12 Dates of Christmas

Christmas is a busy season. From parties, to family get together sans trying to “do it all”. I often found it became very difficult to really enjoy the season. Then one day I watched the movie on what’s now Freeform called the 12 Dates of Christmas and while it’s repeat dates it sparked an idea. 

So for at least the last 6 years at Christmas my husband and I have done the 12 Dates of Christmas. The last 2 years we have incorporated a mix of family dates with just Mommy and Daddy Dates.  This all started when we lived in Orlando and I worked at Walt Disney World where it was really easy to come up with so many Christmas dates. One of my favorite dates was when we left for Chicago Christmas night the first year we had off at Christmas, and we did many of our Christmas dates while there. 

I’ve had to get a little more creative over the years, but that is all the fun in it. While I will say last year we didn’t get to 12 Dates as between the 3 of us we spent a lot of December sick we tried the best we could. This has truly become one of my absolute favorite Christmas Traditions. My best friend and her fiance started this tradition as well a few years ago  after we did and got engaged on their 12th date of Christmas last year! Even though it wasn’t my date it is one of my favorite 12 Dates of Christmas stories. 

 

So how do we come up with all our dates, and are they all actually going out  and spending money on  dates? No definitely not we actually do a lot of free dates. So here are some tips for planning the 12 Dates of Christmas for your spouse and family.

1. Think of things you already do at Christmas 

  •  pick out a Christmas Tree
  • decorate the tree 
  • movies you watch 

2. Look for events in Your Area 

  • Christmas Parades 
  • Tree Lightings
  • plays or shows in the area

3. Get Creative 

  • are you traveling for the holidays? Look in the local area festivities 
  • service projects/ giving back
  • Church Services

Here are some ideas of some of our favorite Adult only Christmas Dates 

Ones for the Whole Family

For anyone spending any time at Disney 

I will say we do try to start this before Thanksgiving sometimes, and may go up until New Years. I love Christmas, I decorate early because it takes me a while to do and I want time to enjoy it, and that’s the same for all the activities. When we lived in Florida we started really early because Disney Christmas starts early. It was fun last year to incorporate a few  Disney things in again, and this year we will do the same with more!  

One thing we always incorporate is Christmas Eve service at Church. It’s super important to make sure we are truly celebrating the reason for the season. 

We truly value our family time, and time together. So slow down this Christmas season and spend more time with those you love. Cherish the moments and Celebrate the Season together. I’ll be sharing some new things we are doing this season over the next few weeks here and on my social media (follow me here) and I want to hear  about your dates too so tag me in your post or email me for a chance to be featured. 

Disney’s Toy Story Date Night In

Disney’s Toy Story Date Night In

 

Today starts my Date Night In Series.  Dating your spouse is so important! When you add a child into the mix, the dynamic of things change. Those weekly date nights, time alone with just your spouse become few and far between. By the time bedtime rolls around for the kids you are just plain exhausted. Budgets can be tight not allowing for a date night and a sitter, and even schedules can get crazy. However you can’t let that foundation you set for your marriage fade. That is why date nights even if they are not out of the home are so important.

We are lucky that we have grandparents that watch our daughter about once a month so we can get out. Otherwise we would not have nights out very often at all. Not everyone has that option, and lets be real leaving a young child with a sitter is hard. Because of this and our need to make sure we are creating that time more than once a month we started Date Nights In at our house.

I am not talking always starting up Netflix and getting cozy on the couch more often. I am talking really creating a night where you can talk, dream, and inspire each other and have that one on one time without the distractions. That can even be tough on a real date night out. Find things to do that maybe take you back to things you used to love to do together.

I love to create things with a theme.  These date nights at home give me the ability to do so. When my daughter is old enough to watch and enjoy these things I can see many family themed date nights with movies in our future. I love to plan also, and as a Mom I’ve lost the ability to be creative as often as I would like to be so this gives me the ability to do it a few times a month.

A lot of this all started when I created our 12 Dates of Christmas.Something that has been a tradition of ours for the last 6 years or more. I’ll share more about that when Christmas is closer. I’ve been picking my brain for sometime about the things we loved to do and a lot of our most favorite dates night take us back to Disney Date nights from our time in Florida. The first date night in My Date Night In series, is Toy Story themed.

When we lived in Florida we absolutely loved hitting up the parks for really fun yet simple date nights. One of our favorites was to hit up Hollywood Studios for Pizza Planet and Toy Story Mania. (It was best during the non busy times.) Of course we would hit the other parks too. The goal was to create that at home for us and I did just that!

So the making of this date night was combined of homemade pizza, a Sheriff Woody inspired drink we called ” There’s a Snake in my Boot”, White Chocolate Chex Mix, and the Nintendo Wii Toy Story Midway Mania game. We also decided to pop in Toy Story 3 when we tired out from the game.

The Sheriff Woody inspired drink was actually fairly simple. Add 1.5 oz of Bourbon into a cup, top with  Ale 8 One which is a soda from Kentucky that is kind of a mix of Sprite and Ginger Ale. You can find it here. The glass bottle is better if you just want to drink it but we stock up when we go to Kentucky. These are a tad pricey to order online but you can sometimes find them at a local Kroger or Harris Teeter. Even Cracker Barrel sometimes has them as  they have started to expand outside of Kentucky! Add a few gummy worms and you have a “There’s A Snake In My Boot.” If you don’t have these just use ginger ale.

The recipe for the White Chocolate Chex Mix can be found here. Its super easy and the perfect movie snack!

We had the best time being competitive with each other playing Toy Story Mid Way Mania. Sometimes it is easy to forget how much fun you can have. For the dinner portion we decided it would be a non family dinner  night. We were more than ok and we would have dinner just the 2 of us after our daughter was in bed. It was the perfect time for conversation which does not happen much at dinner anymore. We are both are lucky enough to eat while trying to make sure our daughter is fed, not attempting to find a way out of her high chair, or dumping her plate on the floor.

There are so many ways you can create these great date nights at home. Most of this one with our grocery budget or things we already have in the house so this can definitely be done on a budget. Make sure to stay tuned as more Date Night In’s are coming every Friday in the month of June!

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