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    12 : his favorite chocolate
    11:love notes ( sticky notes around the house)
    10:candies
    9:cookies
    8:beer ( his favorite or a mix, not sure yet )
    7:sweetheart candy
    6: coupons for date nights ( in / out the house )
    5:not sure yet for this one
    4:movies ( i will watch with you without complaining and sleeping maybe LOR )
    3:xmas ornaments that represent my husband
    2:two hobbit tickets ( movie comes out on the 14th)
    1:pair of jeans

  6. Jen November 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    My boyfriend is in law school and the 12 Days actually falls during his semester-end finals so this will be a GREAT way to cheer him up throughout the week & leading to Christmas! I’ve decided to do it backwards, starting on Dec 13 with 12 and ending with 1 on Christmas Eve.

    12 – Year long Subscription to The Economist or Beer Advocate (haven’t decided)
    11 – A list of the 11 ingredients needed for his grandma’s pumpkin pie – his FAVORITE, with the promise to make it together sometime over winter break
    10 – A bottle of “Ten FIDY” beer, one of his favorites
    9 – Nine things I love about him
    8 – Eight coupons for date nights for over winter break (I’m back in school too so we have some time to ourselves!)
    7 – Lucky 7 lotto tickets (to pay off that law school debt haha)
    6 – Six pack of beer, like a make your own mix of his favorites. This day happens to fall on his LAST day of finals, so it works perfectly! I’m sure he’ll need a drink ;)
    5 – I am a health freak, but he loves burgers so I’ll take him to Five Guys for lunch
    4 – Four coupons for him picking the movie OR four new bow ties (haven’t decided)
    3 – The League season 3 on DVD
    2 – A pair of new dress shoes
    1 – A nice bottle of scotch for Christmas Eve!

  7. Emily November 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    love this idea!
    These are mine…
    dec 13-1-bigger gift – havent decided yet
    dec 14 -2-leather gloves
    dec 15- 3-golf balls
    dec 16-4-2 pack socks
    dec 17-5-lotto tickets
    dec 18-6-pack beer
    dec 19-7-pairs boxers
    dec 20-8-lindor chocolates
    dec 21-9-golden oreos
    dec 22-10-mcdonalds $10 card
    dec 23-11-pepperoni sticks
    dec 24-12-dozen homemade cookies

  8. Stephanie November 25, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    I love, love, love this idea!

    I love the name of your blog :)

    And all the extra ideas in the comments! I can’t wait for Dec. 13th now :)

  9. Dana M November 24, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    LOVE this idea. Like other’s have said – it’s perfect for so many different occasions, just tweak it to your needs. For those of you bothered by the 12 days of Christmas starting on Christmas – so start on Christmas! Or call it the 12 days TIL Christmas and start before. Sheesh. ;)

    If you’re stuck on ideas for a specific number, make that a special homemade baked treat day – like that number of cookies or pine bark pieces, that many cake pops to take to work and share, or favorite/retro candy basket. You can do that many balloons tied to his car or delivered to work. Or deliver that many flowers. That many chocolate covered strawberries given in a box or pretty plate for dessert and bring out a bottle of champagne or wine (or whatever) as a prelude to a romantic night.

    And if you dont want to think of multiple numbers of things each day, just try a theme for 12 days – like “the 12 naughty,sexy, sparkly theme days” idea of 12 romantic gifts leading up to the final 1 romantic night (or last or the 12 romantic nights ;) . i know my hubby would love this idea.

    What a fantastic, versatile gift idea. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Trina!

  10. jolanda November 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    had a message from Carolyn, ( author ) that you can do the first day on the 25th instead of before but i am not sure if my husband will like that …January 1st X-mas is out the door so he probably wouldnt like gifts than either…and i was thinking since i have his favorite chocolate for the 12th day ( and kinda cheap looking ) to give him a bit bigger special gift that day besides the chocolate what do you think ?

  11. jolanda November 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    i post a message before….i would like some ideas for my hubby since he will be a daddy for the first time in January and i need some inspiration…we started also our own company in April of this year and he has been working like crazy full time …he loves skiing, golfing and waterskiing, reading…maybe you ladies can help me out…i have some ideas but like to see some more things in this brainstorming chain that is going on…Thank you!! and Merry X-mas to you all!!

  12. Carolyn November 23, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Thanks for the great gift ideas!
    Also, we all have PLENTY of time to do this and you don’t have to do the countdown backwards as someone suggested! The FIRST day of Christmas is December 25! 2nd Day is the 26th and so on! Advent is the 4 wks before Christmas; Christmas isn’t celebrated until the 12 days beginning Christmas Day and leading to the great feast of Epiphany. Hope everyone has a beautiful Christmas! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twelve_Days_of_Christmas_(song)

    • stacey November 23, 2012 at 11:39 am #

      I have decided to start 12 days before and to end on Christmas day. I’m starting off with 1 day filled with. memories. I have asked secretly. for a vacation day for him. While our kids are at school I am taking him to breakfast and have arranged a tour at a cool site. I just called and told them about my gift and we have our own private tour! So excited!

      • Larkin December 3, 2012 at 8:16 am #

        I’m also ending on Christmas Day. The weekends will work in my favor that way…

        • Krista December 4, 2012 at 10:28 am #

          I am also going to end on Christmas Day. We will be on vacation and we head home on the 14th. I figured if I start it on the 14th I wont have to bring two gifts on the trip, only 1 to begin on the last day before we leave! This is exciting!

  13. jolanda November 20, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    having a hard time so far of figuring out what i should give to my husband…but i will get it…
    thanks for the ideas ladies…
    so every day he gets to open up one gift ? thats the point right ?

  14. Ashley November 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    This is an AWESOME LIST! All you gals have given me great inspiration for my sweet bf’s list! We are in a LDR so a lot of this stuff I am going to be sending by mail and marking each package appropriately so he only opens what he should on any given day :-) . I am also going to go backwards because #1 is going to be the “big” gift.

    12. – 1 dozen “i love you more than…” cookies (smoke loves fire, homer loves marge, etc)
    11. – 11 of “our songs” as we used to make mixed cds for eachother to listen to on the long car ride home after a visit
    10. – $10 dunkin donuts card
    9. – 9 pairs of dress socks
    8. – sexy coupons ;-)
    7. – 7 $1 Lucky Scratch tickets
    6. – So Co Nips & 6 pack of coke
    5. – 5 meals of his choice
    4. – Halo 4
    3. – 3 pairs of boxers
    2. – 2 movie tickets
    1. – northface fleece (the only thing he has asked for)

    I am not even going to keep track of the price tag. There is no budget on making my baby happy!

  15. Melissa November 19, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I am dying to do this for my husband. I have always been big on thoughtful gifts and I think this is about as thoughtful as one can be!

    1 – One Dozen of his favorite Cookies

    2 – Two Sy-Fy Movie Date Nights without complaint (I hate Sy-Fy and he loves it!)

    3 – 3 Packs of his favorite gum

    4 – 4 “Outfits” to choose from (Don’t judge me;) These will be “outfits” I already own but he can pick his favorite for me to wear)

    5 – 5 Foot massages

    6 – 6 of his favorite Drinks – A Bottle of Baccardi & diet coke (his fave). It’s just enough for to make six drinks :)

    7 – Lucky 7 Scratch Off Tickets

    8 – 8 Great Back massages

    9 – A list of 9 of my favorite memories of us

    10 – $10 Subway gift card (He eats here almost every day for lunch)

    11 – 11 Songs that make me think of you (Some romantic, some that make you think of funny memories). I was going to put them on a CD and then write the “story” behind each song and format it like a CD insert.

    12 – Twelve Things I love About You (a Wallet sized list for him to keep).

    • Melissa November 19, 2012 at 11:34 am #

      I meant to include the “poem’ I wrote. It is SUPER cheesy but that is my personality. I am planning to put it on his nightstand to wake up to on the first day. Then I will include the gift in his stocking every day. I can not wait for December 13th!!!

      It is the Christmas Season
      So I will use that as my reason
      For showering you with love and affection
      Because I want to truly celebrate our connection
      But when I thought about what to get you
      One gift simply wouldn’t do
      All year long you work so hard to support your wife
      So these next few days are all about YOU, for once in your life
      My feelings for you are deep, genuine and true
      This is just a small way to say I LOVE YOU.
      So make sure to check your stocking each day
      The 12 days of Christmas starts today!

  16. Gabrielle November 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Okay… with the help of all of you lovely folks, here is my list:

    (I still haven’t decided if I’m going backwards or not…)

    Day 1 – one year of Pandora One
    Day 2 – tickets to something TBD… we’ve already bought a lot of concert tickets unfortunately!
    Day 3 – 3 pack of disposable razors (he travels a lot for work)
    Day 4 – 4 pairs of boxers
    Day 5 – 5 different kinds of nuts, folded in origami boxes I found on Pinterest
    Day 6 – 6 pack of beer or Coke
    Day 7 – 7 dry rub spices I found on Pinterest
    Day 8 – eight $1 lotto tickets
    Day 9 – 3 dates: 3 dinners, movies, and popcorns… he’s a math guy. Hopefully he’ll get it ;)
    Day 10 – Cheryl’s Cookies – a 10-piece holiday pretzel gift set, delivered to work.
    Day 11 – CD with 11 songs on it, from concerts we’ve gone to together
    Day 12 – a dozen oatmeal scotchies, his favorite cookie

    I’ve recruited his roommate to deliver gifts on days I won’t see him, since we don’t live together. I’m excited to do this for him this year. 5 years of dating, I want to do something different! Good luck to everyone else!

  17. kaylyn November 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    This is an awesome idea. My boyfriend said he was on board with this, so it took me by surprise since he has so little time for anything nowadays. I actually feel bad that I proposed this idea to him knowing he has no “me” time and now has to spend what little time he has for himself on others, but he’s insisted he wants to do this.

    1) The Hobbit gift card for the movies, since we’re starting Dec 14 and the movie comes out on that day.
    2) Pair of boobs stress balls, thought we could keep it light hearted for his stress level.
    3) Pair of thermal underwear.
    4) $5 gift card for McDonalds
    5) Pack of guitar picks and strings
    6) Secret
    7) 1 lb peanut butter Reese’ cups
    8) Golden Eye or Casino Royale on DVD
    9) Bottle of Rum
    10) Visor for his helmet
    11) Some tape for his hockey sticks & maybe some pucks
    12) Hoodie for one of his favorite bands

  18. Larkin November 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    I played around with numbers (birthday, anniversary, # of family members, etc…I also kept in mind firsts, seconds, thirds, etc…which helped me a lot). Here’s what I came up with:
    1 – movie night downtown (our first date)
    2 – chocolate kisses (second date, first kiss)
    3 – a trio of ties
    4 – 4 oz of jalepeno jam (his fav)
    5 – 5 kids cooking dinner
    6 –
    7 – 7 passes to an indoor play-thingy-majiggy (mainly for the kiddos, but a family day!)
    8 –
    9 – a playlist of nine of my favorite love songs (from my mac to his iPod)
    10 –
    11 –
    12 – 12 love notes from the ones who love him most (parents, siblings, 2 living grandparents, and 5 kids = 12! PERFECT)

    • Larkin November 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      I’m also thinking locations…the place where I got my ring (the corner of 21st & 10th?!)
      proposal dates….4/16 = 11
      his work address
      # of buddies he’s always with for game nights
      his favorite sports player’s jersey number
      hhmmm?

  19. Amanda November 16, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    Here is my list, he will still have a couple other “big” gifts under the tree. I also really like the idea of going backwards so he gets one of his big gifts as number one. If I do that option I will just use #1 on this list as a stocking stuffer. I am not opposed to practical gifts as every year I get him some of those, like others have said; “it’s the idea of thinking about them specifically for 12 days.”

    1. Belt (his work on is looking pretty shabby and it’s the only thing I don’t get to throw out when I do laundry.)
    2. 2 nerf guns and some ammo to go with it ( got to have a little fun)
    3. flashlights (one for the house, one for shop, and one mega one to use in the yard/camping, it seems we are always looking for our flashlights.)
    4. 4 nice dress shirts for work(one appropriate for each season)
    5. 5 special boxers (he always buys the cheapest ones from Walmart and every year I buy him some nice ones that last longer than a couple months)
    6. 6 pack of gatorade
    7. 7-11 gift card for gas
    8. 8 rice krispie treats with chocolate chips (his favorite treat)
    9. 9 pairs of dress socks for work ( 3 brown, 3 black, and 3 grey)
    10. $10 gift card to his favorite sandwich shop
    11. peg board hooks for his newly renovated shop
    12. a sports trivia calendar

  20. Christina November 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    I’m doing this for my boyfriend cos I couldn’t think of anything to get him for Christmas and his birthday (Dec. 21) so I’m doing it all in one.
    12: picture collage of 12 pictures
    11: CD of 11 songs
    10: 10 peanut butter cookies
    9: homemade coupons
    8: post its
    7:
    6: 6 cans of his favorite dip (it comes in a six pack)
    5:
    4: (his birthday) can’t think of anything.
    3: 3 notes
    2: 2 packs of his favorite fishing lures
    1: the hat he really wants

  21. Becky November 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    I’m going to do the count down, too. So I’ll start with the 12th day on the 13th. And I know that the official 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day, but that’s not really the point. I think it’s a nice way of showing my husband how much I appreciate and love him.

    I make calendars for the family every year for Christmas through Snapfish- that will be my 12th day.

    11 – K-cups (they recently installed Keurigs at work)
    10 – $10 GC for Starbucks
    9 – 3 3-packs of something. Not sure what yet….
    8 – coupons for date nights (still 6 more than we’ve had this year!)
    7 – a week of his favorite dinners
    6 – a 6 pack of Christmas Ale
    5 – letters (stealing the past, present, future, but adding 2 for the kids)
    4 – 4 of his favorite candy bars
    3 – frame for his desk
    2 – Snickerdoodle muffins at his desk (a benefit of working for the same company, but starting at different times… :) )
    1 – a laptop bag that he’s been eyeing

    Steve – I think it’s great that you’re planning ahead. I’m sure my husband will be waiting until the week before Christmas to get started. :)

    As for ideas – think of some of her favorite things, some of her hobbies, something she wouldn’t normally spend money on for herself. Maybe a nice pair of slippers for day 2, a GC for a manicure for day 10, a pack of 12×12 scrapbook paper if she scrapbooks for day 12, a trilogy of books for day 3 (Hunger Games, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Nora Roberts has quite a few trilogies).

  22. Steve November 15, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    I want to do this for my wife but I am lacking in the idea department. Please help.

    • Kristen November 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      Kudos to you for thinking ahead! How about a gift card to a video store with popcorn and/or drinks.

      My favorite wine (barefoot) has a mini 4 pack.

      I would love for my husband to leave random sticky notes with compliments,

      Nail polish.

      Mints or a favorite little candy.

      Our local florist has $5 Fridays, a small bouquet, very lovely.

    • stacey November 23, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      1 day of memories (take her somewhere special or reflect on special moments from past)
      2 cozy slippers
      3 meals prepared by you
      4 oz of perfume or favorite yummy treat
      $5 Starbucks card
      8… I think it would be sweet to get to work and have 8 sweet notes…. one to open each hour
      10 top ten reasons I love you
      12 calendar with pics of your memories

  23. Allison November 15, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    This is a really nice idea! But what about us? Our partner should do the same back. It should be a mutual giving celebration! As women, sometimes so much is expected of us, and we don’t think we deserve the same in return.

    • Stacy November 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      The point of giving a gift (or 12 in this case) is to do something nice for someone without expecting anything is return. If you feel like you are expected to do this for him, then it’s not really a gift, it’s an obligation. We can’t expect our husbands to do this for us, because then it wouldn’t be a gift, it would be an obligation also.

      • Stephanie November 25, 2012 at 4:46 am #

        Too bad there’s no Like button here :)

        100% agree with Stacy.

  24. Carli November 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Such a cute idea! I’m so excited for 12/13 now! I’m doing 1 romantic night, 2 wool socks, 3 fish flies, 4 laffy taffies (fav candy), 5 cans of chew (yuck but he loves it), 6 beers a brewing, 7 lucky lottos, 8 spicy wings, 9 naughty nights where I’m giving him cute, handmade, suggestive coupons ;) , 10 ???, 11 players playing, where I’m giving him a cookie and beanie from his fav. Football team since there’s 11 players and 12 months of lovin with a personal planner! I tried to make it sound like the song but it’s rough! Thanks for a fantastic idea!

  25. whitney November 14, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    could also be cute to reverse it and do like a countdown to christmas so youd start at present 12 (12 pack of beer for me) then go down the last counting down the days until christmas and then that way too they would get the 1 bigger present on christmas eve.

    I plan on wrapping them all up and numbering them under the tree so each day he can unwrap one and then the presents he gets on christmas could have a 0 on it.

    Cute fun way to countdown till christmas. Could be cute too if you have kids and do it for them as well

    • jolanda November 25, 2012 at 11:40 am #

      i like that idea for the countdown….

  26. Nicole November 14, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Love this!! Started on some ideas as soon as I saw the post…stuck on Eight and Eleven… Has anyone got any ideas that dont involve food for these two?

    • chelsea November 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      i am doing candy on 11 so it doesnt help BUT 8 -i was stuck here too.! but 8 undergarments is what i picked. ( i know its silly but…) mixing up boxer briefs, socks, and wife beaters.

      • Amy November 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

        My husband is a systems administrator and always keeps a handful of those little thumb drives on hand, so my number 8 is an 8-gig thumb drive. I’m still trying to come up with an 11 too.

      • Sara November 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

        8 reasons you’re great! Write 8 reasons why your husband is the greatest and put each one in an envelope. He can open one each hour. :]

    • chelsea November 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      Very excited to do this. Coming up with ideas and keeping it cheap was kind of difficult, but my husband is a gamer and that helped a little!

      1st day Dec 13.
      1. Romantic night filled with lights , candles , and FOOD! introducing my 12 day gift giving binge.

      2. 2 slippers (1 pair) OR 2 matching cups (one for each of us).
      3. 3-month XBOX LIVE membership.
      4. 4 Throwback Mountain Dews (his favorite)
      5. 5 packs of cigs.
      6. 6 pack beer
      7. 7 scratch-off’s (unoriginal, but i thought it was a good idea thanks XD )
      8. 8 undergarments. a mixture of briefs, socks, and wifebeaters
      9. 9 sexy coupons :)
      10. $10 gift card to Gamestop
      11. 11 Baby Ruths
      12. Watch ( there are 12 hours on a clock.)

    • Gabrielle November 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      I’m going to do a CD of 11 songs from concerts we’ve gone to together…

  27. Stacey November 14, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    I really love this idea and my mind is just racing with ideas. I was thinking three of his favorite meals for day 3! I also considered taking over some of his typical “chores” with certificates of a certain number (trash, filling car with gas, yardwork, clean his car, etc.). I thought a certain number of notes or treats hidden in his office at work might be fun. Having him look for them would be the best part! I have looked up romantic or love crafts on pinterest and have also found a few great items. Check that out… hmmmm…. so many possibilities.

  28. Susan November 12, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Adorable idea! Can’t wait to start!

    Some people were asking for additional suggestions…here’s what I’m doing.

    1. Snuggie (his favorite football team) 2. cufflinks 3. razors 4. letters – past, present, future and one from our 3 yr old daughter (I love you, daddy, picture, stickers, etc). 5. cute panties for me to wear for 5 sexy nights 6. socks 7. lottery scratch offs 8. ITUNES songs on a CD 9. things I love about him around the house on post its or maybe on the bathroom mirror 10. Tie with 10 stripes 11. emails throughout the day 12. calendar of Scottland castles (his favorite) or a Mens Health magazine subscription…haven’t decided!

    We travel to visit family over Christmas so I’m doing 12 days before we leave and skipping a traditional gift for him. I think this is great idea and easy to customize to your schedule, budget, etc.

    Thanks again!

    • Jennifer C November 14, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      1st: I was thinking about making a romantic night for us dinner the house all decorated the works
      2nd: coffee mugs (one travel, and one for the home draw on a white $1 mug with sharpies and bake!)
      3rd: razors
      4th: nice beer coozie with 3 packages of beer salt. I was going to wrap it in plastic like a basket
      5th: a 5 piece boot cleaning kit
      6th: 6 pk of liquor or socks
      7th: lucky $7 lotto tickets, if they don’t have them I will buy a total of $7 worth of them
      8th:
      9th: Post it love notes
      10th: $10 food gift card somewhere close to his work
      11th: 11 no bake cookies
      12th: 12′ clock?

      Socks come in packs of 6 &10
      6pks of beer are nice, but I was thinking about a 6 pk of mini bottles of liquor he likes putting them in a basket and giving them to him that way
      for 8 I am unsure maybe 8 hand made nicnacks (I work at a craft store so this is easy for me) , and for 12 i don’t want to do a calendar (we have one) or a 12 pk of beer, maybe 12 gallons of gas? a 12 volt tire inflator. I may just make him an awesome 12″ clock it also has 1-12 on it.

      I always write him little notes near the coffee maker and in his lunch

  29. Janet November 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    Since money is tight with many of us, remember that the gifts don’t have to be something you buy. They could be things like breakfast in bed, a cup of coffee waiting for after his shower, mints on his pillow, special cookies you bake or coupons for massages from you (or anything that makes him feel special). It’s okay to include practical items that you buy all the time such as razor blades, packages of socks, etc. since it is mostly the idea that you are thinking of him every day and want to do something special for him.

  30. Kelly November 11, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    For those of you stuck on numbers, I found a favorite shaving cream and used the ounces as my number. I also got him an Avengers book and used the number of superheroes as the number. :) Hope this helps!

  31. Karen November 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    It sounds like most of you must be young/newer couples, but ya know? I think my husband of 23 years will love this just as much! Maybe even more! It will certainly be a surprise for him. I can’t wait to do it!

    • Stephanie December 4, 2012 at 5:04 am #

      You’re never too old, that’s for sure!

  32. Norma November 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    I did something similar to this when we were first married. My husband technically has 2 birthdays (he is Persian and they fudged his real birthday so they would have longer to leave the country before he would be drafted into the army..long story short) and there are 28 days between them so I created a set of 28 drawers and every morning he opened one starting on his real birthday and ending on his legal one.

    • Dana November 8, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      I am doing this for my husband this year. We are on a pretty tight budget and this is the best I could come up with. 1) 1 morning of breakfast in bed 2) 2 sports documentaries 3) a 3-fold picture frame complete with pics of us and our baby 4) 4 massage coupons 5) 5 energy drinks for monday through friday at work 6) 6 individual mini-quiches for easy breakfasts 7) 7 things I love about him written on the bathroom mirror 8) 8 pillow cookies delivered to his work 9) 9 packs of gum/mints to stash in his car, backpack, etc… 10) $10 subway gift card 11) 11 chocolate covered strawberries 12) 12 chicken wings for lunch
      I hope he’ll love it!

      • Wanda November 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

        Very sweet. I am going to use your bathroom mirror idea! Thanks! Wanda

  33. Tara November 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    This is such a fantastic, fun idea…my hubby does soooooo much for me all year long, and I feel like I never do anything above and beyond for him…he is going to be so surprised!! I am going to leave each gift on his car seat in the morning so he gets it before work…what a great way to start the day!!

  34. Nicky November 7, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    What about a voucher for 9 holes of golf for 9 days – any ideas for 8 and 4?

    • Stephanie November 7, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      8 I am doing chocolate covered pretzel rods (best I could come up with for now) and 4 I am doing the DVD “Four Christmases” Four you could also do something golf related? If you can think of something else for 9 haha.

    • Danielle November 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

      You could get 3 sleeves of golf balls…9 total.

  35. BRANDON November 7, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Anybody know of anything doo for day 7 and 9?? I think I have everything else worked out, but I have no clue what to do for those two! any help would be greatly appreciated!! I’m so excited about doing this! :) Thank you for the great idea!! X

    • Stephanie November 7, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      I am also stuck on day 7. I was thinking lucky 7 lottery tickets but those are not around anymore in PA also I was debating a GC to Dunkin donuts for a weeks worth of coffees. For day 9 I am making a wall sign with all the reindeer names (there are 9). Hopefully this helps! I am also stuck on day 3 if you have any suggestions!! The best thing I came up with was razors but I am trying to stay away from every day items and more creative things.

      • Jenn H November 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

        For day 3 I’m doing a three-pack of Tic Tacs b/c my husband likes them. For day 1 I’m giving him The Dark Knight Rises because we both love all the movies, but that could also be for day 3 since it’s the 3rd in the series.

      • Abbie November 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

        My husband LOVES James Bond, so I am going to buy him the new 007 movie for day 7.

        • Wanda November 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

          GREAT idea! Thanks!

    • Jaime November 11, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      For my honey’s Day 7, I’m going with a “Lucky #7″ theme and getting him 7 scratch-off lotto tickets :)

      I’m having trouble with Days 9, 8 and 5, though :(

      • JLW November 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

        Like another poster suggested, I’m doing my 12 days backwards: first gift is Day 12 on 12/13 and the last, main gift is on Day 1 on Christmas Day. Here’s what I came up with…

        12. 2013 Calendar (12 months)
        11. Mix CD (11 songs)
        10. Gift Card ($10 value)
        9. Custom handmade wooden tic-tac-toe game (9 squares; 9 custom marbles)
        8. Gin & Tonic gift pack (4 mini bottles of gin + 4 small bottles of tonic)
        7. Lucky lotto tickets (7 $1 tickets)
        6. Godiva truffles (half-dozen)
        5. Protein gels (5 packs)
        4. Big Bang Theory coasters (4 piece set)
        3. “3 Musketeers” framed photo (pic of 3: Daddy, DD & DS)
        2. Movie tickets (pair)
        1. North Face Hoodie (single big-ticket item)

        I can’t wait to see the delight on his face every day as he makes his way through all of his gifts and- best of all- total cost was less than $200, so I’m under budget!

  36. Christina November 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Im gonna do this for husband this year!! I’m not a creative person by any means so I’m already stuck. I have gifts 1,2,3,4,maybe 7 and 10. Does anyone have any other ideas for the days!? Love this!! What a great idea!!!

  37. Grace October 31, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    This is such a great idea! My boyfriend and I have a long distance relationship and I know that that this would absolutely make his day! Thank you for such a creative idea!

  38. Jen October 30, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Thinking of changing this up a bit to make it 12 spicy days of Christmas. Instead of doing gifts, do him!! Like one night in his favorite nighty, one nite giving a massage, you get the picture. Can’t wait to surprise him!

  39. Andrea October 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    I really like this. My husband will probably be completely on board with this idea. Good thing I came across this post before the December 13th!

  40. Bree October 24, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    This is a great idea. My Hubbys birthday falls on Jan 6th so this would be perfect =)

  41. Sarah October 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Shouldn’t your husband return the favor so it’s a two-way street…? Doesn’t really seem very fair that he gets so many gifts before Christmas and you don’t. Haha. I’d love to talk with my honey about doing that together instead…much more fun and fair to a loving wife! :)

    • Jessica October 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

      Sometimes it’s just nice to do something else for someone–with no expectation or request for them to do anything in return. If someone did something nice for me then followed it with “Okay, now what are you going to do for me?” I would be caught off guard and wonder why they had even bothered with their nice-ness.

      Ever heard of an act of kindness? I don’t think you need to evaluate what’s “fair” or a “two-way street” if you both love each other and know that sometimes one person does something nice for their spouse and another time it may be the other person doing something nice.

      • Wanda November 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

        Yup! Great post!

      • Autumn November 23, 2012 at 10:43 am #

        I agree i love the thought of making him feel special! :) He has done so much for me this last year by working full time so i could go to school full time. i would love to do this as a thank you and make him feel really special.

    • Elise November 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      I think someone needs to read the Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (by Dr Laura Schlessinger)! I bet he rewards her with helping around the house more, being more willing to do things when asked and maybe he rewards her in the bedroom or emotionally. There is also a joy in giving and not expecting anything in return. That’s the spirit of Christmas.

    • J dubya T November 11, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      My boyfriend is wealthy and I am not… So, while he can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a single present for me, I can’t return that same sort of gesture- which is why this “12 Days of Christmas” idea is perfect for me. This way, I can buy him a number of little things so it appears like he’s getting a lot, and that makes me feel like the gifts I get for him rival what he gets for me.

      • Tami November 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

        The best gifts are the ones with thought and meaning. I believe that you can give an awesome Christmas to someone with very little $$. I hope you both have a wonderful Christmas together!

  42. GiGi October 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    My mom is German, and growing up, we always had a small gift to open on Ephipany (January 6th) which is technically the 12th day of Christmas. However, when I had my son, I did a small gift on each of those twelve days and he loved it! I don’t think it matters if you do the twelve days before or after Christmas. It REALLY is the thought that counts! Great suggestions, Trina!

  43. {kayleigh nikolai} October 3, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    Omygosh I LOVE this! My fiance and I are long distance…I love this idea to bring him smiles during Christmas when we can’t be together. :)

  44. JenniLyn October 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Love the idea especially because our anniversary is on Dec. 13th:)

  45. Nat September 30, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    This is great. My partners birthday is on the 13th of December and I’ve been meaning to do this for years but I was lacking ideas. You have inspired me.

  46. Sherry September 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    This sounds like SO much fun!! I’m definitely going to do this. Thanks!! :)

  47. Rachel September 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Does he also return the favor with 12 days of gifts, or is this something only you do?

  48. Kassey September 19, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Love this idea now trying to figure out how to make it work for shipping to my husband during his upcoming deployment……

    • Christi September 25, 2012 at 7:20 am #

      You could wrap the days in separate packages and send them all together with dates to open then and notes explaining each one in the separate mini packages
      I’m sure he would like reading a letter from you for 12 days straight!

    • betsy September 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

      The twelve days of Christmas are not the 12 days leading up to Christmas. They are the 12 days between Christmas and Ephinay (Jan. 6.)

      • Alissa October 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

        so what?? That is completely irrelevant to the point of the post.

      • Alycia October 23, 2012 at 7:48 am #

        I dont think it matters if its before or after, i think its just the point of giving your special someone something else to give them a smile

      • Christin October 28, 2012 at 7:16 am #

        Betsy is right, the 12 days of Christmas BEGIN on Christmas day. I suppose it doesn’t matter but it would be like celebrating New Years Eve on December 19…seems kinda silly not to celebrate it on the actual day, right?

        • Amy October 29, 2012 at 4:23 am #

          I think the point is that these 12 gifts are to celebrate your husband and your life together, regardless of when you start it, it is just a cute way of showing your love to the man God made just for you. I’m not really sure that the “when” is really important, it’s the how and the why that matters. Props on the idea, I’m a newlywed and my husband will absolutely LOVE this!! Thank you!!

    • Stephanie September 28, 2012 at 6:32 am #

      I was thinking the same thing for my husband. Maybe buy all of the presents, wrap them separately with the numbers attached to the outside and mail 1 big box to him.

    • Shannon October 16, 2012 at 7:52 am #

      Kassey — while my husband was deployed I would send out monthly packages to him. This would be such a great idea to wrap each gift with the date to open it and send them all in one box. Then it serves two purposes — it will brighten up his room with Christmassy packages and then he’ll also have something to look forward to each day. Gotta keep our guys happy while they are away!! :)

    • Liz November 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Since he is going to be deployed, how about making it 12 days of Memories, instead of gifts? You could take pictures of your first Christmas ornament, the place you met, etc and send those once a day. Just a thought! My prayers are with you while your husband is away.

      • Jillian November 18, 2012 at 6:33 am #

        Like everyone else I love this idea! I am putting together my list and this is what I have come up with…

        1. the bigger gift, and iPod radio
        2. romantic dinner for 2 , and since our first kiss was July 2, 2011 that fits nicely too
        3. He has 3 kids so I am going to have each of them write him an “I love you dad” letter
        4. The kids and I are going to spend 4 hours helping him with his chores, cutting splitting stacking wood, decorating the house, cleaning, whatever needs to be done around the house
        5. Something for the 5 of us to do (him me and the 3 kids. paintball, hiking, go to the movies, etc.)
        6. since he likes bacardi and coke I’m going to get him 6 tiny bottles of bacardi and a 6 pack of small cokes
        7. Pairs of boxers
        8. since I won’t be around on the 8th day, I am going to send him 8 special texts throughout the day
        9.
        10.either 10 or $10 worth of scratch of lotto tickets
        11.
        12. a dozen of his favorite cookies

        9 & 11 I’m not sure of yet…
        I can’t wait to see the expression on his face.

        • Jillian November 18, 2012 at 6:35 am #

          Sorry didn’t mean to post it as a reply to you specifically, stupid phone lol

  49. Vickie September 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    This sounds so much fun! I love your ideas! Thanks! Definitely doing this this year!

  50. Jolene September 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    This is great! I’ve been doing “14th Days of Valentine’s” for both my husband and my kids for a few years now. Just little notes, candy, etc..I didn’t think of 12 Days of Christmas…Thanks!

    • Alycia October 23, 2012 at 7:50 am #

      thats so cute! i guess ill have two more traditions instead of just one =]