An Excuse to Extend the Holidays for a Friend in Need

The holidays can be rough for going through tough times. However, the time after the holidays can often be even more sad and lonely.

The Backstory

It is hard to believe that so much time has passed, but eleven years ago our friend Laura’s brain cancer had gotten to the point that she couldn’t sit up for long, let alone, leave the house. Her sister organized a caroling party to help lift Laura’s spirits and it was a success. Laura enjoyed the caroling so much that she didn't want to see the holidays end. Thus began the first annual celebration of the 12 Days of Friendship.

Determined to extend the holiday season for Laura that year, we all worked quickly to transform the familiar Christmas tune (of a very similar name) into something that would bring her joy and let her know we were still there for her.

Extending the Joy of the Holidays

Not that you ever need one, but the 12 Days of Friendship are an excuse to continue to connect with friends that need some extra love, during those sometimes-dreaded days after the holiday.

Since leaping lords, turtledoves, and swimming swans aren’t the most practical (or affordable) of gifts, we came up with other clever, and often silly, ways to celebrate.

For twelve days starting on Christmas Day, Laura received cards and gifts that followed the theme of the well-known song. For example, "On the first day of Christmas, my friends gave to me, sparkling juice from a pear tree.”

How It Works

This year, we continue to carry on this tradition and offer the following suggestions to make it easier for you to help out a friend in-need.

Gather a group of 12 friends and assign each friend a day. (You can organize this easily by creating a WhatFriendsDo team page, but you certainly don’t have to!). Each friend then delivers or sends a card and gift based on the theme that day. Many of these gifts can even be sent to your friend straight from Amazon!

Take a look at some of the ideas we’ve pulled together for this year! And stay tuned for our next blog post with even more tips about how to pull off this special gift for a friend.

On the Second Day of Friendship, my good friend gave to me - Two Turtle Doves

For Day 2, give your friend turtles and doves, chocolate that is!

On the Seventh Day of Friendship, my good friend gave to me -- Seven Swans a Swimming

For Day 7, let your friend float like a the bathtub. Send some bubble bath and maybe a few rubber ducks just for fun.

On the Tenth Day of Friendship, my good friend gave to me -- Ten Lords a Leaping

For Day 10, leaping lords get sore feet. A Spafinder gift card for a pedicure makes a great gift. A pedicure set can be handy in the hospital.

While celebrating the 12 Days of Friendship all those years ago, our friend, Laura, truly enjoyed each day and looked forward to the next. She was inspired and we were inspired. We hope this season you can celebrate your own WhatFriendsDo 12 Days of Friendship. Please share your ideas and photos with us on social media, and maybe your idea can be featured next year!