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As you start preparing for Christmas, you may get a sinking feeling thinking about all the gifts you need to buy. That’s especially true if you want to partake in the 12 days of Christmas gifts, a fun tradition that accompanies the popular tune.
Buying that many gifts for your loved ones don’t have to break the bank! Below we list the best gift ideas for the 12 days of Christmas if you’re on a budget.
What are the 12 days of Christmas gifts?
So you’ve probably heard the song “12 Days of Christmas.” You know, the one that goes, “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…” and so on and so on.
The song is believed to have its origins in France, but it was first published in English in 1780. It is meant to commemorate the 12 days after the birth of Christ in Western Christianity. Traditionally, the twelfth day marks the arrival of the Magi to visit Christ and culminates in the Feast of the Epiphany.
That said, if you’re using the 12 days of Christmas as a gift-giving exchange and aren’t particularly religious, we recommend handing out one gift a day from December 13 to December 24. That way, you’ll get to build up momentum for the big holiday!
Each verse of the song has a specific gift presented, but to be honest, most people wouldn’t want a partridge in a pear tree or two turtledoves these days. You may want to skip your local pet store and focus on song-themed 12 days of Christmas gifts rather than literal interpretations. It just makes things more fun!
Because you have to buy 12 things in total, we’ve kept the budget for each item under $20. That should keep you from overspending. But to save even more, you may want to use a coupon site to unlock hidden discounts.
The best gift ideas for the 12 days of Christmas
The 12 days of Christmas gifts are a way to show someone you truly care! Here are our top recommendations that are right on theme with the popular song!
The first day of Christmas gift ideas
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree
Add a little glam to your loved one’s life with this pear candle. It burns for about 40 hours and has a golden exterior that works great for display purposes during the holidays.
Pear bird feeder
Instead of giving your loved one a partridge, they can attract their own with this pear-shaped bird feeder. The large opening lets birds nest inside, or you can fill it with food to watch birds come and go.
The second day of Christmas gift ideas
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves
Dove Beauty Bar
Everyone can always use a luxurious soap! This Dove Beauty Bar is more moisturizing than a normal bar and has a delicious coconut and jasmine scent that will have you craving bath time.
After your loved one is done bathing, they can have a sweet treat in the form of Dove milk chocolate candies. These individually wrapped chocolates include special messages on the foil to further brighten their day.
The third day of Christmas gift ideas
On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Three french hens
French rooster pillow covers
Liven up your living area with these vintage farm rooster and hen pillow covers. They’re great for adding a birdy touch to any room that needs a bit of fun. For instance, you can add them to a kitchen nook or in a family room.
Unisex chicken socks
Who wouldn’t love a pair of chicken socks? These ones have the quirky saying, “Sometimes you just gotta say ‘cluck it’ and walk away.” Not only are these a great gift, but they'll also make for a good laugh!
The fourth day of Christmas gift ideas
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Four calling birds
The Birds movie
“The Birds” is a classic movie, and while it’s not really a Christmas hit, it’s perfect for people who love horror year-round. That’s why it makes our list of 12 days of Christmas gift ideas.
Assuming your loved one has a big backyard, they’ll love this hanging birdfeeder as well. Its hexagon shape means multiple birds can get in on the feeding frenzy at once.
The fifth day of Christmas gift ideas
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Five golden rings
Birth year ring
A little finger bling is just what Santa ordered. This cute birth year ring is customizable from 1980 to 2005 and comes in sizes 5.5 to 10.5
Ring toss yard game
Prepare for summer with this ring toss game. Both kids and adults can play, and the goal is to get as many rings on the poles as possible.
The sixth day of Christmas gift ideas
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying
Gudetama lazy egg plush
Gudetama is the laziest egg around. He probably didn’t come from a goose, but since he’s so soft and plush, it probably won’t make a big difference. Plus, he's only $10, which makes him one of the most affordable 12 days of Christmas gifts!
Untitled Goose Game for Switch
For the gamer in your life, Untitled Goose Game is a must. While it sounds like a half-finished game in development, it’s actually a hit Nintendo Switch title that lets you play as a goose in a small town.
The seventh day of Christmas gift ideas
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming
Swan color changing mug
Make morning coffee more interesting with a color-changing swan mug. At first glance, it’s just two swans on a black background, but then the heat of your beverage will transform the mug into a vibrant landscape with flowers.
Black Swan movie
Why not get in a mind-bender during the Christmas holidays? “Black Swan,” tells the tale of a ballerina who will dive deep into character in order to snag the lead role in a production of Swan Lake.
The eighth day of Christmas gift ideas
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking
Reusable milk bottles
Do some good for the environment while giving your friend a matching set of glass milk bottles. Certainly, they can use them for milk, but they’re also good for cocktails or flavored water. Like the idea of an eco-friendly gift? Check out our sustainable Christmas gift guide!
Spa milk salt
The ninth day of Christmas gift ideas
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Nine ladies dancing
Dance stretch strap
This is one of the best 12 days of Christmas gifts because it helps you stretch out after a big holiday dinner. Use this leg stretcher strap to improve flexibility and mobility.
Dance party light
Keep the party going all night long with a dance party light! There’ll be more than just nine ladies dancing when this seven-lighting mode disco ball gets turned on.
The tenth day of Christmas gift ideas
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Ten lords a-leaping
Help your friend get an early start on their New Year’s resolutions with this jump rope. The 6-inch memory foam handles are easy to hold, and you can easily adjust the length of the rope for most heights.
Jump into action with a sweet frog brooch. It’s made of alloy, so it’s durable enough to be pinned on purses, shirts, coats, hats, and more.
The eleventh day of Christmas gift ideas
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Eleven pipers piping
Piping bag kit
If your friend is a baker, this piping bag set might come just in time to put the finishing touches on this year’s holiday desserts. It includes six stainless steel tips, a reusable pastry bag, and a plastic coupler.
Let the pipes of this wind chime play your loved one a beautiful melody every time a breeze blows in. The six metal pipes are tuned so you’ll hear elegant chords.
The twelfth day of Christmas gift ideas
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming
Chopsticks are basically like mini drumsticks! They’re an excellent choice for all Asian food buffs, and since this set comes with 10 pairs, you can use one when you’re visiting.
It is Christmas, after all, so it makes sense to gift at least one ornament. This drum ornament fits the bill with amazing detail at just 3.5 inches tall.
Shop smart with these 12 days of Christmas gift ideas
So the 12 days of Christmas gifts don’t have to be big. It’s the thought that counts and all of the gift ideas for the 12 days of Christmas mentioned above are considerate and useful.
Another good thing about the 12 days of Christmas gifts? There are only 12 of them, which is great if you sometimes get carried away and don’t know when to stop shopping. With your budget set and your gift list made, the only thing left to do is start wrapping.
As you plan out your gifts, definitely check our best Christmas Eve box ideas for toddlers and kids!
Remember to open up a dedicated savings account for gift money. This will also help you set spending limits! Learn more about budgeting, saving money, and being frugal with our completely free courses and worksheets!