The 12 Days of Christmas in Sidewalk Chalk

During Covid times, a twist on the caroling tradition.

Last time we checked in with Audrey and Sully Portner it was late April, and the Arlington twins were spending their days creating a series of whimsical driveway chalk murals depicting the activities they missed most during quarantine. Fast forward to the 2020 holiday season and the brother and sister are back at it, with a whimsical rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Put your singing caps on and follow along.

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

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A partridge in a pear tree…

“Over Thanksgiving break, our family was reminiscing about the Christmas traditions we wouldn’t be able to do this year due to Covid,” says the twins’ mom, Courtney. “The weather was so pretty and warm that we decided it might be fun to break out the chalk again.”

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Two turtle doves…

Their older sister, Hannah, suggested illustrating the popular Christmas carol and the idea took off—with some creative liberties.

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Three French hens…

Audrey and Sully are fifth-graders at The Langley School. They dream of one day traveling again, post pandemic.

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Four calling birds…

For now, at least, there are phone calls to catch up with grandparents and friends.

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FIVE….GOLDEN…RINGS

“As the days progressed, we started adding goofy things like gold pants or ladybug wings to what we were wearing to keep it interesting and silly,” Courtney says from their home in Arlington’s Overlee Knolls neighborhood, where the driveway has once again become a blank canvas.

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Six geese a laying…

“One of the bigger challenges isn’t necessarily the cooler weather, but the sun setting so much earlier,” their mom reports. “Most of drawings take around three hours to complete, so we try to make sure we use the weekends or the days we are off school to our advantage.”

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Seven swans a swimming…

During the pandemic, Sully’s swim club (NCAP) is “braving the chilly elements and currently swimming outside at an Arlington pool because it lost access to its indoor pool due to Covid,” Courtney says.

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Eight maids a milking…

Quite a prolific cow here…

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Nine lady(bugs) dancing…

A few teachers from Audrey’s former dance studio, Adagio (which closed in the spring), recently formed a new studio in Arlington— the Virginia Dance Conservatory. It’s kept Audrey busy dancing five days a week.

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10 lords a leaping…

Leaping lizards! Okay, make that frog princes…

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11 pipers piping…

Old-school Super Mario Bros. shout out?

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12 drummers drumming…

And a partridge in a pear tree.  The days may be shorter and darker, but this family’s creativity is a bright spot. Merry Christmas to all!

Categories: Parents & Kids
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