A couple of years ago I read an article about a couple who set aside time during the rush of the holidays just for the two of them. Instead of The Twelve Days of Christmas in the holiday song, they went on the twelve dates of Christmas. This caught my attention since I am much more interested in experiences than collecting stuff…especially stuff like turtle doves and pipers piping!
When I mentioned this to your dad he immediately went to work to make this happen. He planned dinners out, movies, plays at the civic theater, and drives to look at Christmas lights. He asked if going to a work related Christmas party or the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast counted as a date, and of course, I said yes.
We enjoyed these dates…even those spent Christmas shopping, because we knew those were times reserved for the two of us. Our Christmas date season begins after Thanksgiving and continues until New Years Day. This year that gives us six weeks of dates so we’ll average two a week. We’re planning a movie on Wednesday, a shopping excursion downtown one evening so we can enjoy the decorations on the square, and a play at the Civic Theater. We’re looking forward to a camping trip and dinner in St. Augustine during our break from school. As much as we enjoy these dates, I must admit we’ve never been able to squeeze in all twelve. But that’s ok. We’ve made us a priority and that’s what’s important.
I’d like to encourage you to plan your own twelve dates of Christmas. Don’t worry if you only make six or eight. The idea is to have fun…not add more stress. You don’t need to make these dates expensive. Plan to watch a Christmas movie each week. You can do this at home with some popcorn. Sit outside on a cool evening around a fire. Maybe even roast marshmallows. Drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. You can even give awards for the best decorations, the tackiest decorations, the most unusual decorations. Go downtown and walk along the river or lake and enjoy the decorations provided by your tax dollars. Look for free concerts. Run a 5k. Go for a bike ride.
Your dates can be simple or complex. You can do new things or your old favorites. The most important thing about your dates is being together. Scheduling time for one another. I hope you’ll get out a calendar, get creative, and plan special dates for the holidays.