On the 12 DATES of Christmas, my true love gave to me….(Romance for Real Couples)

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12 Dates of Christmas

Every once in a while our husbands get crazy romantic and do romantic-comedy-perfect things. Like the time Daja’s husband whisked her off in a convertible so she could fulfill a childhood dream to walk across the Golden Gate bridge.  Or the time that Kristina’s husband bought her candles for their bedroom.  A simple little thing really, but perfect because they came from him.

But, let’s be honest. Most of the time we live in the real world. You know that space you live in between running errands, folding laundry, and trying to deal with workplace relationships.  The holidays add their own interesting flavor as you have conversations about what in the world to buy your dads, how the Christmas lights got so tangled and getting the right picture for the family Christmas card.

But, we believe that the holidays can also add their own magical sort of romance. The beauty of the every-day kind of romance. That sweetness that weaves itself between all the hustle and bustle and makes us grateful to be married.  Budgets are tight sometimes, so we thought we’d put together a little list of romantic ideas for this holiday season that are both affordable and practical. Romance for real couples. Enjoy!

Date Number 1: Fireside

Build a fire, either in the fireplace or outside. Prepare a very special holiday drink (mulled wine, hot buttered rum, a real pumpkin spice latte, etc.) and put the kids to bed early.  Talk about your favorite holiday memories from your years together.  Be careful…the memories might start leaking out your eyes and pouring down your cheeks.

Date Number 2: Unshopping

Go out to the mall or shopping center. Each of you take a very small sum of money (say $5 or so). Split up and pick out a funny or romantic gift for the other one. Set a time limit. Meet up at a bookstore with a coffee shop.  Exchange gifts, laugh, get a snack together.  My husband and I also love to frequent bookstores, get a stack of magazines and just leaf through them, dreaming. Don’t buy anything!!!  Just allow yourself to fantasize(!) about your dream vacation together or dream house or family business or retirement. You don’t need to spend any money to get to know your loved one better flipping through glossy magazines.

Date Number 3: Stay In Bed

This may take a little planning. Ask Grandma and Grandpa to take the kids for 24 hours. Get a stack of holiday movies, snacks and junk food, cute pajamas, card games, etc. And just stay in bed. Have no agenda, no preconceived ideas. Just hang out together all day, in bed. That togetherness is its own reward.  And in all the craziness of the holidays, just taking that break to rest can help to restore communication and intimacy.

Romantic Holiday Ideas

This blend brought to you by FoodLaughterLove!

Date Number 4: Be Kids Again

Cookie decorating, gingerbread house making, crafts….Why do the kids get to have all the fun? Do some of these fun things with your honey…without the children! Seriously, not that it isn’t a blast to clean frosting out of your hair or say “stop eating that!” a million times in the span of two minutes.  But, imagine the fun, if the kids are in bed and you and your sweetie have a glass of wine, decorating or craft supplies, and time to get creative!

Date Number 5:  Wrapping Party

Too many gifts to wrap with too little time?  Send the kids to bed, make a lovely winter cocktail, and wrap those gifts together.  It’s a good opportunity for Dad to see what the gifts are before the kids open them on Christmas morning!  **Wink, Wink**  Not to mention it’s just a lovely time of laughter and fun as you tease one another about wrapping skills or lack of wrapping skills.

Date Number 6:  Go For A Walk

Make a couple of hot chocolates or coffees in to-go mugs and head off for a quiet walk.  Just being outside, listening to the birds in the trees and seeing all the beauty God has created can dramatically reduce your holiday stress levels.  Don’t forget to hold hands!!

Date Number 7: Give Back

There are tons of charities this time of year and they could sure use an extra hand! Why not volunteer to be a bell-ringing for the Salvation Army or serve food at a local soup kitchen. Go on a special shopping trip together and pick out holiday foods for a local family who maybe has fallen on hard times.  Leave the bags on their doorstep and ding-dong-ditch!  Serving others together can be a wonderful way to bring the two of you together.

 Date Number 8: The Virtual Double Date

You know that couple that was your favorite double date? Your besties that you actually BOTH liked? Come on, we know we aren’t the only ones. Sometimes you like her, but your husband doesn’t like him or vice versa.  But you finally found that couple that you connected with and could not wait for your dinner dates, picnics or card games! It was sweet, sweet fellowship. And then life played a cruel joke and moved you or them to the other side of the country or the world. Despair not! We live in the era of Skype and FaceTime! Plan a time when the four of you can all sit down on Skype. Make something delicious to munch and open up a bottle of wine.  And have a virtual double date!

Date Number 9: Chopped

Create an interesting basket of odd ingredients a’la chopped. Make sure you include some holiday themed ingredients (cinnamon, candy canes, etc.). You make a box for him. He makes a box for you. (Or have your kids prepare BOTH boxes the same and you don’t get to know what’s going in!) Have a little chopped competition, preparing a dish for each other. Let your kids be the judges!  Make sure you take lots of pictures of the process. That stuff is gold, baby!

Date Number 10: Secondhand Christmas Shopping

Get up a bit earlier on a Saturday morning. Do some Christmas shopping–but the catch is you can’t go to the mall or Target. You must stick to yard sales, flea markets, antique stores, thrift store and consignment shops! You’ll have fun together and can pat yourself on the back for being a conscientious consumer this holiday season.

Date Number 11: Play In the Snow

OK, so if you live in Southern California (like Kristina) you may have to drive to the snow.  But, if you live in Maine (like Daja) you have more than enough to work with!  Why should the kids have all the snow days! How about ice skating, skiing or sledding for two? So much fun!

Date Number 12: Let There Be Light!

This time of year lends itself to romantic lighting. Whether you stroll hand-in-hand late at night down a decorated street or take a drive down a Christmas Tree Lane to take in all the twinkle or, better yet, lay on your own living room floor and gaze up at the tree, let the holiday lights work their romantic magic!

ROMANTIC BONUS:

Rebecca over at FoodLaughterLove is our essential oil guru. Her blends are foolproof. Try these as you stir up a little holiday romance! Oooooooo, la, la!

Romantic Holiday Ideas

VISIT FOODLAUGHTERLOVE on Etsy! Some fantastic Christmas gifts there, just waiting to be scooped up!


  1. We love to walk together.  I love these ideas!

  2. This is really cute! What great ideas! I’ll have to do some of these with my fiance 🙂

  3. Really fun ideas! Love the last diffuser blend listed too 🙂 

  4. I love this. Especially #10. The holiday season should be more about spending time together than extravagant gifts, great ideas.

  5. These are great! The idea of staying in bed all day sounds fun! So many good ones!

  6. What great ideas!  I will totally incorporate this into our Christmas traditions.  

  7. That video always makes me laugh. I love these suggestions. The older I get the more I appreciate the nice things my husband does for me instead of the pricy gifts. Really nice and refreshing post!

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