I admit I’m a nerd and that I love making lists a lot more than the average person. I also like planning stuff a lot more than the average human. In one of my past lives I was probably a party planner. I’ve also apparently developed a wicked case of OCD so if I chose to become a party planner in this life, my life expectancy would probably drop by about 25 years because I would freak out if we got the wrong color shade of napkins or something.
Anyway, in my list-making frenzy over Christmas, I started making a list of holiday stuff I wanted to do, like check out Christmas light displays, listen to Christmas carols and watch Christmas movies until I throw up, bake holiday goodies, etc, etc. Then I realized all the stuff I wanted to do could easily be adapted into fun dates for me and my boyfriend, and then the planning part of my brain took over. And if you’ve read my blog before you know I love sharing my lists so here we go: Emily’s 12 Dates of Christmas (get it? Like, 12 Days of Christmas? Maybe I also came up with cool puns in my last life.)
On the first date of Christmas, my true love saw all the Christmas light displays in the neighborhood with me. This is good because you can either drive around, or walk through your neighborhood if you want to stick close to home. Take some coffee or hot chocolate, hold mittens, and check out all displays from the classy to the blindingly ridiculous. If you live in a warmer climate, definitely walk, throw some lemonade in a mug and skip the mittens.
On the second date of Christmas, my true love made a gingerbread house with me. Okay, so if you aren’t kitchen savvy, I recommend that you buy pre-made gingerbread so that you don’t end up crying during your date. Gingerbread is kinda tricky and every recipe I’ve found for it ends up yielding 17,000 cookies so unless you want to eat gingerbread in March I would stick to the pre-made stuff. Pop on a Christmas CD and get to decorating. Bonus points if you do a theme.
On the third date of Christmas, my true love watched Christmas movies with me. This is an easy one. Pick your favorite Christmas movies, turn down the lights, make the popcorn and have a movie night. My personal favorites are The Santa Clause, White Christmas and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Nothing else gets me into the holiday spirit like watching the Grinch slither around Whoville.
On the fourth date of Christmas, my true love picked out a Christmas tree with me. No, I don’t mean from Home Depot or Lowe’s, even though they generally have nice trees. I mean, travelling to a Christmas tree farm and cutting a tree down yourselves. A lot of these farms have craft stores, free hot chocolate, Christmas carols and sometimes hayrides. You could spend a whole day there, and later you get to tell everyone that you chopped down your own tree.
On the fifth date of Christmas, my true love went Black Friday shopping with me. Stick with me for one minute — I know some of you are thinking this is an awful idea. But Black Friday shopping can be a lot of fun — you stay up really late, sneak some peppermint schnapps into a flask if you need a 3 a.m. pick-me-up, and watch people go insane. And you get some pretty good deals if you know where to go. Make a game out of it and see who can get the best deal.
On the sixth date of Christmas, my true love hosted an ugly Christmas sweater party with me. These are the best, especially if you have a truly ugly Christmas sweater to wear. Don’t stress about the details, this is mostly just to get a little tipsy and make fun of everyone. Host a contest and give cheap prizes from the dollar store.
On the seventh date of Christmas, my true love went caroling with me. Again, this is kind of like the Black Friday date, to each his own. I’ve gone caroling about three times in my life and each time it was pretty fun. No one cares if you sing like crap, sometimes you get to ride on a big bus, and you get to sing Christmas carols. Awesome will tell you that I “carol” by myself in the kitchen from November 25th to January 7th.
On the eighth date of Christmas, my true love went to New York to see the tree in Rockefeller Center with me. Who says a date can’t last a weekend? Recently my dad took his girlfriend to New York and they had a blast – they went skating, window-shopped at the fancy stores, watched the Rockette’s Holiday Spectacular show, and saw the tree in Rockefeller Center.
On the ninth date of Christmas, my true love went ice-skating with me. I used to take ice-skating lessons when I was a kid, so I am slightly better on my skates than most people. Well, okay, at least I don’t walk on my skates like little kids do. If you can convince your other half to do this, it can be a lot of fun. Pretend like you are teenagers again and give yourselves a curfew. Or eat the cheap gross pizza they serve in the skating rinks.
On the tenth date of Christmas, my true love took in a Christmas play with me. Check out the local theatre in your town or city – I’ll bet my Christmas stocking that there are about ten plays about Christmas to choose from. And they aren’t all heartwarming, make you want to puke plays either. Some are dark comedies, some are depressing dramas, and some are just plain weird. Either way you get to give back to the local theatre community and see a cool show at the same time.
On the eleventh date of Christmas, my true love wrapped presents with me. I swear this is the last “questionable” date. A lot of time that Awesome and I spend together involves doing boring stuff like painting the living room or wrapping presents so I like to try and make it fun. Throw a bottle of wine and some Christmas music into the mix and wrap everything. See who can wrap a present the quickest, compete for best wrapping, or make the most ridiculous bow you can. People are just going to rip that crap off anyway.
On the twelfth date of Christmas, my true love and I celebrated Christmas by sleeping in late, opening presents in our pajamas, watching the Macy’s day parade, sipping hot chocolate, and sharing dinner with our families.
Emily Campbell is a perpetually single, 20-something girl-around-town who loves Shakespeare, old movies, Natty Boh, and of course, long walks on the beach. A sales manager by day and freelance writer by night, she was recently forced into a life of involuntary celibacy when her last relationship fizzled out over a text message. She’s tired of settling for second – or tenth – best, and she’s ready to find Mr. Right. Or, Mr. Nearly Right. No one’s perfect…which she has learned the hard (but hilarious) way.