12 Days of Christmas Ideas for Work

The 12 Days of Christmas, also called Twelvetide, is a celebration representing the period between Christ’s birth and the arrival of the three wise men. 12 Days of Christmas ideas for work are fun ways to celebrate the Nativity of Christ with colleagues. Examples include Charity Services, Candlelight Dinner, and Workplace Decoration. You and your colleagues can commemorate the celebration in your workspace or an out-of-office environment.

This celebration is an example of holiday team building ideas and Christmas spirit week ideas for work.

This article includes:

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  • 12 days of Christmas themes for work
  • 12 days of Christmas activity ideas for work
  • 12 days of Christmas office games
  • virtual 12 days of Christmas ideas for work

So, here are the best ideas you can use to mark the 12 Days of Christmas with your team!

List of 12 Days of Christmas ideas for work

From having a cookie-baking contest to inviting a virtual caroler, here are exciting ways you and your colleagues can mark this celebration,

1. Bring Your Kids and Pets to Work Day

Organizing a “Bring Your Kids and Pets to Work” experience is one of the most fun 12 dDys of Christmas ideas for work. During the event, you can mingle with your coworkers and meet with their children and pets.

You should plan kids-friendly activities to keep the event entertaining for all guests. You can invite Santa Claus, create a pet playground, and prepare Christmas coloring books. In addition, you can arrange a tour around your company for the kids. You can also organize a scavenger hunt and have the kids search for Christmas ornaments hidden around the office.

After the event, your staff and their kids will have lovely memories.

2. Charity Services

12 Days of Christmas has long been a tradition of giving back to the community. You and your coworkers can participate in a wide range of charity services, from visiting nursing homes to donating to homeless shelters. You can partner with a non-profit organization to reach out to people in need during this period.

You can also organize fundraising events and donate the money to a charity organization. A good idea would be to partner with a local cinema or fitness center to host a public event and charge a fee for attendance. Then you can donate the proceed to a charity organization. One way to structure this activity is to do one act of altruism a day for the duration of the two weeks.

3. Award Ceremony

You can organize an award ceremony during the 12 Days of Christmas to celebrate your employees. While planning, you can come up with various award categories. Fun employee award ideas for 12 Days of Christmas include Hardest Working Elf, Rudolph of the Year, and The Adorable Snowman.

You can create a poll and have employees vote for coworkers who fit the award titles. Also, you would want to plan entertainment to keep the event lively, from Christmas-centric games to caroling services. Award ceremonies are also part of the virtual 12 Days of Christmas ideas for work. You can use an elaborate Christmas backdrop to set the atmosphere right during the ceremony. You can also create customized medals to award employees online.

4. Ice Carving Contest

A great way to introduce fun while celebrating 12 Days of Christmas is to host an ice carving contest. Ice carving is an act of creating sculptures out of ice. The event will spark excitement among your employees. If your workers are unfamiliar with the activity, then you can invite an expert for training or demonstration.

First, you will need to reserve a safe space where your attendees can work. After, you can follow these steps for the activity:

  1. Divide your group into teams.
  2. Give all participants a safety briefing.
  3. You can have an expert give a demonstration before the participants start.
  4. Provide each team with the needed supplies, from ice and chisel to gloves and aprons.
  5. After, participants can get hands-on to create unique sculptures.

Depending on your skill level, you can create 12 Days of Christmas-themed sculptures, from turtle doves to swans. You can also come along with employees’ favorite beverages for an unforgettable “sip and carve” experience. In the end, appoint an expert or non-participating attendees to judge the winner.

5. Secret Santa

Secret Santa is a classic holiday tradition where coworkers randomly pick a colleague and act as their secret Santa. The secret Santa will anonymously give a gift to the selected person. Then the giftee tries to guess who sent the gift.

This experience is one of the best workplace 12 Days of Christmas ideas. You can follow these steps to play Secret Santa:

  • Write down the names of your team members on pieces of paper.
  • Then fold and place the paper into a hat or bowl.
  • Next, invite your colleagues to write down their desired gifts. You can place a price limit on gift suggestions to ensure all participants can afford the items.
  • After, each participant will draw a folded paper from the hat and be the Secret Santa for the person whose name is on the paper.

The game’s ultimate rule is simple: Try to stay undercover while surprising your coworker with a gift. You can host a party or a virtual meeting to exchange gifts anonymously.

To make the activity more conducive to the 12 Days of Christmas, participants can give each other a small gift each day for 12 days instead of one big present. Players will try to guess their match before the end of those 12 days.

Here are virtual gift exchange ideas.

6. Painting Adventure

Painting is an exciting activity ideal for 12 Days of Christmas celebrations. This work activity is excellent for both large and small groups. A good idea will be to divide your group into small teams. Then ask each team to paint a work relating to the popular 12 Days of Christmas song. For example, two turtle doves, French hens, and golden rings. Before your event, you should prepare the needed art, including paints, brushes, canvases, and aprons. You can also prepare hot beverages for your colleagues.

This painting adventure is ideal for participants at any skill level. Therefore, you can have a blast and create unique paintings even without expert instruction. In the end, you and your colleagues can compare your creation and decorate the office with the artwork.

7. Name That Carol

Name That Carol is one of the exciting 12 Days of Christmas office games. The game’s objective is for players to guess the title of a particular carol just by hearing a few words or notes from the song. You can play the game following these steps:

  1. Divide your group into small teams or let participants play individually.
  2. List out popular carols and write down three to four keywords from the songs.
  3. Next, go through the game’s rules with the participants.
  4. Also, you should decide the style of playing the game. For instance, you can encourage participants to jump to their feet to name the carol. The first player to answer correctly wins a point.
  5. Also, you can place the pieces of paper containing the keywords and ask teams to take turns picking a paper. If the team cannot name the carol after three trials, then you can pass the turn to the next team.

In addition, if participants are playing individually, then you can decide to award a cookie for each correct answer. The player or team with the most points wins the game.

Check out more virtual Christmas games.

8. Christmas Shows

Making time to watch festive movies is a great way to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas. You can ask your teammates to volunteer their favorite holiday films. Also, you can watch live Christmas movies and shows in a local theater.

A unique idea will be to have your group create a Christmas skit. You can download a free script online or have your group members come up with an original storyline. Also, you should prepare the props for your skit, depending on your storyline. The props are objects that a character interacts with during the scene. Examples include fairy costumes for angels having wings, plates of cookies, a Christmas tree, and a Santa suit.

If you have a larger group, then you can divide the actors into small teams. After, have each team create and film a unique skit. Then, you can organize a mini film festival to showcase the films you and your colleagues produced. Alongside appropriate budgeting, you should prepare a good venue for your event. Also, you can appoint a crew within your group to take care of food, lights, and screening.

9. Cookie Bake-Off

Organizing a cookie bakeoff is one of the most fun 12 Days of Christmas activity ideas for work. First, you should inform your team about the contest and encourage interested members to participate. After, secure a great location and time for the event.

You can provide the needed ingredients or ask each participant to bring their own ingredients. Then decide on how you want to judge the winner. If all participants follow the same recipe, then you can choose the winner based on the fastest or the tastiest cookies. In the end, you and your employees can sit together for a memorable cookie-tasting experience. You can also arrange hot chocolate or mulled wine to pair with the baked goodies.

10. Christmas Party

You can celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas by throwing an office Christmas party. While planning the event, You should set a reasonable budget. Also, decide on the best location to use, whether your office or an out-of-work-environment.

You can make the party theme “12Days of Christmas” and encourage attendees to go creative with costumes. You can also spice up the event with festive games like a cookie decorating competition, Christmas trivia, or two truths and one lie. In addition, consider offering attendees beverages and meals to fuel the fun. Plus, you can invite a caroler to impress your guests with good music that compliments the season.

Here is a list of Christmas party ideas.

11. Candlelight Dinner

Candlelight remains a significant tradition in commemorating the 12 Days of Christmas. Therefore, you can treat your colleagues to a festive dinner with a unique touch of candlelight. You can reserve a space with an intimate setting for this event.

A candlelight dinner is also one of the best virtual 12 Days of Christmas ideas for work. Before the gathering, you and your colleagues should agree on your event menu. Then you can send the meal recipes to your team so attendees can prepare the same food on the event day. Also, ask your guests to light their favorite candles while you enjoy a memorable virtual gathering. You can also send winter-scented candles as gifts for your teammates.

Whether you have the event in person or virtually, you should plan entertainment. For instance, you can invite a caroler, play secret Santa, or have a dance session.

12. Virtual Caroler

If you plan to celebrate your next 12 Days of Christmas online, then you can surprise your team by inviting a virtual caroler. Carolers are usually professional musicians who sing Christmas songs to delight the audience. Depending on the service your book, your guests can participate in the singing. In most cases, the price for hiring a caroling service will depend on the number of singers and booked duration.

You and your team will enjoy all your favorite carols during the performance. You can expect favorite classics like “Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Silent Night,” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Furthermore, ensure you plan the surprise carol party on a day when you can guarantee maximum attendance during your virtual meeting. Otherwise, you can inform your teammates ahead of the event.

13. Workplace Decoration

Decorating the office with employees is one of the most fun 12 Days of Christmas activities for work. Before decorating, you and your colleagues should agree on the decor to use.

For example, you can:

  • Decorate a Christmas tree
  • Place Christmas ornaments around the office
  • Use a wonderland winter theme
  • Have each employee decorate their desk

Getting everyone involved is a great way to make the experience even more fun. You and your employees can create Christmas-themed decor yourselves, from garlands and wreaths to paper ornaments. You can also use winter wonderland decorations, which is one of the best 12 days of Christmas themes for work. Decorating your workplace will create a festive atmosphere that compliments the celebration.

Check out more Xmas office decorating ideas.

14. Trivia Showdown

You can host a highly immersive trivia showdown during your next 12 Days of Christmas at work. Before the event, you should prepare trivia questions that can center around Twelvetide. Participants can play in teams or individually. You can also increase participation by reserving gifts for the winning team or player.

In addition, you should appoint a neutral teammate to read out the questions and grade the scores. You can decide the number of points for each question. In the end, the team with the highest points wins the game. 12 Days of Christmas trivia showdown makes a great add-on to your special events, from carol parties to candlelight dinners.

Here are Xmas trivia questions.

15. Cookie Exchange Party

Hosting a cookie exchange party is one of the most exciting 12 Days of Christmas ideas for work. A cookie exchange party involves guests bringing an assortment of cookies and sharing the baked goodies with other attendees. You can simply throw a small party in your office or rent event space. You should decide on a convenient date and inform employees ahead of the party.

Furthermore, ensure you use a space large enough for attendees to move around and mingle. Alongside getting to know your colleague, you can also learn a unique recipe for making delicious cookies. To make the event enjoyable for all attendees, you can inquire about employees’ dietary requirements and make various cookies available to suit different needs.

You and your colleagues will create beautiful memories in this cookie-tasting event.

16. 12 Days of Hot Chocolate

12 Days of Hot Chocolate is one of the exciting experiences to share with colleagues in the days leading up to the Epiphany. Each day, you and your teammates can try different hot chocolate mixes. You can also pair different bites with your beverages, including cookies, marshmallows, almonds, and burgers.

Alternatively, you can taste 12 different chocolate mixes with your team in one day. During the experience, you and your colleagues can learn more about your preference, from white hot chocolate to dark hot chocolate. You can also leave the work environment and visit a nearby cafe.

17. Photo Booth

Setting up festive photo booths is one of the most interesting workplace 12 Days of Christmas ideas. A creative option is to set up 12 booths, if possible. Then each booth will have unique props highlighting each day of Christmas, following the popular “12 Days of Christmas” song.

You can also use these ideas if you plan to host a special party for employees. You and your group members can work together to create the booths and bond over the process. You can also rent professional photography equipment to make your photos unique. A polaroid camera will be a great choice if you can afford to buy or rent the device. Guests can have their photos taken and printed instantly. However, since the camera’s film is fairly expensive, you can limit the number of pictures allowed per guest to save costs.

18. 12 Days of Gift-Giving

You can plan a unique gift-giving experience lasting 12 days to mark the 12 Days of Christmas. During the experience, attendees will exchange gifts with one another. From handcrafted items to mugs and cookies, you will find an assortment of affordable gifts to make your coworker feel special. You can also set a price limit on gifts to encourage all teammates to participate.

A good idea will be to split your employees into pairs. Then ask each pair to exchange gifts on the first day. You can switch the pairs on other days to ensure everyone gets a gift from a different person.

Check out these top employee gift ideas.

19. Desk Decoration Contest

A Desk Decoration Contest is one of the best 12 Days of Christmas office games. This event gives employees the liberty to decorate the desks anyhow they prefer. You can keep your workspace stunning even with simple ornaments and decorative items.

Engaging employees in a decoration contest is a great way to boost morale, increase productivity at work, and have fun together. You can also center the activity around a festive theme. In the end, you can judge which desk deserves the award of “best decorated.”

20. 12 Days of Christmas Accounting.

Doing a 12 Days of Christmas Accounting with your colleagues is a fun tradition to incorporate at work. The activity revolves around calculating the cost of each gift featured in the “12 Days of Christmas” song. For example, prices of gifts like Nine Ladies Dancing, 11 Pipers Piping, and 12 Drummers Drumming can also be the cost of watching the live performances. You can make comparing these prices every year a tradition during the holidays.

Doing a 12 Days of Christmas Accounting provides your colleague with Christmas gift inspirations. Also, the prices usually vary by year and vendor. You can ask each employee to research the current prices. Then write down the average or most reasonable price on your 12 Days of Christmas accounting list.


The 12 Days of Christmas celebration usually runs from December 25 till the sixth day of January. You and your teammates can observe these days in many ways. You can host a party or go creative with painting activities. Also, you can use the opportunity to bond with your colleagues by sharing hot chocolate and chatting. This festive season makes a significant period to give back to the community. You can also consider decorating your office to get your staff and customers in the holiday spirit. 12 Days of Christmas is a fun tradition and is even more fun when shared with your colleagues. If your office celebrates this festive season, then you can keep up with the tradition. If not, then you can consider using these ideas for 12 Days of Christmas to create a fun work tradition that employees will always look forward to experiencing.

Next, check out Christmas contest ideas.

FAQ: 12 Days of Christmas ideas for work

Here are answers to questions about 12 Days of Christmas ideas for work.

What is a workplace 12 Days of Christmas?

Workplace 12 Days of Christmas is a seasonal tradition that marks the Nativity of Christ in a fun way with employees. The experience runs from the 25th day of December to the 5th day of January. Celebrating this tradition is fun to bond with your team and get involved in Christmas Countdown.

How do you do 12 Days of Christmas ideas in the office?

You can do 12 Days of Christmas ideas in the office by doing different activities and events in the weeks leading up to the holiday. By decorating your office, you can create a festive atmosphere and get your colleagues in the holiday spirit. Chances are that not everyone will celebrate Christmas or share the same religious belief in the workplace. Therefore, you can incorporate a more generalized theme like Winter Wonderland, Cookie Exchange, or Comfort and Joy to encourage everyone to participate. Also, you can fuel the fun by adding food and beverages to your plan. If you want to host a special event that involves weeks of planning, then you should inform attendees ahead of the occasion. You should also secure a comfortable venue, time, and dates for the event. Furthermore, you can plan fun activities like a gift exchange session, icebreakers, or friendly contests between employees.

What are some good 12 Days of Christmas gift ideas for work?

Some good 12 Days of Christmas gift ideas you can give to your coworkers include homemade cookies, scented candles, DIY five golden rings, a Christmas Garland, a ticket to a fun show, a CD of Christmas carol karaoke, travel mugs, a nutcracker figurine, chocolate bars, and Christmas painting. You can also center the gifts around the famous “12 Days of Christmas” song, like two turtle doves on the second day, swan-shaped soaps on the seventh day, and a pair of ballet slippers on the ninth day.

Author: Carly Hill

Arguably the #1 Christmas fan. I believe it’s never too early to get started decorating your next tree!

Carly Hill

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