Holiday Date Night Ideas For Busy Parents – December 2014 {Serve Your Spouse Saturday #34}

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links; thanks for your support!

 

Holiday Date Ideas for Busy Parents

 

Amidst all the noise and fuss and CRAZY that is a modern Christmas, it’s super important to take a little while to decompress and de-stress with your spouse. I have gotten really good at severely limiting the obligations but it still gets a little nuts. Now we have older kids, so there are Christmas programs and rehearsals

December’s theme for date night nights for busy parents is holiday dates.

While some ideas can be adapted to any time of year, others are decidedly holiday-oriented. Also, this went up a little later than normal but most ideas will still be good until New Years Eve. Plus, after all the compact family togetherness, we are usually ready for a date :).

For Free

If you are low on cash (because aren’t most people this time of year?), here are a few free ideas.

Christmas Lights

Go for a drive (or a walk) and take a look at some fun Christmas light displays. Pack a thermos of coffee, tea or hot chocolate from home to keep warm and make costs minimal. You could even give lights awards!

Christmas Tree

One of our favorite traditions is to sit in the light of the tree after everyone is asleep. Pour yourself a cup of decaf, tea or a hot toddy and snuggle near the tree. You could talk, play a game or whatever else you might enjoy doing together ;).

 

For Home

Because not everyone has the time, money or energy for date night out, I wanted to share two ideas for at home date nights over the Christmas holidays.

Christmas Movie Night

If you can’t get a sitter, a Christmas movie night is the perfect choice. Put the kids to bed early or set them up with their own movie & a popcorn in bed. Dating Divas has a fun Christmas Cuddle printable date package you can download. This is the perfect time to watch your favorite holiday flicks that aren’t appropriate for your kids or that they can’t stand!

New Years Eve Countdown

Right now, our kids are young and so we don’t have any New Years traditions. I would love to start an at-home New Years Eve date tradition! If you used to go out dancing, have yourselves a private party. Decorate & celebrate with the kids in the day. Then get glitzed up when they go to bed. Dance & drink some bubbly and start kissing at 11:59 & don’t stop until 12:01. Make it a perfect end to this year and a perfect start to next! If dancing isn’t your cup of tea, try a game night, or a tv show or movie marathon. We would do Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean or maybe even Harry Potter. This post has great New Year’s Eve countdown ideas for kids AND adults. Just use the grown up stuff after kids are in bed.

For Fun

With these two fun date night ideas, you can do a little clearance gift shopping and plan for an awesome year.

12 Days of Christmas

Traditionally, the 12 Days of Christmas starts on 12/25 and runs through 1/5. Take your spouse on a date to find the best 12 days of Christmas clearance hunt. You could aim for your gifts to be applicable to the number, the part of the song (lords a’ leaping, for example), or even the hidden meanings of the 12 days of Christmas. Set a time or money limit & even check in every 10-15 minutes. Then give your gifts, one each day until you give them all!

New Years Retreat

If you have older kids & an awesome sitter/aunt/Godmother, maybe you could take a New Year’s retreat with your spouse. Go out for a night on the town on New Years Eve, spend the night at a hotel or B&B, and spend the next day coming up with your best year ever. Consider areas such as faith/charity/service, your marriage, parenting, work/life “balance,” social opportunities, budgeting, and big life wishes.

 

I hope that you may be able to use one of these Holiday date night ideas for busy parents this Christmas season.

Do you take dates during the busy holiday season?

Jen S.

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12 Apps of Christmas {@CatholicMom.com}

Everyone has heard that the song The 12 Days of Christmas was written to teach about 12 points of doctrine of the Catholic faith when it was outlawed in England.   I wrote a post about 12 iPhone/iOS apps that are related to each of the 12 doctrines of the faith referred to in the song.

12 Apps of Christmas

So I am just a little bit obsessed with the 12 Days of Christmas. I try really hard to make Advent, well , Advent, and so when Christmas comes, I want to milk it for all 12 days worth! That’s a lot of celebrating when everyone else is totally over it. I am always looking for things related to the 12 days of Christmas, both from the catholic liturgical calendar and from the song meanings tradition.

I would like to present the 12 Apps of Christmas, one for each of the 12 Days of Christmas. I would like to mention that while I found all these apps, I did not buy & install them all, so do your own research before purchasing them. My iPhone is old and full :).

 

Go read about all 12 iPhone apps at Catholic Mom.com!

Jen S.

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Quick & Easy Christmas Meal Hacks {@ Successful Homemakers}

Feeling overwhelmed about Christmas dinner?

No worries!  I shared 6 of my favorite meal hacks over at Successful Homemakers last week.

christmas meal hacks

How are you feeling about the holidays? Are you starting to feel a little harried and stressed and wishing it was over? If you are, I have a few tips to help make cooking on Christmas quick and easy.

Visit Successful Homemakers to read all 6 tips for hacking your Christmas meals!

Jen S.

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Awesome Pre-Order Bonuses When You Buy ‘Living Well, Spending Less’

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for participation on her launch team.

 

So I’ve been (ever so slowly) working through Elite Blog Academy and had the opportunity to participate in the launch of Ruth’s new book.  I had been reading her blog for a while…before her post about taking her kids toys away went viral.   Anyway, I liked her blog and volunteered to be a part of her launch team.

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If you aren’t familiar with the blog, Living Well, Spending Less, Ruth started it to keep herself accountable when her spending started to cause marriage problems.   In the beginning, it was a savings blog dedicated to buying awesome things at rockin’ prices.   But then she realized that living well had very little to do with the stuff she was buying (albiet for less than ever before).

Her book Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life, is more than just another financial book.  It’s part memoir, part examination of what the “good life” really IS, and some quick and easy ways to spend less.   It’s an awesome book and I plan to re-read it again before it’s available again in a few weeks.

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If you are starting to think about changing your life, financially or otherwise this coming year, I really think you should get a copy of Living Well, Spending Less.  And if you pre-order one, two or 5 copies, there are some awesome bonuses you can get — a 156-page home planner, art work & necklace (if you buy 5 — book group, anyone?)

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Living Well, Spending Less is really going to help get 2015 off to a great start.  And affordable too–the Kindle is only $5.99 and you will still get the pre-order bonuses.  How cool is that?

Are you planning ahead for next year?  What resources are you using?

Jen S.

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Favorite Christmas Books – Kids Choice (2014)

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support!

 

christmas picture books kids choice

Each year, I try to get new Christmas books for the kids because, well, books are my thing :). I love everything about them. I don’t even mind the cost of them! The last few years, I have shared new (to us) favorites. This year, I want to share my kids favorites.

The Little Man – 18 mos

 

We have had this board book version of Frosty the Snowman for awhile & no one really liked it much. Until this guy. The pictures are cute and he loves to hear us sing it. If you are a purest, you might not like it because the verses & refrains are not all exactly in the same order. I don’t mind and neither does The Little Man.

 

Itty Bitty – 4 years

 

Itty Bitty’s favorite book is a new one this year, Elsa’s Gift. This is a large format padded pseudo-board book about Anna & Elsa (from Frozen) getting ready for Christmas. Elsa keeps trying to make & do all these things to show Anna how much she loves her when all Anna wants to do is spend time with Elsa. Cute, but not one of MY favorites :).

 

Lil’ Bit – 6.9 years

 

My not quite 7 year old likes another new acquisition — The Legend of St. Nicholas. This is another beautiful hardcover from ZonderKids. This is very similar to The Legend of the Candy Cane that I reviewed last month. This is the story of a young boy who goes shopping for presents on Christmas Eve. He pokes his head in the child care room (I want to shop there!) and hears Santa telling the children about St. Nicholas. It’s not quite the version I know.

Instead of it being the Turkish bishop (or even the VeggieTales version), its a wealthy & privileged young man whose parent dies. In talking to his “friends” he realizes he can help them with his wealth and then goes around giving to others. Parts of it are the same and parts are…off. I’m not a huge fan, but obviously Lil’ Bit is a fan because she picked The Legend of St. Nicholas above half a dozen other beloved favorites.

 

Interested in more?  Check out these other posts about Christmas picture books at Happy Little Homemaker:

 

What are your favorite Christmas books?

Jen S.

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