“And Ma in her kerchief. And I in my cap, Had just settled down. To a long winter’s nap.”
Now that I’m married and a mom, this line from The Night Before Christmas conjures up this mental image of myself and my husband in full-coverage winter pajamas, hunkering down on our sides of the bed, pulling the covers up to our chins, trying to make it through another cold, dark night. Now maybe that’s just me (and hopefully I didn’t ruin the story for you), but getting out of our proverbial “kerchief and cap” to reconnect is hard after having kids, especially during and after the winter holiday chaos.
To help, we put together a few ways to warm up with your partner when the nights are long and cold. Plus, a babysitter is not always needed for these winter date night ideas.
1. Make a meal after the kids go to bed
Sip wine and chat as you chop the ingredients up for a special meal for two. Note: this date night idea works best if you can eat some appetizers while the kids are still awake or eating their dinner because no one wants to be meal prepping while hangry.
2. Do some DIY wine tasting at home
Head to the local wine store and have the proprietor choose a few options for you and your partner to sample with some cheese or chocolate pairings. Make it more fun and google the region and share tidbits about each one as you partake.
3. Have a fireside chat
Lighting the fire, literally, can be a good excuse to get cozy and talk over a cup of spiced cider or hot chocolate. Have a fire pit? Try bundling up and going outside. Have a fireplace? Great, share a blanket and a snuggle. No fireplace? Try lighting a bunch of candles to set the mood.
And if you’re worried you won’t be able to stop talking about the kids, we have you covered too. Check out “The Friday Five” on the podcast blog for Marriage and Martinis. Each post includes date night questions relevant to their podcast subject to help spark some great conversations between couples.
4. Go see holiday lights without the kids
Let’s be honest, so many times you might try to bundle up the kids and take them to see the holiday lights only to have them fall asleep, act crabby, or experience the trifecta of being tired, crabby, and cold. If you can book a babysitter, go take in some twinkling lights without the kids. Even better, taking in a walking light tour and carry a travel coffee mug with a festive holiday cocktail to warm you up inside too.
5. Pre-party together BEFORE the holiday party
If you or your partner’s office has a holiday party, have the sitter arrive a little early and take advantage of some alone time before you begin socializing with coworkers. You’re probably already dressed up and maybe you only have time to share a happy hour cocktail, but it can be nice to have a little one-on-one time that feels like a date.
6. Send the kids to have a slumber party at grandma’s
My mother-in-law has started the amazing tradition of taking our kids for a holiday season overnight at her house. They make gingerbread houses and probably eat ice cream for breakfast, but who cares? My husband and I get a silent night to reconnect. Last year, we saw a movie (in the theater!) and went out for a nice dinner afterward.
I know not everyone has family locally, and even getting to my mother-in-law’s means two hours in the car, but if you can swing it, it’s worth it. Sometimes it’s nice to do some of the simple things you were able to do before you had kids, like sleeping in or sleeping naked, even if just for one night.
Need more ideas? Read Date Night Ideas Based on Your Love Language!