For those of you who don’t know, Kevin and I started this blog together a couple years ago, but with school, work, and distance, we couldn’t post as consistently as we planned and we ending up taking an unintentional hiatus. It wasn’t until earlier this year when I decided to start blogging again. Now that this year of blogging on my own is ending, I’ve been reflecting on how this blog has grown and brainstorming ways to make it more my own. While Kevin still provides ideas and feedback, and I reference him from time to time in my posts, it seemed weird to keep the blog named “Mariel & Kevin” when it’s now only “Mariel.”
Hence the name change and revamped layout. I decided on “wander & wonder” not only because of the catchy alliteration, but because I felt it captured the essence of my content, which pertains to the wonders of traveling (i.e. wandering) as well as the little wonders of everyday life. And I went for a layout that puts more of an emphasis on photography to accommodate the travel posts I have planned for the coming year (and coming weeks, hint hint).
That being said, Kevin and I have been planning what we’re going to do during our time together this holiday season. We always have a bunch of date ideas that we try to jam pack into our schedules, but since we have so little time together, we only end up doing one or two things on this list. Hopefully this give you some inspiration for activities to do this winter with your significant other, or any special person in your life for that matter.
1) Christmas decorating
Putting up Christmas decorations is by far my favorite part of the season. And even though we’re rarely together early enough in December to do so, I know decorating with my significant other would make the experience even more special. You can haul some ornaments to put up around the house together, or you can try making your own DIY decorations. Either way, it’s a fun way to spend a winter night in.
2) Ice skating
I can’t ice skate — well, I tried once and it didn’t go very well — but from observing other people who can, it seems like a fun time. Just make sure at least one of you knows what they’re doing before getting in the rink.
3) Watch a Christmas play
I’m not sure about other cities, but I know local theatres in San Diego host annual productions of The Nutcracker and The Christmas Carol. Though tickets can be pricey, it’s worth it for fans of plays and ballets.
4) Attend a Winter festival
Most cities host some sort of festival in the month of December. In San Diego, we have December Nights at Balboa Park. There are Christmas tree and light displays, dance and musical performances, rides, and tons of food vendors. Plus, there’s free admission to all the park’s museums. If your city has a similar event, ask someone special to go with you and spend the night getting into the holiday spirit together.
5) Look at Christmas light displays
This is a personal favorite I love to do not only with my partner, but my family and friends as well. You can drive around and listen to carols or walk with a thermos of your favorite warm holiday beverage in hand as you admire all the pretty lights.
6) Bake together
My motto during December: Christmas calories don’t count. So go ahead and whip up all the cookies and brownies your heart (and your SO’s heart) desires.
There are box mixes of popular holiday treats at most stores, which makes things a whole lot easier, but there’s something about baking treats from scratch that make them even more special. Even if you’re not a pro in the kitchen, it’s fun trying out a new recipe with someone and it says a lot about how you’re able to work together. Plus, with double the hands, you can make some treats to give to your loved ones too. But make sure to save some for you two to enjoy while watching a holiday movie afterwards.
7) Holiday Movie Marathon
Speaking of movies, why not make a night of watching your favorite holiday movies? Take a break from your current Netflix series and stream a Christmas movie instead. If you can’t seem to find your favorites online, Freeform is airing popular Christmas movies all month leading up to Christmas and Hallmark Channel has been airing original Christmas movies all day, everyday since the beginning of November, so there are plenty of movies to choose from. My favorites are Elf, Home Alone 1 and 2, and The Santa Clause series. What are yours?
8) Coffee Date
With colder, gloomier weather approaching, a morning pick-me-up is essential. Meet up at a local cafe and try the holiday-inspired concoctions and treats. (I don’t know about you, but peppermint anything always makes me happy.)
9) Warm and Cozy Dinner
Pho, ramen, and other warm soups dishes are always delicious, but they especially hit the spot during the colder months. Invite your special someone to grab your favorite comfort food with you, or maybe even offer to cook it for them yourself.
10) Snow Day
It doesn’t feel like the holidays with 70-80 degree heat here in Southern California. If you live in a similarly warm area, go on a road trip with your partner to a city where it snows (or where it’s cold at least). Do all the festive things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to: go sledding, make snow angels, build a snowman, etc.
11) Gift Shopping
Kill two birds with one stone by going on a shopping date: you get to spend time together while crossing gifts off your checklist, and they can even help you come up with gift ideas if you’re stumped. All the while, you can enjoy the carols beings played in stores, try on ugly Christmas sweaters, and marvel at all the holiday decor.
12) Day at an Amusement Park
There’s something magical about going to amusement parks during the holiday season. Granted, my only frame of reference is Disneyland and California Adventure, both of which go all out with characters in festive costumes, decorations and lights throughout the park, and even fake snow during the nightly firework show. This year, we’re planning on going to Universal Studios, so I’ll let y’all know how they do Christmas over there. If you’re able, I would highly recommend making a trip out to an amusement park during this time of year.