by: Rena Spangler
On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to
So, it’s officially the holiday season! Thanksgiving has passed, Mariah Carey is
thawed, and the most wonderful time of the year is in full swing. If you are like me, this
could be your first holiday season with a significant other, or this could be your eighth
holiday season together and you’re seasoned veterans. Whichever part you fit into, this is
the perfect time of year for some themed date ideas! Here are 12 inexpensive (or free)
Christmas date ideas (maybe for a 12 Days of Christmas vibe?) for you and your boo.
- Make a gingerbread house
I have always thought that a gingerbread house date is such a cute idea, and pretty cheap
too! Most stores you can find a gingerbread house kit for fifteen dollars or less, which
makes it a great lowkey date night idea.
- Make a Christmas playlist
There are so many great Christmas songs out there, along with various covers by artists
spanning almost every genre of music. This is exactly what my fiance and I are doing on
Black Friday morning to kick off the holiday season. Get together and collaborate on a
shared Christmas playlist and blast some tunes while you do some of these other date
- Bake Christmas cookies
I love baking Christmas cookies, whether it’s my mom’s homemade cookies or the Nestle
cookies from Wegmans. Looking at the Wegmans app, most of the prepackaged cookies
are between $3.59-$4.19, while regular dough ranges between $4.19-$6. If you wanted to
use the bagged mix that’s usually in the baking aisle, those typically range between $2-$3 a
bag. Regardless of how you choose to bake your holiday cookies, it’s a nice date idea that
you can do on a day off, or take a weekend to do!
- Go to a Christmas light fair or festival
Usually, quite a few towns have a festival or fairground with Christmas light displays. Some
are more expensive than others, like Fairgrounds Festival of Lights in Hamburg, NY charges
$30 per carload, so you could do a double date or bring along some family or friends. This
festival runs December 2nd-4th, 9th-11th, and 16th-23rd. However, the Niagara Falls
Winter Festival of Lights is free and runs every night from November 12th until February
20th, 2023. Make sure you do your research before settling on one, and go enjoy the lights!
- Make ornaments
I think this would be a super cute date idea, and if you shop right, an inexpensive one!
Dollar Tree has four glass ornaments for $5, and you can also get any kind of paint supplies
your heart desires there as well. (They have tablecloths there too, which would be a great
precautionary measure against any paint incidents.)
- Get matching PJs
My family has done this every year since I was 5, and it’s my favorite tradition. This year it’s
even better because my fiance gets to join in on this tradition as well. There are some
matching PJ sets for couples on Amazon for $25-$40, and some stores (Kohls, Old Navy,
etc.) usually have some on sale around this time of year as well. If you decide to go to the
mall or store to get them, it’s a cute idea to pick them out together and then possibly wear
them for our next date idea…
- Popcorn, hot chocolate, and Christmas movie night
Ah yes, a classic Christmas date. Throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave (or get some
kernels and pop your own!), make some hot cocoa, and throw on one of the million
Christmas movies that are out there. Wear your matching Christmas PJs, get warm and
comfy under a blanket, and have a nice night at home.
- Take a picture with Santa
So many kids (including myself) used to LOVE taking pictures with Santa when we were
younger, so why not renew that fun now that we’re older? Santa is pretty much at any mall
or candy store within the month of December, so grab your significant other, take a trip to
the mall, and smile wide with Santa! You’ll have a memory (and picture) that’ll last a
- Decorate a Christmas tree
If you and your partner are broke (me too bestie), getting a Christmas tree may be a little
too tight for your budget this year. Well, I have two options for that. The first option is
buying a “mini” tree. There are Christmas trees that are about 3-4 feet tall for around $30 at
Target and Walmart, and Dollar Tree having lots of ornaments to choose from, this is a tree
that wouldn’t break the bank too horribly. (Psst, Date Idea #5 would also come in handy for
this!) If that’s a little too much for this year, you can also decorate paper trees and hang
them! Take some construction paper ($2-$6 at various stores that carry art supplies), cut
out your trees, and decorate them with pens, markers, pencils, paint, glitter, pretty much
whatever you want, and hang them in your room for the season!
- Make a “12 months of date ideas” present together
If you’re like me, you know the struggle of coming up with date ideas all year round. With
this cute handmade present, this might make the struggle a little easier. Get 12 envelopes,
decorate them however you want, and in those envelopes, write down a date idea for you
two for every month of the coming year. If both of you do it, you’d have two date ideas for
every month, which means you’d have 24 dates to look forward to for the coming year. If
you do it together, make sure you do it on opposite sides of the table; it makes the
suspense even stronger!
- Volunteer together
Christmas is always chock-full of volunteering opportunities, from being a Santa’s Helper to
working at a gingerbread house event (that’s what I’m doing!), or even making cookies and
bringing them to a retirement home. Christmas is the season of giving, so what’s better
than giving to others around you, and especially being able to do it together? Find an
opportunity that both of you connect with and can enjoy, and go bring joy to yourselves by
bringing joy to others this season.
- Christmas Eve!!
It’s finally here! The day before Christmas, when everyone who hasn’t gone shopping is
running around madly, kids are bugging their parents about putting cookies and milk out
for Santa, and families are gathering to celebrate. Christmas Eve is one of the best hectic,
chaotic, but wonderful days of the year. This Christmas Eve I’ll be working, but then I get to
spend the rest of the day with my fiance and family, and I can’t wait. This day is for
whatever you guys want! Whether it’s wrapping presents, spending time with family,
making some more cookies and hot cocoa, or just chilling and watching a movie, today is a
day for good times and good vibes.
I hope these ideas will make December a romantic and fun month for any couple who was
struggling with holiday date ideas. Merry Christmas everyone, and for anyone in college,
have a wonderful break!