Monday, December 21, 2015

the 12 dates of Christmas

Blogmas Day 21
Our Christmas Present 
This weekend Husband and I finished up our Christmas gift to each other and I'm so excited to share what is was. But it wasn't a physical gift at all. In fact, we don't give each other traditional Christmas presents. If you are a regular around here, you already know the reasons we aren't giving each other Christmas gifts. Since we married, it's become our tradition. Instead we gift each other experiences and time together. This will be our 3rd Christmas as a married couple, but it's the first Christmas that we have had the opportunity to spend this much time together. Our school situations have always kept us apart for most of the holiday season, but this year granted us the opportunity to spend the whole of December together. We took complete advantage of this by gifting each other the 12 dates of Christmas…12 holiday-themed dates during the month of December.

For the first date of Christmaswe cut down our own Christmas tree...
This was the first time that I cut down my own tree. And I love that my first experience with this was with Husband for our first date of Christmas!

For the second date of Christmaswe decked the halls 
We decided to keep things simple this year, but by the time we hung the wreath, decorated our tree, and finished our DIY Card Display…it felt like Christmas. When Christmas is over, I'm really going to miss the twinkling lights and the amazing scent of fresh pine every time you walk through the door 

For the third date of Christmaswe had a Paint Nite Date Night
Husband gets 100% of the credit for planning this date all on his own. I love that he knew this is something I would like. Even though he is not the best at crafts, he did it for me. And now we have a set of winter wonderland birch tree wine glasses to show for it. 

For the fourth date of Christmas, we ate Chocolates and drank Cocoa 
We went to one of Boston's best chocolate shops to drink hot cocoa and pick out a few morsels to enjoy. We loved choosing a Christmas box and filling it with treats! Between the gourmet chocolates and the old fashioned candy, this place made quite an impression on us. We have been back twice since our first trip! It's quite addictive. 

For the fifth date of Christmas
we went to the Nutcracker Ballet to Cherish the Moment 

For the sixth date of Christmas, we had a Holiday Dinner at Home 
 I made a special dinner that I had been planning for Husband. We had dijon rosemary pork roast with a vegetable medley. For dessert was this upside down pineapple cranberry cake...another tradition of ours. 

For the seventh date of Christmas, we took Family Photos with Santa 
We loved seeing all the pups in their holiday sweaters. And PJ loves every dog {and human} he encounters. Taking photos has never been so fun!   

For the eighth date of Christmas, we baked cookies together…
For this date, I had planned to keep things simple by baking the cookies myself, then having us decorate them together. But Husband surprised me by saying that he wanted to bake with me. He has a general understanding of what the stand mixer does, but he has never actually used it before. I put him in charge of making this recipe and he did great, plus he had me laughing the whole time! 

For the ninth date of Christmas, we had a dinner date and watched the light show
It's been a warm winter in Boston so far, but we somehow managed to pick the coldest night for this. Totally worth it to walk around Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market right in the center of Boston. We loved seeing the lightshow! And even better, we ended up with the restaurant balcony all to ourselves at dinner. 
There's nothing like an 85ft tree to put you in the Christmas spirit! 

For the tenth date of Christmas, we created a Keepsake Ornament
We have wanted to preserve PJ's paw print for years and we decided to spend a date night doing just that. We were most excited about this kit because it was a "no mess, no mixing, no baking" kit. There was no mixing or baking involved, but there was definitely a mess. I was convinced this would be an epic fail, but the final product turned out pretty great! 

For the eleventh date of Christmas, we took a walk through the park 
Boston Common is our favorite place in the city, but we have never seen it at Christmastime. A secluded midnight walk through the park to see all of the twinkling lights was the perfect impromptu doesn't get any more romantic than this

For the twelfth date of Christmas, we spent the morning ice skating and eating our favorite brunch 
Once again, we headed to our favorite Boston Common. This time we did some outdoor iceskating on Frog Pond. Husband has rollerbladed for years so he is annoyingly good at iceskating while I'm a total klutz, but we still had a blast together. I think we need to go back before the season ends! 

During our relationship, we have spent more time long distance (7 out of 8 years) than we have together. Nothing could be a better gift than spending so much time together. I adore this holiday tradition of ours of not exchanging Christmas presents, but exchanging experiences. This year, the 12 dates of Christmas has been the best thing for us. It got us up and out of the house, exploring our city, and fully enjoying everything that comes with this time of the year. 

Our Christmas Present 2014 
Our Christmas Present 2013

Follow along with Blogmas to see more holiday fun everyday this month

Linking up with BLovedBoston// 


  1. This is so amazing!! 12 wonderful dates and countless memories made together! xo, biana -BlovedBoston

  2. I've never seen a cuter Christmas idea! It's my boyfriend and I's second Christmas together and I'm already over the gift giving. Experiences are so much more meaningful than gifts, especially when you give all year long. Thank you for sharing...this is so inspiring!

    Beautiful couple. :)

    Janna |

    1. Exactly Jana! We do give to each other all year. I get Husband things he needs/wants as they come up so there is no point in buying things just for the sake of buying them

  3. I've never seen a paint night where you paint glasses! Those are so cute. I've only seen the canvases (and really, what would you do with two canvases of the same thing??). I don't blame you for going back to that chocolate shop, it looks amazing.

    1. Yep I was really impressed with Tom for picking this out. And I totally agree, who needs two of the same painting around. To be honest, I'm not even sure if I would want one paint nite canvas around bc I don't think mine would look that great. But the wine glasses were much more manageable and easier to store. Also the chocolate shop was so dangerous. Each chocolate was like a dollar or so but before you know it, we had bought like $20 worth of chocolate

  4. I love this xx So sweet, and all of your date ideas are simply lovely x So glad you've both been having a lovely December together xx I hope you get many, many more xx

  5. This is such a sweet idea! My brother and his wife were also long distance for most of their relationship (and their first year of marriage), so I can understand just a little bit how hard that must be! Also, LOVE your family picture with Santa! We wanted to take Millie this year but couldn't find the time.

    1. It's such a fun photo to have. Hopefully, you guys can make it next year

  6. I've ALWAYS wanted a real tree but afraid it would bother my allergies. These are all fun ideas! Have a great Christmas!

    1. I can totally understand Brittany. I have the worst allergies in the Fall and Spring. Somehow the tree doesn't bother me. I think it's because it's pine, but I have no idea

  7. I LOVE this idea! My boyfriend and I are going on a trip in January so we kept gifts to a minimum but I love the idea of doing 12 dates of Christmas, so smart!

    1. Exactly! We do something different every year but we normally go on a trip as a gift since we love to travel. It sounds like you guys are doing something similar by focusing on your trip and keeping your gifts minimal

  8. This is such a fabulous idea! I love that you guys went to go see Santa too <3

    Green Fashionista

  9. What Mattie said- I didn't even know they had ones with wine glasses- I would totally do that! Well, would and have- I saw a Pinterest tutorial and made them as Christmas presents one year haha. I absolutely love this 12 Dates of Christmas idea. Spending time together, sharing experiences, and creating memories is much more special and valuable than anything you can buy in a store!

    1. Yep they are just painted with acrylic paint and then put into the oven so this could totally be done at home. And we were more than happy to say yes to memories and no to Stuff

  10. So happy you two got to spend so much quality time together this Christmas season! These date ideas are adorable :)

    1. Thank you! Thinking up and planning all the dates was half the fun