Sunday, December 23, 2012

Date Night Gift

So, my internet service has suddenly started acting strange and oddly slow. The pages will time out before I can even open any websites. This has made blogging insanely difficult. Hopefully soon, we will get this fixed! It is driving me crazy! (Side note: I have tried to post this thing 15 times no-not even kidding- with no luck! UGH!!!)

But in the meantime, I've been able to get ALL, yes all, of my Christmas gifts completed and all the baking done. Christmas we are ready for you! Now, I just have to wait for the internet to kick it up so I can give you post after post after post after post of the awesome things I tried out the past few months. Hopefully soon.

As mentioned earlier, my hubby and I decided on a homemade Christmas this year since I was student teaching this fall without income. 

This gift is for my husband. I got the idea from Shannon Brown. This past year we wanted to try having a date night each month. We were lucky if we got 4 kidless dates in the whole year (not including the times Grandma and Grandpa watched the kiddos so Mom and Dad could get some grocery shopping done quickly). This year, I decided we should do better; so for his gift, I created a year's worth of preplanned, prepaid dates. Each envelope comes with a note that explains the date idea for that month. Everything that is needed for the date is included in the envelope. For example...

This is January. In it is a stay at home spa date. My hubby isn't a girly man at all. But, he has rough feet so I have some things scrub his feet. I also added some lotion for a back rub or two.

I added a movie gift certificate and a gift card to his favorite restaurant. 

Sorry, about this picture. For his birthday month I wanted him to really enjoy our date. We both like fishing and the time is about right to do so. I liked the note I wrote for this one if you can make it out with the blur. For activities like this one, I included a gift certificate to a place we can get some bait and cash for babysitting.

I also added activities we rarely ever do like bowling. (Thanks Heather)

I live in a tiny tiny tiny community where my options for activities are limited. I would have loved to include things like rock climbing and laser tag or paintball (since I've never done it), but those options are just not available to us. Many of the dates I did choose are little or no cost and include things I have around the house. You could go all out or keep it simple. I wanted to make sure I do plenty of activities that he likes so the few mildly girly ones, he would be okay with. The whole idea was to create something so that we are not sitting at home saying, "We should go out." "What should we do?" "I don't know." "Who will watch our kids?" "That takes too long." "We don't have money." etc, etc, etc. for about 2 hours and then its too late to go anywhere or do anything or plan anything. 

If you choose to attempt this, I highly suggest starting with plenty of time to get it done. It took me about a month to round up all the gift certificates and find out what activities were around that we could do. Don't forget the babysitting money or money for food or little extras. 

Here is my list of activities. I also needed to make myself a list of items to get to make sure I got enough of everything for each envelope.

January- Spas Date at Home: Lotion included
February- Bowling: Gift card + $20 for food
March- Sleepover for 2: 2 new movies (so he can have a choice) + a microwave popcorn packet.
April- Dinner & Movie: Gift certificates
May- Special at home date: Sorry, details kept to myself :)
June- Fishing: Gift certificate for bait + babysitting money
July- Game Night (with or without others): Deck of cards
August- Kitchen Date: Recipe
September- Goose hunting: This was a last minute one that I can't remember what I put in. Probably babysitting money
October- Double/Triple Date: Cash to spend doing whatever our group decides
November- Deer Hunting (if we get drawn this year): Gift card to a place to buy shells + money for babysitting
December- Shopping Challenge: Mini stockings with $5 to find something to fill the mini stockings with in 15 minutes or less + cash for some food. We will give these to each other at Christmas.

Here's how it works: I put all these in a box that he will open on Christmas day. The first thing he sees (I took a picture, but because of my fabulous internet connection it took over an hour to attempt to upload the one picture, and by that time, I'd had it.) is a note that explains the whole thing. In the note I give him the rules which are simple. At the beginning of each month we will open the envelope, set a date, arrange for babysitting if necessary, and await the fun times together. The second rule: NO PEEKING! I did not seal the envelopes because I still have a few things I want to add, but they are not out yet (next year's hunting season dates and times) or did not fit well.

I hope he likes it!

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