It’s that time of year again. Snow is falling, making traffic a nightmare and freezing your ears off. Christmas is just around the corner, which means any shopping trips can be brutal. Temperatures are low, and heating bills are high.
It’s not always easy to get into the Christmas spirit, but it can really be worth it to try and remember everything you may have once loved or see other people loving about this time of year. So here are seven ideas that can bring the quest for Christmas cheer to your dating life and just might help you make a connection with that someone special.
Try a Catholic Angle
How do Catholics do winter social outings? Two words: Advent activities.
Consider joining a church decorating party. I think every parish I’ve ever attended has more or less begged for volunteers to come help set up the advent and Christmas decorations on a given Saturday. Try taking your date along and seeing how well the two of you work together.
This can be a great, low-pressure social setting to get to know someone new. Not only that, but this is an activity that doubles as a charitable work – nothing like the bonus of heavenly reward to really get you in the Christmas spirit!
Beyond this, most parishes have some other advent activities on their agendas that you could partake in as well. Consider bringing your date to an advent wreath-making party, or perhaps find a Las Posadas celebration to attend.
And, if you parish happens to be rather light on the advent activities they have scheduled, there’s nothing wrong with checking out what nearby parishes have to offer.
Try a Christmas Spin on Dinner and a Movie
With a small tweak, your go-to idea for a first date can become pretty festive. Check around for independent theaters or even community centers or churches that are having Christmas movie screenings.
You might be able to find a heartwarming classic like It’s a Wonderful Life playing on a big screen, or perhaps one of those fun ’80s cheese-fests like A Christmas Story.
Or for a further twist, you could find a community theater production of a Christmas-themed play to go see. There are often a plethora of shows like A Christmas Carol going around this time of year.
Pair one of these entertainment options with a dinner of warm comfort food, or maybe opt for a nice cup of peppermint mocha instead.
Venture into a Mall for some Christmas Shopping
I will admit that taking a date on your Christmas shopping expedition might sound like a cheap or lame suggestion. But if the person is down for it, it can be a lot of fun and even very bonding to brave the vicious deal-hunters together.
Plus, you can utilize your date’s expertise as a member of the opposite gender for gift suggestions when it comes to those hard-to-shop-for family members.
But if you’re worried about coming across as a lame-o with this idea, you could instead try taking a date Christmas-shopping for a needy child in one of those giving tree programs that a lot of Catholic parishes and even some secular organizations put on around the holidays. Same activity, but less risk of boring your date.
Take Your Date on a Tree-Hunting Adventure
Growing up, my family always made a several-hour ordeal out of Christmas tree shopping. We would go to a u-cut tree farm and debate the merits and shortcomings of several different coniferous options before finally settling on the best one.
Among young bickering siblings, this isn’t always a lot of fun. Among mature adults who probably don’t get outside into the fresh air that often, it can be pretty cool (no weather-pun intended). Add a warm cup of cocoa together afterward for a cozy end to the date.
Invite Your Date to a Christmas Cookie Party
This is a fun idea for those of us who prefer to get acquainted with someone new in a group setting, and it works especially well if the two of you happen to have any mutual friends.
Invite a few people over for an evening of baking and decorating Christmas cookies. Go all out with sprinkles and frosting, play some Christmas tunes in the background, and suddenly you have a festive little gathering where there’s way less pressure or awkwardness with this new date you’d like to get to know.
Join a Group of Carolers with Your Date
Another fun group-setting idea that is sure to take the “bah-humbug” out of even the Scrooge-iest among us. And if you’re the type of person that thinks it might be a little awkward to sing in public, all the better to bring a date along so you can get to know one another while struggling through that awkwardness together.
As a bonus, this one also doubles as charity if you can find a group that does caroling somewhere like a nursing home or a children’s hospital.
Get in Touch with your Snow-Loving Past
When was the last time you played in the snow? Unless you have children, or maybe some nieces or nephews, I’ll venture to guess it’s been a while.
Try taking a date on a snow outing. If not to actually play in the snow like a kid, try a grown-up spin on this like a day ski trip or maybe a sleigh ride if you can find one.
Or you could always go hard-core and see how your date does against you in a snowball war. Nothing like a little snowy competition to get you both ready for all things winter-holiday related.