The Twelve Dates of Christmas: Date 2, A Winter Wonderland Drive

I love nothing more than looking at Christmas lights. Seriously, I wish those little sparklies could be up all year round. There is something so magical and beautiful about how they glow on the fresh snow, during the cold northern nights…see, they even make me more poetic than usual. Sigh. But I digress.

My second idea for a winter date night is inexpensive, memorable, and fun!

Date Night 2: Winter Wonderland Drive

Christmas lights always make everywhere look amd feel more special. They are deffinitely the ultimate Christmas decoration that you MUST have!!!

I would start the night with a yummy warm homemade dinner (crockpot soup? Grilled cheese and tomato basil bisque? It’s all good!) After dinner, it’s time to pile in the car and head to Starbucks, or another favorite local coffee shop, and indulge in a sweet and warm drink to ward off the chill inside the car. Even less expensive? Try one of these inexpensive hot cocoa recipes from Refinery29.

Peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect treat for a December morning.

Map out the best-lighted neighborhoods around (usually the ritzier, the better), put some Christmas classics on the radio, and drive around for a few hours. Here are a few must do’s:

  • Pick your favorite house. Special awards can be awarded to Highest Energy Bill, Most Creative, Dream Home, Most Blinding, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to get out of the car! Last year, my friend and I actually went on this “date,” and my favorite moment was jumping out of the car to swing at a park for a few chilly, exhilerating minutes.
  • Take the paths less traveled: it can be fun to get lost and all turned around
  • Bring a camera to document your favorite houses, and any special moments. There could be a great holiday photo for next year’s Christmas cards in there somewhere!

Christmas Tree Lights on our dogwood in the front yard ~ yes please!

 

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Date Night…from 924 Miles Away

We are obviously extremely serious people.

I love date nights, of all shapes and sizes.  There is something about making plans and having adventures that makes me giddy like no other.  One of the hardest things about being in a long distance relationship (and believe me, there are lots of hard things) is the lack of these fun little bonding moments.  The Boyfriend and I are very good about the every day little things that make relationships work–for example, I know he spends all day admiring and contemplating the obnoxious number of “cute fluffy animals in silly situations” Snapchats I send him. But sometimes, you really do need the little dose of something special to remind you what it is to truly be in love with your best friend. How’s that for romance?

After a rough week, all I wanted was to curl up on the couch with my guy after a lovely dinner out, maybe sip a glass of wine, and watch movies that made us laughed till we choked on our popcorn.  But that’s pretty hard to do when I’m down in the south at school and he’s still his enjoying his summer up north.  So we devised our game plan for a simple but fun date night that you can do cross country!

Step One: Pick your movie
This was the most involved step for us.  It takes some time to figure out what you can get at when one of you is at home with their entire movie collection and video rental places, and one of you basically has Netflix and chick flicks (guess which is which in our situation?) Pick in advance so you have time to get the goods! For our first pick, we did Silver Linings Playbook,one of my favorites. Next time Chris will pick one of his.  It’s fun to work down a list: maybe Favorite Childhood Movies, Movies with George Clooney, Movies About Italy…you get the idea.

Step Two: Pick your time
This one can also be hard if you’re working on different time zones.  The Boyfriend and I are both central, but we’re also both busy.  Be proactive in finding a time that works–and don’t cancel!

Step Three: Theme  it up with dinner/snacks/desserts galore
We didn’t get a chance to do this, but I think it would be super fun to have the same things to munch on as your partner.  For Silver Linings, we both could have had adventures making Homemades or something else featured in the movie (or just vodka). This is almost like a whole other date in itself; gotta add it to the list!

Step Four: Get cuddly
Build your ultimate comfy zone! It was a little sad to not be actually cuddling with my guy, so I made sure my space had all kinds of pillows and blankets to get super comfy.  I also got to send him pictures of me huddled up like an Eskimo in a snow storm, which obviously brings us closer together.
seeing stars through your fort

Step Five: Timing is everything!
Another difficult part of long distance movie watching?  Getting the freaking technology to cooperate.  The Boyfriend and I literally sat on the phone, controllers in hand, and counted down to the second we pressed play.  And it still was a little off.  But getting their reactions is the absolute best part, so I encourage you to go the little extra mile!

Step Six: Watch and Talk
Probably my favorite part. There are many possible ways to communicate how much you’re freaking out about the movie. The Boyfriend and I live texted the whole thing.  You could also talk on the phone, Skype, Google chrome, Snapchat…as many varieties as there are relationships, I’d imagine. Find what works and is fun for you! Anything that makes you feel connected is a positive choice in my book.

Reaction shot! Not really. But too cute to pass up.

Step Eight: Debrief…the ooey gooey stuff
I think this is probably an overlooked part of the long distance date: make sure you call and actually chat about what you just did! Or else it’s a bit of a, “Wellp, that was fun, I to my bed you to yours” kind of experience.  Talk about what was hilarious, how could this be your favorite movie, wasn’t George Clooney cute in the ’80s?  Well, maybe save that last one for your friends.  Sharing the experience is what makes it a date, so share it.  Also a great time for all of the typical relationship I miss you’s and I love you’s that I can never get enough of.