Twelve Days of Christmas


Share in the fun of a happy Christmas feeling. On a piece of paper write the following list of words, cut out, mix up, and paste them in the blank spaces as you read this true story.

jars of jelly

candy canes for the tree

long-stemmed red roses

presents wrapped in red

bags of cookies

pieces of pink divinity

pieces of fruit

chewy popcorn balls

loaves of date bread

lace-trimmed handkerchiefs

pieces of fruitcake

pieces of candy

decorated gingerbread men

cakes

Mrs. Gallagher finished trimming her small Christmas tree. Beneath the tree she carefully placed each small figure in the manger scene.

“Dear me, dear me,” exclaimed Mrs. Gallagher, “Christmas is only twelve days away and I still haven’t felt a happy Christmas spirit. My tree looks lovely and I have received many cards and packages through the mail. Now why am I feeling sad?”

Mrs. Gallagher went to her bay window and watched the six children next door help their father bring in a large Christmas tree.

“Now there’s the answer to my question right before my eyes,” exclaimed Mrs. Gallagher. “I’m lonesome. My children are grown and can’t come home for Christmas this year. I won’t be able to share Christmas with my grandchildren.”

Mrs. Gallagher blinked and a few tears ran down the wrinkles in her cheeks.

“Say, I’ve got to do something besides stand here and cry,” said Mrs. Gallagher. “And I think I’ll start by making some ginger-cream cookies to share with my neighbors. Then I’ll sit at my old pump organ and play some Christmas songs.”

Mrs. Gallagher was taking the last batch of cookies out of the oven and was about to sit down at her organ when the doorbell rang.

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Gallagher,” the children from next door sang out and Mary Lynn, the oldest girl, handed Mrs. Gallagher a package with a note on top.

The children stayed a little while to visit and to enjoy some fresh, warm cookies. As soon as they left, Mrs. Gallagher read the note and opened her package.

On the first day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
One large loaf of bread.

“What a nice Christmasy thing to do,” said Mrs. Gallagher delightedly as she taped the note to her bay window. She enjoyed the bread and some ginger-creams with her supper that evening.

The doorbell rang before Mrs. Gallagher had even finished breakfast the next morning.

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Gallagher,” said the children from next door again, and Erick handed Mrs. Gallagher a package with a note on top.

The children stayed just a minute. When they left, Mrs. Gallagher read the note and opened the package.

On the second day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Two ____________________.

“Another surprise!” exclaimed Mrs. Gallagher and she taped the note to her bay window. What thoughtful children I have living next door to me, she thought.

The next day the doorbell rang as Mrs. Gallagher was sitting down to lunch.

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Gallagher,” called the children and Kathy handed Mrs. Gallagher a package with a note on top.

As soon as they left, Mrs. Gallagher read the note and opened the package.

On the third day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Three ____________________.

Mrs. Gallagher taped another note to her bay window. She was enjoying the visits and all of the presents but she had to admit she was a little surprised.

The next afternoon the doorbell rang and it was the children again. “Merry Christmas, Mrs. Gallagher,” they said all together and Robby handed her a package with a note on top. Mrs. Gallagher smiled when she read the note on the package.

On the fourth day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Four ____________________.

“Now isn’t that thoughtful of those children!” said Mrs. Gallagher. With a happy smile on her face she taped the fourth note to her bay window. The next day when the children came, she was standing near the window waiting and watching.

She opened the front door to greet them. Three-year-old Jeremy handed her a package with a note on top.

When the children left, Mrs. Gallagher read the note and opened the package.

On the fifth day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Five ____________________.

“Just what I love,” said Mrs. Gallagher and she was as happy as could be. “I wonder if the children will come again tomorrow morning,” she said to herself as she taped the fifth note to her bay window.

The children did come the following morning and every morning during the next week to wish Mrs. Gallagher a Merry Christmas. Every afternoon they worked in their kitchen preparing the next day’s note and gift for Mrs. Gallagher. This is what their notes said:

On the sixth day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Six ____________________.
On the seventh day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Seven ____________________.
On the eighth day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Eight ____________________.
On the ninth day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Nine ____________________.
On the tenth day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Ten ____________________.
On the eleventh day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
.Eleven ____________________.

Mrs. Gallagher was more excited than ever on Christmas day as she waited and waited at her bay window.

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Gallagher,” the children called as they climbed up the front steps. Cameron, the smallest child, handed her a package with a note on top.

Mrs. Gallagher smiled with delight and said, “Come in children. I have a Christmas treat for all of you too.”

While the children ate ginger-cream cookies, Mrs. Gallagher sat at her old pump organ and played Christmas songs for them.

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Gallagher,” the children called out as they waved good-bye and, after they were gone, she read the note and opened the package.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
What did Mrs. Gallagher see?
Twelve ____________________.

On the bottom of the note it read, “P.S., We love you, Mrs. Gallagher!”

“What a happy Christmas this turned out to be,” said Mrs. Gallagher. She taped the note to her bay window beside the others.

She left them there all year. And whenever she was lonely she would stand at her bay window and reread her cheery Christmas messages.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie Fuhriman