If you’ve just started dating someone around the holiday season, you may already know that it can be a bit tricky to find things to do that don’t involve the torture of introducing her to your fourteen great aunts at the annual holiday gathering.
You might scare her away if your second or third date happens to coincide with the family turkey dinner on Christmas Day. While there are drawbacks to holiday dating, it’s also a time to do a million things that would seem sappy at any other time of the year.
Drawbacks of holiday dating
First of all, if you start dating someone around Christmas, there’s always that awkward moment of trying to figure out if you should buy her a gift and if that’s the case, then what would you buy for something that you barely know while trying not to look like a cheapskate?
If you are open and honest with the person that you’ve started dating, chances are this topic can be brought up pretty nonchalantly in normal conversation. That way you can get a feel for whether or not she’s into giving gifts this early on in the potential relationship. Better yet, when it comes up, suggest that instead of sharing gifts that you spend a night on the town including a nice dinner, followed by dancing and drinks.
That way there’s no looking for that perfect yet non-awkward gift that she will end up reading too much or too little into. If you get her a CD, she thinks you’re cheap; if you get her jewelry, she thinks you’re moving too fast.
The dreaded family gathering is always a holiday dating drawback. If your date hasn’t met your family yet and the holiday season is a big deal for your family, bringing her to dinner probably isn’t the smartest thing. She’ll feel weird when everyone else is exchanging gifts except her and will wonder why your mother keeps looking at her with that “please try to stay together with this one” look.
On the other hand, your new girl might be hurt if she learns that you don’t want to take her home for the holidays, as though you are unsure of your future with her (which, of course, you are, but can’t very well explain to her without a major fight!).
Things to do to celebrate the holidays with your new love
Rather than worrying about family gatherings and gifts, concentrate on fun and interesting things to do over the holiday season. Just enjoy it for what it is worth and if you’re still together the following year, congratulations.
1. Go window shopping. Take your girl, grab your gloves and scarf and peruse the shops along the trendiest street in town. You don’t have to worry about gifts, so you can just enjoy the Christmas lights, the light snow falling, and top it off with some hot chocolate at a café. Frantic shoppers will see you holding her hand and learning more about her and be so jealous of that beautiful couple.
2. Build a snowman. It might sound cheesy and just like an episode of Blind Date but nothing beats a good old fashioned snow man. Grab a carrot, a couple of button eyes and an old scarf to finish him off. Maybe grab two carrots…she’s seen Dumb & Dumber, right? Follow it up with a friendly snowball fight.
3. Head to the mall. I know, the most dreaded place on earth during the holidays—and have her sit on Santa’s lap. You’ll be doing him a favor. Rather than have some chubby kid with a runny nose whine about how he wants a Playstation, he can enjoy your hottie sitting on his lap telling him about the thong she wants from the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.
4. Build a gingerbread house. Don’t try making the pieces yourself; that would probably just end up with the two of you fighting over how the house is going to fall over. Instead, buy one of those pre-made units that has all the gingerbread pieces already made and cut up. Top it off with your favorite white icing and all the candy you ever wanted. When you’re done, give it to your little brother to pick out the candy and lick the hard icing off the roof.
5. Go ice skating. Bring two hockey sticks too and if she can’t skate circles around you already, teach her how to skate and shoot the puck. Another chance to get physically close while getting some exercise at the same time. When her feet get cold, offer to rub them. And bring along a thermos with hot cocoa for when you get thirsty and cold.
6. Decorate the Christmas tree together. Who cares if you live alone, have no presents to put under it, and aren’t allowed to have a live tree in your apartment? Head out to the nearest tree farm together, get a tree and buy some decorations. If there’s anything that will spark romance during the holiday season, it’s decorating the tree together. In fact, turn on Miracle on 34th Street while you’re hanging the tinsel, just to make it feel right.
7. Make her dinner and serve it by the fireplace. Get a couple of bottles of nice red wine and have a cozy, romantic dinner while watching the fire crackle. Get out the bearskin rug too…you never know where this could lead.
Try a few of these during the holiday season and who knows? She might stick around to see what you have planned for the next Christmas.