Delightful decor ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
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The 12 Days of Christmas is more that just a fun (and very lengthy) holiday tune – in fact, it was created as a way for children to remember important elements of Catholic tradition by using objects to symbolize concepts and important religious figures. 

Likewise, you can create a modern adaptation of this song by decorating your home with a 12 days of Christmas scheme. While you can't bring ten maids a-milking into your living room, you can still follow a creative, numbered theme that uses repetition to create interesting displays. In this idea book, you'll find ideas for craft items or purchased items that won't cost a fortune and that are easy to duplicate – after all, you'll end up with 75 items total when all is said and done!

 Holiday visitors – and especially their children – will have fun finding the themed objects throughout the living room (in fact, some people create small scavenger hunts for the kids using a 12 days of Christmas theme). What your objects symbolize is completely up to you – have fun decorating with this seasonal theme!

​1 partridge in a pear tree

The protagonist of the hour, the partridge is a much-loved object from the song that people already include in their Christmas decor. For this one, get a small bird statue and hide it – many people place it in the branches of their tree, but you can also disguise it amongst the decor of a holiday-themed shelf like this one.

​2 turtle doves: a pair of perching pinecones

A pair of anything will do, but this perfect pair of pinecones perching on a twig is too good to pass up. The best part? It's free, if you have a few minutes to search for it outside.

​3 French hens (or 3-headed candelabra)

Bagalight Candelabra homify HouseholdHomewares

Bagalight Candelabra


The three French hens were included in the song to symbolize faith, hope, and love. Symbolize the warmth and promise of these heart-warming elements of the holidays with a three-headed candelabra, or a two-dimensional depiction of one, like on this stylish holiday gift bag.

4 calling birds: 4 singing angels

The four calling birds are a noisy bunch (originally symbolizing the four gospels that spread word of Christ and his life's work). You can symbolize the calling birds with anything intended to sing out -these simple paper angels are a great DIY choice.

​5 gold rings (or green ones)

Commercial Christmas Styling Bhavin Taylor Design Commercial spaces Office buildings
Bhavin Taylor Design

Commercial Christmas Styling

Bhavin Taylor Design

Switch out the golden rings for green ones for a more down-to-Earth, natural take on this verse of the song.

​6 geese a-laying: 6 egg-like objects

The geese a-laying were, of course, laying eggs. Find egg-shaped objects for this one – even spheres like these glowing orbs will do! You can cluster them together, or you can distribute them around the room.

​7 swans a-swimming: 7 sparkling stars

Sophie Allport Starry Night Christmas Tableware homify Dining roomAccessories & decoration Cotton Blue christmas,festive,winter,blue,grey,stars,star,entertaining,accessory,accessories,home,festive,winter,blue,grey,stars,star,entertaining,accessory,accessories,home

Sophie Allport Starry Night Christmas Tableware


Seven elegant swans can be represented by seven sparkling stars! These silver stars from designer Sophie Allport have an additional function as candle holders for this romantic winter feast!

​8 maids a-milking (milk chocolate, that is)

In the mood for milk chocolate? Add some edible decor to your decorating scheme with this modern and tasty take on the 8 maids a-milking verse.

​9 ladies dancing: 9 hearts

Embroidered Merry Christmas Banner Kate Sproston Design HouseholdHomewares
Kate Sproston Design

Embroidered Merry Christmas Banner

Kate Sproston Design

The nine ladies of the song represent all sorts of good things: Joy, Peace, Kindness, Patience, etc. Symbolize these elements with a display of hearts.

​10 lords a-leaping: 10 ornaments

You can incorporate your usual Christmas decor into this scheme as well. Select 10 matching ornaments and designate these as your lords as they leap across your tree.

​11 pipers piping (or poppers popping?)

Sophie Allport Starry Night Christmas Decorations homify Dining roomAccessories & decoration Paper White christmas,festive,winter,blue,grey,stars,star,entertaining,accessory,accessories,decorations,crackers,white,red,festive,winter,blue,grey,stars,star,entertaining,accessory,accessories,decorations,crackers,white,red

Sophie Allport Starry Night Christmas Decorations


Not everyone can play a pipe, but every guest at your home can certainly pop a popper! Make these easy, budget-friendly crafts, and you'll have a chorus of 11 poppers popping!

​12 drummers drumming… with candlesticks

Drumsticks are one thing, but candlesticks add a more festive and lighthearted atmosphere to the room. Line them up across your dining room table for a romantic feast, or place the twelve candles side by side along the top of your mantle.

For more winter decorating ideas, have a look at this ideabook: 9 Ways to Feature your Fireplace This Winter

What do you think of this holiday decorating idea? Comment on this 12 Days of Christmas theme below!

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