12 Days of Christmas Food Ideas

Celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with Catholic kids is a great way to remember that the Christmas season keeps on going! We love to celebrate with food because it’s fun, easy, everyone loves food, and afterward you don’t have to figure out what to do with the “crafts” because there’s nothing left- you ate it all! Lol. Also, me and the kids love to have small liturgical celebration “tea parties” where we make themed food, and serve it with lunch for tea. So here are some 12 days of Christmas food ideas to help you celebrate these days this year. 

Food Ideas For Each Of The 12 Days Of Christmas

Partridge in a pear tree food ideas– Symbol for Jesus on the cross

Eat pears of course! You could try this simple recipe to bake pears with walnuts and honey from Best Moms. If you’re in a pinch just serve apple sauce and tell the kids it’s pear sauce 😉 

Display of pears with walnuts and honey

Two turtle doves food ideas– symbol for the old and new testaments of the Bible

You could serve dove chocolates, or you could make these little bible fig newtons to represent the old and new testaments. 

Fig Newtons designed as bibles

 Three French hens food ideas– symbol of the 3 theological virtues from 1 Corinthians 13:13- Faith, Hope, and Love

Obviously you could serve chicken, and also because chickens lay eggs you could serve eggs. So hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs, or even just your favorite way to serve eggs at breakfast time! You could even eat a Chik-fil-a which is one of our favorites! 

Four calling birds food ideas– symbolizing the 4 Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

We like to make this simple bird’s nest snack by starting with a Little Debbie brand Star Crunch cookie (You could also make homemade melted chocolate drop cookies) cut the middle out, and insert candies that look like eggs (such as jelly beans). Easiest birds nest snacks ever!

Birds nest treats

Five golden rings food ideas– symbolizing the Pentateuch (or first five books of the old Testament) Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

There are lots of foods that could symbolize the 5 golden rings! This could include onion rings, Funyuns, doughnuts, or even peach rings! Even simple flower shaped butter cookies could stand for the rings. Be creative! 

Six geese a laying food ideas– symbolizing the 6 days of creation (before God rested)

Serve some toast with gooseberry jam, which you can make yourself with this easy gooseberry jam recipe. Or you know, serve any kind of red jam and call it gooseberry jam. 

Seven swans a swimming food ideas– symbolizing the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord)

Check out these origami wafer cookie swans from Fete Gazette! She has great directions for easily assembling these- no cooking required. Check it out! 

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Wafer cookies made into swans

Eight maids a milking food ideas– symbolizing the 8 beatitudes given to us by Jesus during his sermon on the mount. 

Because they’re “milking”, anything dairy can go! Milkshakes or chocolate milk could be an extra fun way to celebrate this day!

Nine ladies dancing food ideas– symbolizing the 9 fruits of the spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23 (although Catholics do have 12 fruits of the Spirit total, and the other 3 are found in the Catechism)

Check out these super easy to make ballerina pops over on Glitter and Bubbles. She has some great directions for assembling these. 

Marshmallow pops with pink sugar sprinkles on top and paper wrappers as skirts

Ten lords a leaping food ideas– symbolizing the 10 Commandments 

To represent the 10 Lords a Leaping, you could make pigs in a blanket. You could also make popcorn because it “leaps” as it cooks… ok, ok, I may pull a muscle with all this stretching to make that work lol. Ok what about this- you could actually make 10 commandment cookies from nutter butters! 

Eleven pipers piping food ideas– symbolizing the 11 faithful apostles

You can serve some food that is in the shape of pipes! Have ya’ll ever heard of melody pops? I used to LOVE these things when I was a kid!  You can actually blow through them and change the pitch! You could also grab some pirouline cookies which are also “shaped like” pipes.

Twelve drummers drumming food ideas– symbolizing the 12 points of faith from the Apostle’s Creed

Eat chicken drumsticks! Ba dum, cha! 😉 Large pretzel rods could also provide some descent drumsticks. You could also serve individual apple sauce cups “drums” and 2 pretzel stick “drumsticks”. 

Even More 12 Days Of Christmas Resources

Check out my new 12 days of Christmas printable ornament set! You can hang one each day, counting all the days of Christmas. What a fun way to count the days until the Epiphany! The pack also includes several other Catholic feast days that fall during the Christmas season. You can download your set here.

Garland of paper ornaments numbered one through twelve

It includes 15 ornaments that can print as coloring pages, and also a full color version is included.

Closeup of paper ornaments numbered one through twelve

You can find all of my resources for celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with kids here. Also, check out my post about celebrating the Epiphany with Catholic families


  1. Hi Lacy,

    I am continually amazed at the creativity of celebrating our Catholic Faith!

  2. So helpful. Thank you for the work you put into this website. I continue to refer to it throughout the liturgical year. Blessings to you and your family!