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10 At-Home Holiday Date Nights To Keep Your Spirits Bright

If you're missing some of your favorite holi-date traditions, try these alternatives instead.

Looking forward to some time off around the holidays? After a year like 2020, who could blame you? This month, make time for yourself and your partner to reconnect with these at-home holiday date night ideas. They're the perfect way to keep the holiday spirit going strong until New Year's Eve while staying safe at home during COVID-19.

If you and your beloved have both been working from home, it can feel like you’ve done nothing but spend time together this year, though it probably wasn’t the quality time you’d like. Or, if you and your bae have been separated by long distance and pandemic travel restrictions, maybe you’re dying for a one-on-one romantic evening around the rest of your holiday celebrations. Whatever the case may be, and whatever holidays you two celebrate, you can turn festive activities (and even some chores, like wrapping presents) into an adorable date night.

Maybe your usual December date nights involve ice skating together, seeing a play or musical performance, or going out for drinks with friends. But this year, try to enjoy the intimate moments at home, just you and your favorite person. No matter what you do together, it’s sure to be a fun evening you’ll remember for many holidays to come.


A Christmas Movie Night (With A Twist)

What comes to mind first when thinking of a holiday-themed date night? Snuggling up on the couch to enjoy your favorite movies. If you’ve watched all the classics already, switch it up by screening old family movies of yourselves as kids. Or, invent a drinking game around your favorite festive film. Think: Sip your coquito every time Arnold says "Turbo Man" in Jingle All The Way.


Wrap Gifts Together

Break out all the presents you have left to wrap and spread them out on the floor. You two can queue up some helpful YouTube videos, like this one that has been viewed almost 33 million times, and finally try to master the art of wrapping presents. There are plenty of other tutorials for wrapping more oddly shaped items, too.


Bake *All* The Things

Do you have any family recipes you grew up making? Both of you can bring an heirloom recipe to date night and share a little taste of your childhood, or whip up some festive goodies, like these peppermint kiss cookies from Baked by Rachel or mini Santa hat cheesecakes. Make things extra fun by trying a blindfolded baking extravaganza.


Tune In For The Nutcracker

Do you and your partner enjoy going to see the symphony, a play, or a ballet this time of the year? COVID may be keeping you at home, but lots of performing arts companies are bringing their shows to you. Check out all of these ballet companies streaming their performances of The Nutcracker, or plan your date night around watching A Christmas Carol. Get all dressed up, break out some bubbly and fancy snacks, and have a great date night in.


Bust Out A Conversation-Starting Game

If you want to use your holidate night to really connect with your partner, a deck of cards like this can help. Whether you've been together for a long time, or you're around each other 24/7 now that you work from home, you may feel like there's nothing left to talk about. These creative prompts may just prove you wrong!


Make & Enjoy A Formal Dinner Together

If your company Christmas party usually serves as your fancy date night for the year, you can recreate the experience at home. Spend time together prepping something restaurant-quality, like steak and baked potatoes or a pasta carbonara, then part ways to get all dressed up. You'll enjoy the time together cooking just as much as having an intimate dinner with only the two of you. (Watch Office Christmas Party to remind yourselves of the drunk debauchery from your coworkers.)


Have A Gingerbread Decorating Contest

Grab two gingerbread house kits from the store and lay out all the pieces. You could say the competition goal is to make the cutest gingerbread house, or the one that looks the most like your own home (complete with the grass that needs mowed or your brightly colored front door). It's a fun way to get competitive, enjoy some seasonal sweets, and share a laugh about what makes your house feel like home.


Take A Silly Christmas Card Photo

If pandemic precautions have kept you from doing a professional photoshoot for your holiday cards, it's not too late to send your friends and family a good laugh anyway. Use your phone, set the photo timer, and snap some goofy pics of you two trying to get the star on top of the tree, peeking inside your stockings, or covered in flour and sprinkles after your baking date. They'll make for a cute social media post, and a nice memory in your camera roll, too.


Try Some Merry Mixology

Grab the hot chocolate mix, the garnishes, and whatever you’ve got on the bar cart. See what yummy cocktails you can come up with using your pantry staples, or make something extra special. Eric, who blogs over at Dude That Cookz, has some delicious looking seasonal cocktail recipes, like a cinnamon maple whiskey sour and a peppermint cream martini.


Write Each Other Letters For Next Year

Ever heard of "open when" letters? They're a sentimental way to support your long-distance love when you can't be there in person, but they also make great Christmas Eve gifts between partners in-person. Sit down together to write yours, including your hopes for your relationship in the coming year, favorite memories of the year past, and anything else that feels important to remember. You'll love the tradition of seeing what wishes came true and what memories you both held dear.


Go Find Christmas Lights

Bundle up if you live in a walking town, or pack snacks and a thermos of hot chocolate for the car, and go on a hunt for the best Christmas lights. You can also make little "best lights of the year" certificates and pop them into the mailboxes of the ones you like best.