HEREHappy Holidays, readers! It’s Bethany here today, and I am so excited to be sharing this blog post with you during the Christmas season!
All right, picture this: I’m sitting on the couch after work, and my husband comes in and asks, “What would you like to do tonight?”. To which I always respond, “What would you like to do tonight?”. We tear open our blinds for inspiration and are swiftly reminded that “fall back” has conquered the sky. At 5:00 p.m. it already looks and feels like midnight. At this point, it’s easier to watch Netflix and call it good.
I’m all for binge watching Parks and Rec, New Girl, or whatever show you might be captivated by (I’m told I’m crazy for not having started Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead). HOWEVER. The holiday season should be properly celebrated in all its wonder! How much easier would it be to have someone else plan your Christmas dates for you?
I am giving you a list of 12 holiday inspired date ideas. These dates are designed to bring you together during the most joyous season of the year. Once you get out of your comfort zone, you’ll be surprised at how much closer it makes you as a couple. Don’t worry, I threw some binge watching dates in there as well.
While you may not have time to do all of these, you can save some ideas for next year, or opt to do a few off the list.
Let’s get started!
1. Ice Skating
I have a special place in my heart for ice skating dates. Ice skating was my very first date with my husband! For some, this date sounds completely romantic and movie-esque. For others, ice skating sounds like a humiliating situation waiting to happen. The good news is, laughter will surely ensue. Nothing brings out your inner child more than ice skating together. While this can take some getting used to, this activity leaves you plenty of chances for great contact. You might leave with some bruises, but you’ll also leave with some great memories.
**Helpful tip: Call around to some local rinks, and find out the best time to go! Some rinks will offer discounts on certain nights, and some close earlier than you would think. Call ahead for pricing as well.
2. Black and White Christmas Movie Marathon
Yes, this is your binge watching date. While some dates are meant to be adventurous, others should have you in a relaxed and cozy environment. Get in your comfiest pj’s, and curl up with some hot cocoa or cider. Some of the best Christmas movies are the black and white classics! So, why not dedicate an entire night to them?
To get you started, I provided a short list of some of my favorites. There are so many great ones, you might want to make this a week long extravaganza!
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
- Scrooge (1951)
- A Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
- The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
**Helpful tip: I have previously blogged a wonderful hot cider recipe that you can find HERE.
3. Downtown Date–Carriage Ride
This is one of our “splurge” date suggestions. Go to a nearby square and check out the festivities and lights! Where we live, we have a couple downtown squares to choose from. It is worth it to drive to the best one around you, and really spend the night in awe. We usually bundle up, grab a hot chocolate, and walk around until our toes go numb.
This is a great date to soak in the wonderful holiday atmosphere as a couple. If you want to take it up a notch, many larger town squares offer horse drawn carriage rides. Denver surprised me with this once, and it was unforgettable. You must do this at least once in your life. If you’re tight on cash, you can totally opt to just do the walking portion.
**Helpful hint: If you decide upon this date, I would suggest putting your phones away. Maybe you can walk around once and take some cute pictures together, but I would definitely suggest putting them away the rest of the night. This allows you to really enjoy each other in such a beautiful environment.
4. Paint Ornaments and/or Ceramics
This is an activity that I would often do as a child; however, I recommend this activity for adults as well. Why? It gets your creative juices flowing, and it can end up being quite humorous. Last year, Denver and I decided to paint 12 ornaments together. We threw on a Christmas movie in the background and painted away. Some of them did not turn out so fabulously, but I really enjoyed taking it back to one of my favorite childhood activities.
**Helpful Hint: If you decide to do some ceramics, these make for wonderful little gifts for children. It might be fun to have this in mind while painting them. If you decide to paint ornaments together, Hobby Lobby sells some inexpensive clear bulbs that are very easy to paint.
5. Candle Light Service
I would highly recommend attending a Candle Light Service together. I understand that many families enjoy this activity together; however, there are several services offered before Christmas. We suggest this activity as a date because it is important to come together and really think about what Christmas should be centered around. This date allows you to have some spiritual time spent together. In addition to that time spent together, most of these services are incredibly beautiful.
**Helpful Hint: I would suggest asking friends and family for their favorite candle light services in the area.
6. Christmas Picture Scavenger Hunt (Group date!)
This is one of my favorite date ideas on the list. This is a good weekend activity, as you might need to start during daylight and end during the evening. Remember that we suggest this date to be a double date or a group date.
HOW IT WORKS:
This is a picture scavenger hunt! You will need to take your phone or camera, and take a picture of everything you can find on the list I provided below. Break up into couples and make sure you each have access to the scavenger hunt list. Set a time limit that you think is obtainable but challenging. Once your time limit is up, you must meet at a local coffee shop to compare pictures. The couple that has the most pictures of the listed items gets coffee/hot chocolate bought for them by the other couples. This is a fun way to get out of your comfort zone! It ends up being a good laugh.
**Helpful hint: It is even more fun to up the game by adding one extra point for every picture that has one of the team members in the picture with the scavenger hunt item. If you are driving to each destination, please practice safety at all times.
SCAVENGER HUNT LIST:
- Nativity scene
- Charlie Brown
- 3+ Light Up Reindeer in one yard
- Christmas Wreath
- Someone drinking hot chocolate
- An elf
- Moving lights
- Inflatable decorations
- Candy cane
- A dog in a Christmas sweater
- Decorated mailbox
- Silver bells
- A Christmas vest
- “My first Christmas” ornament
- A good deed taking place
- Christmas snow globe
- The Grinch
- Short video of Christmas music playing in a store/shop
- Christmas tree in a window
- A light display that plays music
- Santa clause on a roof
- Over-sized candy cane
- An employee wearing a Santa Hat
- A gift wrapped present
- A gingerbread house
7. Angel Tree
Often times, a Salvation Army or school in your town will have a large Christmas tree with paper angels attached to it. These paper angels will include the age of a boy or girl in need, along with a list of their most wanted Christmas items. Go pick out these items as a couple! It’s really enjoyable to do something for a child that needs some Christmas cheer. If you are completely unaware of what the Angel Tree organization does, you can check out their website HERE.
**Helpful Hint: You can often find out where nearby Angel Trees are locate by asking the local Salvation Army. The earlier into the season you look into this, the better.
8. Ugly Sweater Date
What is the holiday season without a little ugly sweater fun? For this date, you must be willing to go a bit out of your comfort zone. Instead of picking out your own ugly sweater, you must pick out the ugly sweater for your significant other with maximum embarrassment as the goal. Why? This is a friendly little competition.
Once you have exchanged your ugly sweaters, it’s time to have your friends and family vote on the ugliest sweater. This can be done by an easy Facebook post or by physically asking friends and family to vote. Once the ugliest sweater has been selected, the person that purchased the sweater gets a Christmas treat of their choosing. Have you been wanting to see a certain Christmas movie? Have you been wanting to have a certain Christmas drink? The winner shall receive it! This date is much more fun if you continue to wear the ugly sweaters the rest of the night. You might be embarrassed, but you’ll be embarrassed together.
**Helpful hint: If you cannot find ugly sweaters, opt for the ugliest ornament instead! Christmas sweaters of all shapes and sizes can often be found at Good Will or a simple dollar general store. Please don’t spend heaps of money on an ugly sweater! They can get picked over this time of year, so the earlier in the holiday season you start looking, the better.
9. Attend a Local Children’s Play
This one sounds a bit odd, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one. Nothing will put a smile on your face like watching a children’s performance. You know those puppies that are so ugly that they are cute? This is a similar concept. Cheesy children’s plays= adorable. Laughter is sure to follow.
*Helpful hint: Contact friends or family for a list of local plays.
10. Christmas Lights Drive
Put together the best Christmas music playlist you can find, and hop in the car for one of the classiest Christmas dates around. My family has done this for years, but this can also be a super fun date! Drive around local neighborhoods and take in all the festive lights that you can. Although we had some alternative dates in mind for you, this one just has to make the list.
*Helpful hint: We feel like 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm is a good time to start this drive. This gives people enough time to get home and turn on their lights, and this allows you time to drive around before people start turning them off for bed.
11. Volunteer as a Couple
While there are so many other activities that could have made our list, we feel that this one is incredibly important. Let me tell you, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities out there. Denver and I volunteered in the community for Thanksgiving this year, and we will be doing the same for Christmas!
Why volunteer as a couple?
Volunteering in the community gives you more joy than you will ever know until you experience it. While this is a cheerful time of year for many, some families are struggling horribly. In the past, Denver and I have made excuses as to why we can’t do this. We’re too tired after work, or it’s more fun to do something else. You name it, we’ve thought it. I encourage you to think differently for at least one date. Volunteering allows you to give one of the most precious gifts of all: your time. Not only does this benefit the community, but it is a GREAT bonding experience for a couple. Win. Win. Win. Speaking from personal experience, it is so worth it to give your time. Here are some volunteer ideas to get you started:
- Deliver meals
- Visit a senior
- Angel Tree
- Toys for Tots
**Helpful Hint: Contact your local Salvation Army or City of Commerce for some volunteer events in your local area.
12. Sunrise/Sunset Yearly Reflection
Before you automatically discount this date because of the cold, I have a warmer option for you as well. I don’t think I’m alone in that I enjoy quality time and open communication. But how do you make this fun? One of the best ways to do this is to spend some time watching the sunrise or sunset. There’s something special about dedicating time to wake up early just to reflect on God’s beauty. Not everyone is awake during sunrise, and there’s something about catching it together that is just plain magical. While it can be tough to wake up early enough to watch the sunrise, it would definitely be my first choice because of the seclusion. Bundle up and take a hot drink and some blankets, and find somewhere special to look back on the year. For example, Denver and I like to hike to a local look out spot.
If rising early is out of the question, opt for the sunset option. If hiking a mountain trail seems like an unrealistic option for you, we have found that lakes are also a great place to reflect! (pun intended)
What are these warmer options I spoke about earlier? For those of you who are less enthused for this adventurous idea, park at a local sunset location and talk in the heat of the car! As long as you’re talking and watching the sun go down or up, you’ve completed the task.
Sunrise/sunset dates are hands down some of the most cherished dates I’ve had with my husband. Don’t let the year go by without giving this date a shot.
**Helpful hint: Be sure to use an app or Google to research the time the sun rises or sets in your area and plan accordingly. Partly sunny days emit the best color. Completely sunny days are your next best option. If it’s completely cloudy outside, you’ll never see it. Trust me, we’ve tried.
This concludes our 12 dates of Christmas!
We love hearing from you, so please feel free to leave a comment, ask questions, or say hello. You can keep up with our holiday experiences on Instagram at @OakAndEarth and on my personal Instagram BethanyMPoteet. While I have listed some great options for couples, you can get a list of more family oriented ideas by visiting Tera’s latest post HERE! We have more Christmas posts to follow, so stay tuned.