Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The 12 Dates of Christmas


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I made "The 12 Dates of Christmas" as a gift for my husband, then fiancĂ©,  Christmas 2013. This gift took lots of researching and planning but didn't cost a ton of money being that a lot of what we did was free. I started working on this gift a few months before Christmas being as we were expecting our first child Christmas Eve. Our daughter was born nine days early and it just so happened to be that I finished making this gift, stuck if under the Christmas tree and went into labor a few hours later, perfect timing if I say so myself.


What Is It?


The 12 Dates of Christmas are twelve preplanned dates for you and your significant other to go on throughout the year. You give the twelve preplanned dates as a Christmas gift and at the beginning of each month they get to open the envelope that includes everything you need for that date.


My Direction Letter:


My Direction Letter
"I read the other day that some of the best advice given to a married couple was to never stop dating each other. Since this is going to be a very busy year with graduation, a new baby, a possible wedding, a new job, and possibly moving again, we may not get a lot of time for each other; so this Christmas I decided I would make it a little easier by giving you the gift of creative dating for the year of 2014.  As you can see there are twelve labeled envelopes.  Inside each envelope is a preplanned date.  At the beginning of each month you can open the envelope to see what date we will be going on that month.  We will then pick a day that month that works for both of us to go on the preplanned date.  Every date consists of something different and few include traveling and maybe a little extra planning but you’ll just have to wait and see! And if you absolutely hate the idea we can come up with something else to do that month and yes we can bring the baby on all of our dates… I think.  I hope you enjoy your “Twelve Daytz of Christmas”.  I love you baby and Merry Christmas!!!"

Date Envelopes:


I decorated each envelope with the month and a hint as to what we would be doing on that date. I then filled the envelopes with a letter explaining our date, print outs that I mainly made of where we would be going or a game we would be playing, gift cards for restaurants and fake money if we needed to spend some cash. I also included some small things like candy or glow sticks if they went with the date. Once everything was in the envelope, I sealed it and placed them in a decorative box I bought at Michael's.


Example of the Date Letters:


"On the FIRST date of Christmas my true love gave to me a nice date to bring out the child in me! Since we have a new baby, lets start with something simple by coloring and watching Disney movies all day long while indulging in some of our favorite childhood foods!!! Included is a list of all the Walt Disney movies created up until now so take a look, pick out a few, and enjoy the show! Once the movie marathon has begun we can pig out on our favorite childhood foods while coloring in your new Disney coloring book. To remember this date lets attempt to create caricature drawings of each other by making us look like Disney characters."


Dates:


Be creative and look for different things going on in your area. I came up with way more than twelve date ideas and combined several, but I'm saving my others for future dates. You can stick to the basic dates like dinner and a movie but I tried to come up with more original dates to keep it interesting. Enjoy!

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January: "The Child in Me"


My husband loves Disney and Mickey Mouse so I created a stay at home date around that idea. We has a Disney movie marathon, ate some of our favorite childhood foods, colored a few pages in a coloring book and attempted Caricature drawings. I included a list of all of the Disney movies ever made for him to pick from (we ended up watching what we had or Netflix Disney Movies), a coloring  book and crayons in the envelope. 

COST: $1.50 for the coloring book and crayons.

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January's Date Envelope
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February: "Get the Scoop"


I got the idea for this date from The Dating Divas: Get the Scoop date. Of coarse I made it my own but all in all its the same idea. For this date we made homemade ice-cream and played a game of Truth, Dare or Would You Rather. The Dating Divas had a print out for the game but I didn't like theirs so I made my own semi-adult version of it with a bunch more cards that related more to our lives. You basically dump all the cards in a bowl, "scoop" out a card and get the "scoop" on each other while enjoying a nice "scoop" of ice-cream. I also included seven simple homemade ice-cream recipes for my husband to choose from. We ended up making two of them but one had to stay in the freezer overnight so we didn't get to enjoy it until the next night but the Five minute strawberry ice-cream we made turned out pretty good. 

COST: Ice Cream Supplies


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February's Date Envelope
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March: "Guy's Night"


This date is suppose to represent what almost every guy loves to do: Sports, Beer and Wings. On this date you will attend a sporting event whether it's free (kids game or school game) or a professional game then after the game grab a bit to eat at a sports bar: wings, beer and watch more sports on TV; the usual guy stuff. I included a $25 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings in the envelope.  

COST: $25 gift card and game entry fee

***We did not get to attend a sports game because it didn't work out but we still went to Buffalo Wind Wings and the movies instead.

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April: "Memory Lane"


April marked three years of dating for us so our date was to re-create our first date to an extent. We played 500 Rummy, ate at Outback Steakhouse and watched a movie on Netflix. We skipped the ice-cream because we were too full from dinner but basically we did things we did at the beginning of our relationship. I included a deck of cards and a $50 Outback gift card in the envelope.  

COST: $50 gift card

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May: "Something Beautiful"


For May we traveled to Louisville, KY where we visited the Louisville Nature Center and 21c Museum Hotel. Both of these places are free. The Nature Center had a butterfly garden and a hiking trail and the 21c Museum Hotel had an Art Gallery on the bottom floor of the hotel. This hotel is in several different locations so check your area if you are interested. We had never been to either of these places and they were alright, worth going to at least once. I do wish the hotel had more art thou, a few of the rooms were closed so maybe they were switching it out. The back up date for this was visit a Zoo and the Art gallery because I wasn't sure if the Nature Center was a legit place with things to do or not.  

COST: Free

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May's Date, hiking at the Louisville Nature Center

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June: "Walk in the Park"


June's date was suppose to be an at home Cake Decorating Class using YouTube Tutorials and Pinterest. (June is my Birthday month if you were wondering why I chose to randomly make a cake) Then to Lake Reba to visit the dog park, go for a walk, and have mini competitions on the playground such as who can swing the highest or who can do the monkey bars the most times in a row. After playing around at the park, find a nice open spot to end the date at the park with none other than cloud watching and a mini Picnic that consist of the cake you made. 

COST: Cake Supplies

***We ended up making an awesome blue zebra cake in March for my mom's Birthday so my husband made blue raspberry cookies instead. Then we went to Lake Reba fishing so we didn't stick to the plans for this one.

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June's Date, fishing at the park
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July "Tasty Goodness"


July's date is a tour of a bourbon distillery where you can tour the distillery, learn all about how bourbon is made, and even taste the distilleries famous bourbon.  I made a list of ten different distilleries in our area, eight of which are on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  This list includes the distillery’s hours, cost, location, and distance away. Depending on which one you choose, you might be able to hit up more then one in a day. The envelope had this list and the letter explaining the date. You can add a mini bottle of one of the bourbons if you'd like, I was just afraid it would leak out so I didn't include it. 

COSTThe tour prices vary from free to $12 a person, most of them are $7 a person so this can end up being an expensive date if you visit all of them.

***We have yet to go on this date because I ended up getting pregnant with our second child but we still have it and are waiting on the right time. Pictures will be posted whenever we finally get to go on the Bourbon Trail!

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 Information pages I made for the Ten Distillery Tours
*information is from 2013
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August: "The Bookworm"


There are supposedly a million and one things you can do inside of a bookstore so you are going to do them all… Just Kidding, you are only going to do a few of them.  This date takes place at a bookstore of your choice, we chose Barnes and Noble. I got this date idea from The Dating Divas: Bookstore Date. The link has all the direction and print outs for you to use. Of coarse I made my own version but its pretty much the same thing. Basically you have six different task to complete while at the bookstore. I chose this date for August because thats when school starts back. The August envelope included the letter, the directions, and a bag of sour gummy worms to snack on and ask my husband if he wanted to be my Bookworm date. 

COST: $2 - $4 depending on what gummy worms you buy.

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August's Date, bookstore fun!
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September: "Rock n' Roll"

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The Scavenger Hunt I made

On this date we took a trip to the Pinnacles (different hiking trails up a mountain). To make our hike a little more interesting I put together a Nature Hike Scavenger Hunt. The rules are simple, the first person to find all of the objects wins a kiss or you can choose to work together in finding all of the objects. I choose September for this date because it's a little cooler outside and we had signed a rock when we had been dating for a few months, 9/29/11, which was part of the scavenger hunt (I changed the picture though incase you want to use my Nature Hike Scavenger Hunt). Of coarse the sharpie had worn off over the three years but we still found the rock. We found everything on the Scavenger Hunt except a Squirrel. We even found a baby snake but no Squirrels. 

COST: Free

Click to Print The Nature Scavenger Hunt


***My husband's Birthday is in September so I included an extra mini date for this month. A dinner of his choice, online Karaoke which we did not end up doing, and whatever he wanted to do, movie or game wise, because of coarse it is his Birthday so he should get to do what he wants!

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September's Date, hiking at the Pinnacles 
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October: "Just Patchy"


"On the TENTH date of Christmas my true love gave to me a way to start the holiday festivities... and who better than me, the perfect match to accompany you to the pumpkin patch." On this date we visited a pumpkin patch and went on search for the perfect pumpkins. While at the pumpkin patch you can take part in any other activities they may offer. Once you have found the perfect pumpkin, take it home, scoop out the seeds and carve something awesome. My husband made a Mickey Mouse pumpkin and I carved Frankenstein. October's envelope included a letter, directions and information on pumpkin patches in our area, a few pumpkin carving stencils I found on the internet, and some orange tic-tacs that I changed the label to say "Pumpkin Seeds" instead of Tic-Tacs.

COST: around $10; Price of pumpkins and tic-tacs.

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October's Date, visiting a pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins
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November: "Light's Out"


November is a time to give thanks. At some point throughout the month, each of you take a moment to write down a few things you are thankful for that the other person does. These will be shared on your date night.  This months date is going to be a Power Outage, which means no cell phones, no computers, and no electricity. Start the date by cooking a mini Thanksgiving dinner, which should include a meat, sides, bread, and a dessert. Once dinner is ready the Power Outage Date shall officially begin. After dinner you can partake in games or conversation. The whole point of this date is to spend some quality time without technology getting in the way. We decided to make pot roast, potatoes, carrots, and rolls for our mini Thanksgiving meal since we would be getting enough Turkey later that week; after dinner we played cards, charades, and talked. November's envelope included the letter, some glow sticks, a list of what we would be doing and suggestions of other things we could do and the Thankful Turkey.  I had the Power Outage date idea saved in my date ideas a while ago but mine was a little different (forts, no technology, and quality time), when looking up more ideas I came across The Dating Divas: Power Outage Date and liked their idea better. I also used their Cowboy & Pilgrim Bedroom Game idea but changed the game to the Thankful Turkey, etc... so really only used their turkey I guess. 

COST: Glow Sticks- $2; Dinner - $?

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November's Date, candle light dinner and games - NO TECHNOLOGY ALLOWED
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December: "ABCD Dating"


For December I decide I would finally let my husband choose a date... to an extent... December's date is a Multiple Choice Date: Christmas Edition. The envelope included my letter and a note that consist of different Christmas related ideas for him to choose from. This date may take more than one day depending of what he chooses. We made cake balls, watched The Grinch and went to the Southern Lights. I ended up making an ornament but my husband didn't so maybe next year! You can make this date anything you want, it doesn't have to be Christmas themed. 

COST: around $20 depending on what you pick
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The Choices I gave my husband for our date!
Make these dates and letters your own. Use your creativity and research cool, new, and possibly free things to do in your area. Make the dates something you and your significant other would enjoy doing and remember to never stop dating each other! I hope you enjoyed this blog and that my 12 Dates of Christmas help you when coming up with dating ideas. I know I over brainstormed for these dates and came up with way more than twelve but I'm saving them for future date ideas. Let me know what you think and some of your creative date ideas! If you ever have trouble coming up with date ideas you should check out The Dating Divas website, they have tons of cute ideas and printables. 


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