Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for your significant other? Are you desperate to sneak away for a date with your husband? Are you sick of going on the same type of date over and over?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I have the perfect solution for you! Once my husband and I started to have kids, we were rarely able to go out on a date. We obviously struggled to find the time and the resources, but even when all the stars would align, we found ourselves doing the same things over and over. We were in a dating rut. So what’s a sleep deprived mom to do?
Well, last Christmas we found ourselves in another tricky situation. We had just bought a new house and it was our first Christmas with two kids, so basically we were tight on cash. We decided that instead of buying gifts for each other, we would save some money and gift each other with a year of dates. We each took a few weeks to create 12 dating cards, one for each month, which would give us a total of 24 dates for the year. On Christmas morning, we revealed each date to each other. It was so much fun to see what each of us had come up with and we immediately had a giddy anticipation for the year ahead.
I’m sure you are thinking that I am making this sound much easier than it really is. I’m sure you are thinking of a bunch of excuses of why this won’t work for you. Here are a few of the biggest excuses I had before we started this tradition:
We don’t have access to a babysitter. I get it! Finding a reliable, affordable babysitter seems to be the equivalent of winning the parental lotto. However, date nights are so important for a healthy marriage, which is even more important for successful parenting. First of all, I would like to encourage you to find that babysitter. It will be one of the best things you will ever do for your sanity. Secondly, while you are on the hunt, you can still plan a year of dates at home. Here are a few ideas for in-home date nights: a night of board games, a cooking challenge, a romantic bubble bath, or start a new Netflix series.
We don’t have enough money to go out on a date. I definitely understand this one too! We are a single income household and don’t have a lot of “extra” money hanging around. There are plenty of dates that you can plan that don’t cost a lot of money. In fact, most of the dates I planned last year were under $20. When you are willing to get creative, you can actually save money instead of just going out to dinner for every date. If you are still stuck, be sure to check out this post for 15 great ideas under $15 (which is more than the 12 you need by the way).
I am not creative. Let me introduce you to my best friend. Pinterest. You can type in “date night ideas” and literally thousands upon thousands of ideas will pop up. Also, and this may not work for everyone, but for me I really like to pick a theme for the year because it helps me narrow down all of the choices and makes each date fun and unique. Last year I did a sporty and sweet theme because of the Olympics and “sweet 16”. Each date consisted of an active portion and a dessert portion. For example, one month we went ice skating and then out for ice cream. For our fourth anniversary, which is the “fruit” anniversary, I planned dates around a different seasonal fruit each month. One month we went blueberry picking and another month we made homemade banana splits. Another fun theme is Around The World where every date is based on a different country. You can also research different National “blank” Days and plan dates around those. How about going out for doughnuts on National Doughnut Day in June? The possibilities really are endless!
I hope that this post will inspire you to make dating your significant other a priority for the New Year. I promise it will be worth it! If you still feel like you can’t make this work for your situation, comment below and I would love to help you plan some dates.