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There’s just something in the air around Christmastime that makes you want to snuggle up with your honey and hide out in your apartment while making zero contact with the outside world for days at a time. There’s nothing like sporting the same pair of sweatpants and fuzzy socks for three days in a row while sharing room-temperature leftover Pizza Hut straight from the cardboard box. That’s called romance.
The weather outside is surely frightful, and that makes it tougher than ever to quell your social anxiety and gather up the courage to leave the house. Sure, it’s fun to lay around with your boo, nursing a two-day hangover and mindlessly watching Chef’s Table for hours at a time, but I just call that a regular weekend. The holidays are a special time, where joy and laughter are in the air. It’s time for stoop kid to leave the stoop, and go join in on the holiday festivities.
Here are some good holiday date options for when you’re ready to surgically remove yourself from that loveseat.
1. Decorate a Christmas Tree
Remember the good old days of decorating the Christmas tree with your family while It’s A Wonderful Life played on the living room television and the smell of sugar cookies filled the air? Those were truly some magical times. Well, you’re probably not going to be able to recapture those feelings of childhood naivety and innocence, but you can damn sure try.
Go to your local Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, or Target. Comb through the leftover, beat-up boxes to find that special discounted-tree. There are so many options! Do you go pre-lit? White lights? Rainbow lights? Flocked? Tinsel? The opportunities are truly endless.
Once you drop over $100 of your hard-earned dollars on a tree that looks like it got man-handled by various delivery drivers on its way to you, you and your significant other can argue over what kind of decorations will go on it. Do you go with a wacky-novelty theme, hanging everything from a battery-powered dancing Elvis to a classic Natural Light can until the tree looks like an antique shop on acid? Or do you go for a more minimalist-theme, decorating with white and silver ornaments that will obviously look more aesthetically-pleasing but simultaneously remove all creative expression and fun in the process? Honestly, you can’t go wrong.
Once you’ve loaded up the Civic with hundreds of dollars of pointless and expensive stuff, you and your sweetie will be able to engage in some teamwork to tackle the task that is hauling everything up to your 6th-floor apartment.
What do you mean your living room is too small to support a 6-foot Balsam Fir? Surely your roommates will understand once they see the magnificence of this immaculately-decorated tree. Don’t worry about where you’ll store all of this shit after the season is over, you can be concerned about that later. Crack a bottle of vino and get to work, you two! Here’s hoping nothing catches on fire.
2. Drive Around and Look at Christmas Lights
Okay, maybe the Christmas-tree decorating idea seemed like a little too much. Maybe you just aren’t that into interior design. Don’t worry, there are more ideas where that came from.
Christmas lights! One of my favorite things about the Christmas season are the lights. There’s something so pure and beautiful about the twinkling lights at night, reminding you of a better time when you didn’t have to pay income taxes and your neighbor Barb didn’t let her dog shit in your yard. Fear not, my dear friends, there is a way to find that holiday joy, again.
On a Friday night when the air gets frigid, grab your lover and jump in the car. Be sure to bring a couple cups of hot coffee to sip on and keep you both warm. Set that radio dial to the Christmas station and let those crunchy tunes fill your soul. Once you’ve made it out of the miserable gridlock traffic surrounding your midtown apartment, head to the wealthiest suburb you can think of. I’m talking white-SUV’s and in-ground pool territory. Here’s where the fun begins.
Oh whoops, it’s a gated neighborhood? Don’t worry. Just keep the car running, hidden around the corner of the entrance, and wait for someone to try and go home. As soon as they trigger the gate: floor it. Tailgate that car until you’re inside and home-free. Sure, they might think you’re an intruder and call the cops, but that’s a risk you’re willing to take. Nothing like the threat of an immediate arrest to amp up the stakes on this date night!
Once you make it inside the neighborhood, it’s time to whip out that surprise bottle of bourbon you brought just for the occasion. Empty that sucker into those coffees and start rolling down the block, but don’t forget to throw the empty out the window and into the nicest front yard you can find. Now it’s time to laugh and enjoy the ethereal beauty of those perfect Christmas lights adorning those multi-million dollar homes. Egg somebody’s house if you’re really feeling spicy. Just let yourselves have fun! If a police officer stops you, just say you got lost on your way to a charity event for the impoverished. He’ll definitely let you off with a free pass. Happy trails!
3. Build a Gingerbread House
If you haven’t had your fill of the Christmas spirit, yet, I know just the thing. You know what’s more fun than making and decorating delicious sugar cookies? Making and decorating a completely inedible cardboard house. There’s no threat of overindulging because there is a 0.0% chance that you will want to take a bite out of your gingerbread creation, but with all the fun of decorating and enjoying time with someone you care about.
The next time you pay the grocery store a visit, go ahead and pick up a couple gingerbread house kits. Sure, they’re exorbitantly priced, but who can really put a price on happiness, am I right?
Once you get home, you and your boo can help each other clean off the kitchen table that’s been gathering piles of junk for weeks. Perhaps you’ll find some lost items or maybe even some unpaid bills in the process. It’s a win-win.
Once you’ve cleared the table, you’ll need to lay down some parchment paper or plastic wrap. Oh, you totally forgot to pick that up while you were at the store? No worries, you should be fine without it. You’re adults, after all, how messy could it get?
Turn the television to the Yule Log channel and get to work. It’ll probably be too warm in the house for the icing to really set up correctly, and the sprinkles and candies will inevitably cover the table and floor of the surrounding area in a 10-foot span. You’ll probably curse one another out for “bumping the table” and making your shitty house fall down for the 6th time, but it’s all in good fun. Once you both give up on your dream of making an Instagram-worthy gingerbread house, you’ll get to continue looking at them for 4 more days while you both avoid having to clean up the pointless mess. What a joy.
4. Go Ice-Skating
If Susie Homemaker holiday events don’t strike your fancy, have I got the date idea for you. Were you at least a junior varsity athlete in high school? Did you play on a co-ed intramural softball team in undergrad? Did you have a promising future in football but suffered a debilitating knee injury that forced you to give up your pigskin dreams? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are just the right kind of athlete to enjoy some ice-skating this Christmas.
I know it’s been a while since you’ve hit the gym, but ice-skating isn’t even really a sport, you know? Additionally, your significant other will love the photo opportunities that this date can bring, and honestly a little exercise may do you both some good.
Head on down to your local ice-skating rink. Sure, it’s filled with children and families, but you’ll be flexing on them out in the middle of the rink, anyway, so don’t worry too much about accidentally running over a toddler.
Once you pay $20 to rent a couple pair of used, smelly skates, it’s time to get down to business. There’s no shame in hanging out on the side for a few laps, it may have been a while since you last tore up the ice. Your legs may be a little shaky, but that’s what your partner is there for. If all else fails, if you start falling, just grab on to their body for support, they’ll definitely be able to hold the both of you up.
Once you’ve fallen directly onto the frozen tundra kneecaps-first a few times, you might start feeling the “sparkle” of this holiday tradition start fading away. Don’t let it! Look at those other little shitheads running circles around you. Don’t embarrass yourself in front of your girlfriend, or she will probably never want to have sex with you again. Get up and keep trying again. Be sure to get more aggressive and angrier with each try, and under no circumstances should you let your girlfriend try to tell you that “it’s okay.” Women love a man who can do things themselves. Don’t fall for her ploy.
5. Go to the Mall
If you feel like all of the aforementioned ideas were child’s play, there’s only one thing left to do. Go to your local shopping mall. This combines every single holiday tradition into one, sprinkled with some fun and exciting obstacles along the way. Christmas jingles will be playing from the moment you enter the battlefield that is the parking lot to your encounters with innumerable strangers sneezing and coughing without covering their mouths in the food court. The shopping mall is a magical and exciting place around the holidays. You and your significant other will be forced to strategize in the moment, covering as much ground as possible in very little time, surrounded by stressed-out moms pressed for time, and aggressive makeup salesmen at the kiosks that will inevitably be placed directly outside of each store you need to visit. Together, you will try to avoid the pitfall that is the line to see Santa, and decide how best to avoid the judgmental looks from the Salvation Army volunteers when you both dash into the automatic doors without dropping in a few coins. It’s truly a violent video game come to life.
There will be challenges such as “They’re completely out of the one sweater I was going to buy my Mom,” and “I fucking hate this store, why can’t you just order this shit online?” The longer you stay inside the mall, the more fun the challenges will get. Once you’ve both given up on purchasing any of the items you came for, settle in at that mustard-streaked table over by the Cinnabon and get yourselves a treat – you deserve it. Ignore that crying baby one table over, surely it’ll stop screaming, soon.
Happy holidays! .