12 Dates Of Christmas – 12 date night ideas for you to enjoy


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The Christmas season is full of  romance – twinkling lights, festive music, and cozy nights perfect for snuggling up with your spouse. That’s why we’re sharing 12 fun, intentional date night ideas for some thoughtfulness in your marriage this holiday season!

 

Date nights build connection through consistent, dedicated time to nourish intimacy emotionally and physically. They communicate, “You are cherished and a priority – worth carving out distractions for.” Dating your spouse is so important because it makes you both feel cherished, gets you out of routine, leads to romantic intimacy, and models a healthy marriage for your kids.

 

So get creative this Christmas! Surprise your spouse by…

  • Going on a thermos of hot chocolate “drive-by” to see neighborhood light displays
  • A progressive dinner (go to 3-4 different places and try different things!)
  • Baking and decorating sugar cookies together
  • Go sledding or snowshoeing 
  • Have a game night
  • Go ice skating
  • Get a couples massage
  • Go to a Christmas market
  • Ax throwing
  • Go to a musical concert or play
  • Go dancing!
  • Christmas shopping

 

The key to dating consistently amidst busy seasons is advance planning – secure childcare and put dates on the calendar before other commitments creep in.  Don’t let the extra busyness of December become an excuse. Even simple moments fully present with your spouse keep your friendship alive.

This Christmas, give your marriage the gift of regular one-on-one time enjoying the holiday magic. Say no to stagnancy by creative dating! Remind your spouse they still have your whole heart.

READ TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer Smith (00:05):

There may be 1,000,001 reasons or rather excuses why you might not be making date night a priority in your marriage right now. Look, we get it between trying to find a trustworthy babysitter to stressing out about finances. We often find ourselves going in and out of seasons of intentional date nights. The truth is we need to be dating each other when we don’t. We tend to feel more distant and distracted. We let the cares of whatever is current take over our emotional and mental state of mind. Being able to date each other reminds us to focus on each other, to have fun regardless of our circumstances, and to carve out time to talk without interruptions. Andy Troub encourages married couples saying dates got you into the place where you wanted to marry each other. If you want to stay married, then keep dating your spouse.

Aaron Smith (00:49):

Hey, we’re Andy Jennifer Smith, your host of the Marriage After God podcast. Before we jump into this episode, I wanted to read a review that we just got recently from a user, Micah 1, 2, 1. They’re titled it Love the Podcast, but one small thing though, they said, this podcast has been great and I’ve loved listening to your stories and love the biblical route in everything you teach on. Just hearing about the ups and downs of your marriage has been great for me to know that it’s okay to have these challenges and that God is faithful to help us grow through them. One quick thing though to note, if you read these reviews, the sound levels and editing could use some tweaking. Your voices are always really quiet, so I turn them up and then the theme song at the end comes in and blast my eardrums. Hopefully this helps. Keep up the good work. Oops. Oops, sorry. I just wanted to make a note that I actually, currently, I do all the editing myself and I’m not that great at it, so I do appreciate the constructive criticism. It’s something that I’m working on and I’ll continue to get better at editing the audio.

Jennifer Smith (01:47):

We actually really appreciate that kind of feedback because it helps us to make those tweaks and figure it out.

Aaron Smith (01:53):

So I appreciate it and I’ve been trying to make sure that the audio is better, so I’ll keep working on that. One last thing though before we jump in is today’s a great day to consider planning to start the new year off. We want you want to encourage you to order your copy and also to order gifts for your Friends of the Marriage gift, our newest book that came out this year. It came out just only a couple months ago, and we want to encourage you to join us in the 2024 Marriage Prayer Challenge. That’s right, the Marriage Prayer Challenge. We want you to get the marriage gift and we want you to read it every day this year with your spouse, and if you can’t do it with your spouse, that you would do it alone for your spouse. So start the new year by committing to praying every day with your spouse and read through our book, which consists of 365 marriage prayers, one for every day of the year. Get your copy today so you’re ready to jump in in 2024 with a resolution to pray for your marriage alongside your spouse. Visit the marriage gift.com to order your copy today.

Jennifer Smith (02:50):

Welcome back to another episode of the Marriage After God podcast. We’re here. Hello everyone. As we introed today about date night, that the topic of today’s discussion because we find it’s important in our marriage and we know that we go in and out of seasons with it. So we thought everyone could use the encouragement, and I love the title 12 Dates of Christmas. I just thought it was a funny play on the 12 days of Christmas, but before we jump into that, let’s just catch people up on life.

Aaron Smith (03:19):

We

Jennifer Smith (03:20):

Skipped an episode last week. We

Aaron Smith (03:21):

Did skip one week. That’s happened a handful of times this year we’ve realized, but it’s okay. We’ve done more episodes this year than we’ve done in past years because we’ve been trying to do it every week. So that kind of goes into what we’re talking about with date night this week. This episode is when you have it as a goal. As a schedule. It happens way more than when it’s kind of like, let’s just do it. When we think about it,

Jennifer Smith (03:42):

When you have a commitment to something, it’s easier to just jump back into it.

Aaron Smith (03:45):

So this is our 39th episode of the year. Cool. Out of 52 weeks. That’s not bad.

Jennifer Smith (03:50):

High five,

Aaron Smith (03:51):

And we have a few more episodes that we’re going to do before the end of the year,

Jennifer Smith (03:55):

So we missed last week and the week before that was Thanksgiving, which was really great. My family came out to visit us and then

Aaron Smith (04:02):

It was awesome. I got to smoke a Turkey again. Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (04:04):

It was really good. Good food. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (04:05):

They all love my smoked Turkey.

Jennifer Smith (04:07):

Something that was interesting for me and I realized I wasn’t alone in this was that this last year I’ve shared with you guys a little bit about just my weight loss journey and how I’ve dropped a lot of weight and so this was my first Thanksgiving. What just being mindful of

Aaron Smith (04:26):

At your new self,

Jennifer Smith (04:27):

At my new self, but being mindful of what I eat and how I eat. And I’m not kidding you. A couple days before thought that I was going to be sad or feel like I missed out on the food or just whatever was going to be there, all the treats and the goodies and them. But I had a good perspective going into it and I didn’t even restrict myself. I just said, I’m going to enjoy the day, but kind of stick to the no gluten and not eat as many treats as I normally would have. And I felt really good. I felt good about the choices that I made and proud of myself just for how I took on the day. And then I was on social media later and another person that I follow, Trisha Goyer, you guys might know her. She’s an author, but she’s also been sharing about her weight loss journey and she had the same perspective going into Thanksgiving that she’s a new person, new self, and having lost weight and not feeling down about it and being able to enjoy and be present with family and friends and just really enjoy the day.

(05:31)
So I love that she shared that because then I was like, oh, I’m not alone in this. It was cool.

Aaron Smith (05:36):

It’s just a cool thing to see you grow, not just like you have these new like, oh, I don’t do that and I do do this. It’s a whole mental shift where you can enjoy yourself and you can enjoy food and the food no longer has the same hold that it used to, that same mentality because that’s what happens when we change ourselves, when we make decisions is our minds change. And that’s biblically is how everyone changes, is that transformation happens by renewing of our minds. And so that’s really cool to hear that your mind’s being renewed in that area and has been and continues to be. And

Jennifer Smith (06:15):

There’s this kind of sweet spot of knowing that it has become a lifestyle, not just a diet, not just a short term, oh, I’m going to change this thing about myself and then I can go back to being me again. I’ve actually, like you said, been transformed in a way that I’ve owned and assumed a new identity. Identity. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (06:34):

That’s good. So you told me about, I don’t know if anyone’s done this before, but you told me about this idea you saw online on social media or something about food for taking all your Thanksgiving stuff and turning it into something else.

Jennifer Smith (06:50):

Oh, it was just a short reel about what to do with the leftovers and they had a waffle iron out and they took the stuffing and they put it into the waffle iron and make the bottom crust. Layer a waffle. Yeah, it was awesome. And then they layered it with mashed potatoes. How didn’t we try that gravy and all the things, well, we didn’t try that one, but my sister-in-law made her husband, I dunno if people saw this, but it was like your brother.

Aaron Smith (07:13):

What? She made your brother.

Jennifer Smith (07:15):

What did I

Aaron Smith (07:15):

Say? My sister-in-law made her husband, it’s her brother.

Jennifer Smith (07:19):

Same five guys follow along.

Aaron Smith (07:21):

Technically it’s the same thing.

Jennifer Smith (07:22):

She made the Turkey sushi rollup all the way. That

Aaron Smith (07:26):

Did look good. She made a Turkey sushi roll. Yeah, she used the crispy skin of the Turkey and made it looked really good. Mashed potatoes and all this stuff. So creative. Love that. Also this last weekend, actually not last weekend, well recently this a weekend ago, we did a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament. Yeah, that was fun. Five of us. So me and you, Jennifer, we competed and then Elliot and Olive Wyatt competed and there was so many people there and this was Wyatt’s first tournament and Jennifer’s first tournament and this was mine. Olive Elliot’s second tournament. Man, it was a lot of fun. It was so

Jennifer Smith (08:03):

Much fun. It was so much hype. Our friends came too, and so we had a huge cheer squad just

Aaron Smith (08:08):

Going. I think our cheer squad was the loudest in the whole gym. Our academy, our school that we go to got second overall in the tournament, which is really cool. So that means all the people that came from our gym, we did pretty good. We did well. Yeah, me and you got silvers and our tournaments. Elliot got two golds. He beat both of his. He did two

Jennifer Smith (08:28):

Brackets

Aaron Smith (08:29):

Nogi and he beat both, which was amazing to watch. And then Olive got bronze and Wyatt got bronze. I was so proud of Wyatt. It was his first time and he was so nervous. That was so cool watching them. It’s so cool watching your kids get good at something and actually want to be good at it. And Elliot’s like, I’m going to do every tournament. I’m like, whoa, they’re all over the catcher. We’re not going to do everyone, but we’ll try and do the ones that are close to us. Well, the next

Jennifer Smith (08:53):

One’s going to be here.

Aaron Smith (08:54):

Yeah, the

Jennifer Smith (08:54):

Next one’s going to be right here, Oregon. But I love, I think I’ve shared this before, but I just love that it’s become a family adventure because we all get to talk about it and join in the fun. And you and I have been excited to join in and I don’t know if I’ll ever do another competition, but I love Well, you’re going to see it in your

Aaron Smith (09:11):

Eyes. Listen, I can

Jennifer Smith (09:12):

See it in your eyes. I got to redeem that loss. I had a match that I lost that still I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about. Anyways, I love being able to relate to my children and understand what it feels like for them stepping out on the mat with all these people cheering and the lights and the rough, just all of it, every aspect of it. I can say, guys, I know that that’s really hard to do

Aaron Smith (09:37):

And it was a lot of fun. Hard but fun. Okay, so I think we should get into this topic. This is 12 date Night Ideas for Christmas, the 12 dates of Christmas.

Jennifer Smith (09:47):

We actually did one in the spring, if you guys remember, we did 12 spring date ideas. And so we just thought, well, we can’t skip over one of the most romantic seasons of the year. I love Christmas, I love

Aaron Smith (09:59):

Hallmark

Jennifer Smith (09:59):

Movies. I love all of it guys. Listen, the flickering lights, the whimsical ballads, the gloomy weather that makes life more moody. I like that. Christmas trees, I find it romantic darlings dressing up just to go to a recital. My daughter’s going to do a dance recital and her cousins are a part of it. And it’s funny, their costumes are just pajamas and so it doesn’t even feel like a real recital like they’re going to do in the spring. But my parents are coming out and my sister-in-Law was like, let’s all dress up and go to dinner afterwards. And just the idea of dressing up at Christmas time, it feels so exciting to

Aaron Smith (10:35):

Me. It’s also your birthday month.

Jennifer Smith (10:38):

Maybe that’s why it’s so magical. You

Aaron Smith (10:40):

Just love the December holiday. I love all of it. If you guys don’t know, Jennifer’s birthday is December 31st, which is the very last day of the year, but she gets lumped in with everything that’s going on. But what are we doing for your birthday this year? What? Oh, you guys,

Jennifer Smith (10:53):

What did I help? Am I helping plan? I got a massive surprise. I was so excited. I got an invitation at my door. It was a little Spider-Man figurine holding a card that said Jen with a ton of Marvel balloons. And if you guys didn’t know this, I’m a Marvel fan. I like the m cm, we like the superhero

Aaron Smith (11:11):

Stuff.

Jennifer Smith (11:12):

Superhero stuff. And so my friends and Aaron have created this Marvel murder mystery, and so they invited me to my own party and I got to pick my character and then they’re sending out all the invites and the background to characters to everyone that’s coming, and it’s going to be a murder mystery party. I don’t know what else it entails, but I’m really excited about it.

Aaron Smith (11:37):

It’s going to be a lot of fun and there’s going to be food. What is really awesome is there’s going to be food. It’s my favorite part about parties is food. So yeah, I’m excited. I wanted to do something special for you this year just to break up the monotony. Love it of things, but happy birthday. Thank you. You’re going to be what? 21, 22? Yeah, something like that.

Jennifer Smith (11:55):

Okay, 38.

Aaron Smith (11:58):

So today we want to encourage you with the smallest list of date ideas to make your marriage dreams come true through the power of initiation. Do it guys taking the steps towards it, even if it’s just one intentional date night this month. And that’s like we said, we go through seasons. Jennifer and I have been in a season of not going on as many dates as we usually do.

Jennifer Smith (12:17):

I feel like between life and work and parenting,

Aaron Smith (12:22):

We had a lot this year with our book launching and not that it’s an excuse, we were aware that there was going to be less day nights. And one

Jennifer Smith (12:29):

Of the excuses for me is I get tired. I don’t want to add another thing right

Aaron Smith (12:34):

Now. It’s not like you have five kids or anything.

Jennifer Smith (12:38):

So real quick, what does it mean to you when we do go out?

Aaron Smith (12:41):

For me, I look forward to date nights because it is a breakup of my week. And actually either it’s going to be just you, which I love that we get to, it’s going to be just us. We’re going to go get good food, we’re going to go spend time together, we’re going to talk, enjoy each other’s company. And I love that. So when we have a data coming up, I just get so excited. I’m like, oh yeah, it’s something I look forward to. But then sometimes we do it with friends and that’s another thing, I love being with friends, so it’s a really fun thing for me. It’s light. It gets my mind off of work and other things, and so I really enjoy that.

Jennifer Smith (13:16):

I like to get out of the sweatpants and get dressed up to feel

Aaron Smith (13:19):

Pretty. Oh yeah. Only in dated. Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (13:21):

Just kidding. Just kidding. But no, I do like to dress up. I like to sit next to you and know that I’m going to be close to you with no interruptions for a while.

Aaron Smith (13:30):

Yeah, that is nice. That’s so nice. It’s romantic. We get to look at each other. We also, I just sent you a text the other day. I was like, we need to do a date night for vision casting. We need to sit down something that we usually do, but even

Jennifer Smith (13:45):

Just texting me, that made me excited and I started looking forward to it.

Aaron Smith (13:50):

I want to sit down, and again, this goes back to one of the other benefits of date night is that intentional focus time of let’s talk about us. Let’s talk about the things that we haven’t talked about in a while. Let’s talk about how our parenting’s going. Let’s talk about what we see in the next year. What’s going to happen next year? What are we going to do? What kind of things do we want to accomplish? Are there places we want to go? Are there things we want to change? Are there things that we adopted this year that we’re like, man, we need to get that out of our life.

Jennifer Smith (14:18):

This is a very specific kind of date night that we like to take toward the end of the year and going into the new year, and we talk a lot about it in marriage After God, the book that we wrote, I think it’s chapter 13. It’s titled Dreaming Together, and it’s just all about looking at our goals and kind of vision casting for our marriage and our family and what we have coming up. So I’m excited to do that with you. Why is it good that our kids see us date each other

Aaron Smith (14:46):

For those parents out there that you want to give an example to your children, dating is a part of that example. It’s just good that they see their mom and dad intentionally trying to have time together

Jennifer Smith (14:58):

And it’s affirming to them about our relationship where we are and that we’re putting each other first and then they start to desire it every single time that we go on a date. They’re always like, when do I get to go on a date with you guys?

Aaron Smith (15:11):

And they want those intentional times

Jennifer Smith (15:13):

Because they know what it means. We shared a quote in the beginning about how we dated, about how when we dated that led to marriage and if we want to stay married, we should continue on. And I found a few more. I’m the quote or the mean person.

Aaron Smith (15:31):

Do you quotes?

Jennifer Smith (15:33):

Here’s another one. Date night is cheaper than counseling.

Aaron Smith (15:37):

That’s good. Date night is cheaper than counseling.

Jennifer Smith (15:40):

Don’t ever stop dating your wife and don’t ever stop flirting with your husband.

Aaron Smith (15:44):

That’s good, good needs. I do like it when you

Jennifer Smith (15:46):

Flirt me. Meet their needs guys. I

Aaron Smith (15:47):

Do like it when you flirt with me.

Jennifer Smith (15:49):

People who have great marriages have great marriages on purpose. So that’s bringing in the intentionality of knowing going on a date isn’t just to go do something fun that you’ve been wanting to do, which that could be tied into it, but it’s because you desire to have a great marriage and that putting in intentional time and that investment into your spouse is a purposeful thing.

Aaron Smith (16:14):

And again, date night, it’s not necessarily the only thing that’s on purpose, but it’s just one of the things in your tool belt of this is one of the ways that we cultivate our marriage. This is one of the ways that we cultivate closeness and unity is those intentional times where we get together and it’s just us. It’s just us together. Look in each other’s eyes, talking with each other, sharing each other’s hearts and souls and laughter tears sometimes. Hopefully it’s not always tears of date night, but that happens sometimes it happens sometimes there’s serious things that need to come up in those moments, but having that time allows for that and it doesn’t happen by accident. Like I said, this is something that’s got to be put on the calendar. It’s something that’s going to be scheduled, something that’s got to be regular and intentional. So

Jennifer Smith (17:04):

Here we go, 12 dates of Christmas and you guys, these are just creative date night ideas. This isn’t like a list that you need to go check off. This is just to give you ideas. I know Aaron, you thrive off ideas being given to you. I do. It’s almost like you’re not thinking about it, but if someone were to throw it at you, you’d be like, that’s a rad idea. So this is us just sharing our ideas with you. And

Aaron Smith (17:24):

Is this you saying hint, hint,

Jennifer Smith (17:25):

Hint, hint, Aaron to all of them. No, we just wanted to encourage you guys today and hopefully inspire you to grab at one of these and do it with your spouse.

Aaron Smith (17:36):

Okay. First one, and again, I think I’m looking through this and I feel like we’ve done pretty much all these at some point in our lives. First one is progressive dinner. We bring this up a lot in date night conversations because they’re fun. A progressive dinner. It’s like instead of going to that one place that you always go to, because I am a creature habit, if there’s a place I, I just want to go to that one place. I also do changing things up, but it’s just easier when I know the things that I want. But a progressive dinner is like you pick the three places, four places that you’ve never been before and you’re like, let’s go get one little thing at each one of those places so you can control the budget, but then it’s also, it’s like an adventure. It’s like what is it going to be like? It could be horrible or it could be great, and you’re like, wow, that’s a new favorite restaurant.

Jennifer Smith (18:20):

Also, don’t forget about those in-between moments when you’re taking your time going between each place, you’re either walking there or you’re driving there, but you’re spending time. You do some window shopping if you want. Yeah, you’re considering and thinking about that conversation you just had or what you’re going to ask next and it’s just like it feels good.

Aaron Smith (18:37):

Maybe you have to cross through a park or something to get to the next place and you just go play. You go jump on the swings or something or you throw some leaves at each other. You can take that time between,

Jennifer Smith (18:47):

Well now it’d be snow unless you’re

Aaron Smith (18:49):

In California. Yeah, here it’d be snow and California. It’s just still hot. So that’s what you can use the in-between times are just as important as the three course meal itself.

Jennifer Smith (19:02):

The next one is go ice skating and bring with you a blanket, maybe some hot cider or maybe the place that you’re at has coffee and just have fun even if you suck on the skates.

Aaron Smith (19:16):

Yeah, a lot of the ice skating rinks have the little helper things like the cone or the, so Jennifer, you could use the little, the handheld.

Jennifer Smith (19:23):

Okay. It’s true. I am not very good at ice skating, but we just went as a family and I couldn’t go. I had dislocated my toe, but it looked really fun and it was a lot of fun. Kid had a blast and was, he didn’t want to leave. I was really shocked at Truett. I was freezing Truett’s five and he was struggling a little bit, but he was getting out there, getting

Aaron Smith (19:41):

Out there. He didn’t want to get off and he did it by himself. I tried helping him a little bit and he liked that. But one thing I noticed with helping kids with ice skating is it’s harder Your back starts to hurt. Yeah, no, it’s harder for them to learn when they can rely on leaning on your hand. So the cones are actually much better teaching them to stand up and stay up because they have to rely on their balance, which is something I figured that out.

Jennifer Smith (20:05):

But if you’re going on a date, use each other. Wait,

Aaron Smith (20:07):

That I was going to say is just like in those Hallmark movies, it’s so sweet. If one of you can skate better, then they have to hold onto you and they have to me how to do it. They have to hold your arm and then if they stumble in, they fall backwards in your arms and then all of a sudden you’re doing a romantic kiss in the ice skating and spinning in circles and snow starts to fall and the lights are Karen,

Jennifer Smith (20:24):

You’ve watched too many movies. The movie I thought about with this was Serendipity came out a long time ago, but I remember them sitting at Central Park in Central Park by the ice skating rink and talking about the stars and she looks up Adam

Aaron Smith (20:36):

And see, I just brought up all of those things. This is like every Hallmark movie.

Jennifer Smith (20:39):

That’s so sweet. So if you want to have some romance, go ice skating.

Aaron Smith (20:43):

This next one,

Jennifer Smith (20:45):

We just did

Aaron Smith (20:45):

This. We just did this. We do these probably once a year. Yeah, once a year because it’s not cheap. And so we save for it and we wait and we find a good reason for it. But a couple’s massage, maybe you have someone in your church or in your family that does it. Maybe someone that could help or I like

Jennifer Smith (21:02):

The spa experience.

Aaron Smith (21:03):

Jennifer likes

Jennifer Smith (21:04):

The spa. I like the silly music and the calm Dimm lights and I’m trying

Aaron Smith (21:07):

To give the different financial options because one’s more expensive, one’s cheaper. But either way, getting a couple’s massage where you do together, there’s something really cool about, not that we enjoy it, maybe not everyone likes it. I know some people that don’t like to be touched at all, so it’s true. They don’t like that.

Jennifer Smith (21:22):

Sorry guys. We’ll move on to the next one. Yeah, cookie making night.

Aaron Smith (21:26):

Everyone likes cookies. Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (21:28):

I do.

Aaron Smith (21:29):

I love cookies.

Jennifer Smith (21:31):

Decorate cookies. And then you can even take the cookies that you made and go drop it off at a friend’s house and stay for game night.

Aaron Smith (21:37):

That’s true. Now you just turned into a double date. There you go. You just made cookies with the kids and they loved it and their cookies tasted really good. I ate a lot of them. We went

Jennifer Smith (21:45):

To this estate sale recently and I happen to assemble upon a game board of Survivor and it was still wrapped in the plastic and everything and it’s a game I’ve never played before, but I’m hanging onto it till we can ago. That’s game night. Bombard a friend and make them play it with us.

Aaron Smith (22:00):

We like game nights. Is game night on here? We don’t have that as an

Jennifer Smith (22:03):

Idea. Well, it was part of Cookie.

Aaron Smith (22:05):

It’s built in. Yeah, it’s built into all of these. All of these. You can do a game night with almost any of these. Alright, go sledding or snowshoeing. We’ve never done snowshoeing, but we’ve done plenty of sledding. You know

Jennifer Smith (22:16):

What I want to do is snowmobiling and I know you start to upgrade it. I get it, but

Aaron Smith (22:21):

Snowmobile snowmobiling would be fun. We have friends that have done that and they loved it. Our good friends right around the corner, they love snow snowmobiling. Him and his wife will go Dan and Jessica and we haven’t done it yet.

Jennifer Smith (22:33):

We should make that our bucket list this year.

Aaron Smith (22:35):

I actually do want to try it. It kind of scares me because it’s a big old machine on snow, but I would do it. So go when it’s snow sledding, that’s easy. You get a sled, quick target or something. Or I think you can do it with something from home like a trash can let or something like that. Clean it first of course. But yeah, go do something that you might do with your kids. Go do it with your spouse, just you two. Because often we do these fun things with our kids and maybe some parents are better at this, but I feel like sometimes I forget to have fun at the same time. But there’s something also unique about just having that fun with just your spouse. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (23:12):

Okay. The next one is a Christmas market.

Aaron Smith (23:16):

I love Christmas markets.

Jennifer Smith (23:18):

I tend to not buy anything. Just my nature of I love to go and look and explore, but I don’t usually buy

Aaron Smith (23:24):

Anything. I don’t either, but I love seeing all of the interesting things that people make and do. But we had grandma and grandpa here and they bought stuff for the grandkids, which I was like, sweet, you’re supporting local. That’s true. And we didn’t have to spend the money.

Jennifer Smith (23:37):

They got these very funky hats. They’re not beanies, they’re made of felt, but

Aaron Smith (23:43):

All the kids are one of them and

Jennifer Smith (23:44):

Different bulky. They’re big and bright strap colors

Aaron Smith (23:48):

And they like look pretty warm though. I won’t wear one, but the kids love them.

Jennifer Smith (23:52):

So this next one we did a couple of years ago, I don’t know if it’s technically romantic, maybe for some people

Aaron Smith (24:00):

It’s romantic. For men probably

Jennifer Smith (24:02):

It’s x throwing. There’s these setups now, these places that you can go to throw axes and throw axes at Target.

Aaron Smith (24:10):

Sometimes they have food, but either way you just go and you rent your little spot for an hour. They give you the axes, they teach you how to do it.

Jennifer Smith (24:18):

So I know we have one here. They’re going to be in downtown areas I think. I don’t know if everyone will

Aaron Smith (24:23):

Have one. They’ve popped up a lot more in the recent years and I’m sure everyone listening probably knows one. There’s probably somewhere, somewhere

Jennifer Smith (24:29):

If you don’t have an ax throwing place, go bowling. How about that? Yeah,

Aaron Smith (24:33):

Bowling’s good.

Jennifer Smith (24:35):

Okay, so this next one is very creative and requires just a little bit of forethought, but it’s present a scavenger hunt to your spouse.

Aaron Smith (24:46):

You just did one of these for a friend’s birthday and it was

Jennifer Smith (24:49):

So much

Aaron Smith (24:50):

Fun. It was pretty simple to put together.

Jennifer Smith (24:51):

Yes. I just wrote, well, I designed it on Photoshop, but if you don’t know that, you could just write it on a card, but you just fill out, you pick three or four places that you want them to go.

Aaron Smith (25:02):

Yeah, maybe it’s a coffee shop and then maybe REI or something fun places to visit and shop or something.

Jennifer Smith (25:10):

And you put little clues on the paper that will get them to think, oh, I know where that’s at. And then they show up and they get their next one. If you

Aaron Smith (25:16):

Need help writing the clues, I’m sure you can use AI these days. Probably just say, Hey, if you want to ride, hey, this is the location. Help me make a clue for a scavenger hunt and it’ll just pop out the whole thing

Jennifer Smith (25:25):

For you. So what we did for our girlfriend was at each place we gave her a gift from that place. So we gave her a gift card to the coffee shop.

Aaron Smith (25:33):

So you can kind of break that up for your date night of maybe one place. You do a quick little shopping date or one place you get a coffee and one place, then you end up dinner somewhere. I

Jennifer Smith (25:46):

Like that. Do it. Oh, and I was going to add to this, if you wanted it to be a surprise for both of you, kind of like how they do the escape room stuff, you to both have to to figure it out. You can ask a friend to kind of come up with the places you’ll go and the little papers and set it

Aaron Smith (26:04):

All up for you. That’s actually fun. Let your friend decide your whole date. Yeah, that’s actually

Jennifer Smith (26:06):

Really fun. And let them set it up for you.

Aaron Smith (26:08):

You mentioned escape room. That’s actually, this is a bonus one. Those are fun. If you want to do an escape room, unless you get terrified of closed rooms and you can’t get out, maybe you shouldn’t do

Jennifer Smith (26:18):

It. I get terrified,

Aaron Smith (26:20):

But they’re actually a lot of fun. I’ve done it with the men from our church before. Number nine is a musical or concert or play,

Jennifer Smith (26:27):

Which is a great time to go this time of year because like I said, just being able to dress up, wear your black dress or your pearls or whatever, girls are like, yes, I want to do that. A

Aaron Smith (26:35):

Few years ago I took you to a, wasn’t it a

Jennifer Smith (26:37):

Violin? Violin

Aaron Smith (26:38):

Concert and a church locally. And that was really cool. It was very intimate. There was candles and how many, there was only what? Maybe 50 people. There wasn’t a lot. And this girl was playing this, what was it, a Stradivarius? Is that what it was? Yeah, it was like on loan from someone. But it was very cool. It was beautiful fun. I think it was only an hour. And then we went to dinner

Jennifer Smith (26:59):

Afterwards and Aaron did that for me because he knows how much that I appreciate violin and that art and

Aaron Smith (27:04):

Music. Yeah, you like the artistic.

Jennifer Smith (27:06):

Yeah. And so I’m just encouraging you guys, if it’s not your thing but it’s your spouse’s thing, go do it. Go do it.

Aaron Smith (27:12):

That’s why I watch Hallmark movies with you because your thing,

Jennifer Smith (27:15):

We tried watching one last night, but I kept falling asleep. I’m like, go ahead and turn it off, babe.

Aaron Smith (27:19):

That’s par for the course though. You put a movie on, you fall asleep. And then I end up watching this whole movie and I look over and you’re next to me sleeping and I’m like, wait a

Jennifer Smith (27:26):

Minute. Got script. But this is why you can tell a plot from the beginning of the first line of a movie where I’m surprised, surprised every time I know them all because I fall asleep to them.

Aaron Smith (27:35):

When you show number 10,

Jennifer Smith (27:36):

Number 10 is hot chocolate quickie and Christmas lights tour. So go to your favorite coffee shop or just make it at home and take it and then just drive around and look at Christmas lights.

Aaron Smith (27:46):

That’s something actually we love doing with our family, with our kids. There’s a few neighborhoods in our town that we can drive through and people just go all out. I

Jennifer Smith (27:55):

Wish our neighborhood did

Aaron Smith (27:56):

Well. It takes someone to start it. I know it takes us. Number 11 is go dancing. This

Jennifer Smith (28:03):

Is so we haven’t actually done this one.

Aaron Smith (28:05):

This one was snuck in because I

Jennifer Smith (28:06):

Just want to clarify. This was me planting a seed in Aaron because I don’t think he would ever go.

Aaron Smith (28:12):

Some people out there are really, this would be a great one for them.

Jennifer Smith (28:15):

There’s a local

Aaron Smith (28:15):

Place. Other marriages will really benefit

Jennifer Smith (28:17):

From this day night. I’m trying to talk to our audience here. Listen up. There’s a local place here that gives free dance lessons on every Thursday and you can go and learn how to line dance. I

Aaron Smith (28:29):

Just want to know how this helps our listeners though. Do they have a place to get free line

Jennifer Smith (28:34):

Dancing? Well look it up. Maybe.

Aaron Smith (28:36):

Dunno, I’m not saying no, I’m saying it’s implausible. Okay.

Jennifer Smith (28:43):

Okay. If you guys want Aaron to take me dancing, go on Instagram, go at marriage after God and just crush his dms. You’ll see him.

Aaron Smith (28:52):

We’ll see about that. Okay. Last one, but not least one. Christmas shopping. This is kind of like a strategic date night to go. What? Get gifts for the kids.

Jennifer Smith (29:04):

You could do it for friends. And I know some people take advantage of Black Friday or shop online, so maybe you’ve gotten the bulk of your stuff done and you just want to go see if there’s anything else for your mom or stocking stuffers. Stocking stuffers or just, yeah, maybe that’s how you want to do gifts for each other that year. You kind of go

Aaron Smith (29:22):

Together.

Jennifer Smith (29:22):

Yeah, and you just each pick one thing, something that’s

Aaron Smith (29:24):

Special. I like gift shopping. It’s fun to try and figure out what is going to be special and for that person, for each kid, for your spouse, for a friend, it’s always fun to figure out what’s going to make them smile, make can feel, thought of and loved.

Jennifer Smith (29:43):

All right, well that’s our 12 dates of Christmas. If you guys have done these in the past and you want to do ’em again, go for it. If there’s a new one you haven’t heard of yet, go do that one. Go try

Aaron Smith (29:53):

It out. Go try it out. Essentially, we just want to inspire you guys this holiday to keep date night at the forefront of your mind. Figure out a way of putting it on the calendar, making it a regular occurrence. If it can’t happen every week and you have it on the schedule for every week, I bet you it’ll happen more than it was before. Maybe it’s every other week, maybe it’s once a month. We just want you to see that time as non-negotiable. You need to have that alone time with your spouse. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (30:22):

Let’s briefly talk about just again, the benefits of having that weekly regular date night.

Aaron Smith (30:27):

Like we said, touching base, getting on the same page, revealing

Jennifer Smith (30:31):

The days can go by so fast. You guys, especially if

Aaron Smith (30:33):

You’re, they go in by faster. Whatever dimension we live in now, time is not as the way it used to be.

Jennifer Smith (30:40):

So yeah, we need to touch base with each other. We need to have and create these opportunities where we can focus our attention on each other and not be interrupted.

Aaron Smith (30:51):

Reminding each other of our love and a devotion for each other. Being able to be there and saying, Hey, I want you to know I love you. I love you.

Jennifer Smith (31:01):

Going back real quick to touching base maybe yes, with each other, but also just current events and what’s going on spiritually in the world. I feel like sometimes those are big conversations to have, especially if you have younger listeners around the house, so it’s

Aaron Smith (31:16):

Easier to have it alone.

Jennifer Smith (31:17):

Yeah, utilizing date night to talk about big things.

Aaron Smith (31:21):

That’s good. Yeah. I wouldn’t suggest making every date night like that. No,

Jennifer Smith (31:25):

But

Aaron Smith (31:25):

Check in if you have them regularly, you can have one of your date nights be, Hey, let’s talk about some big stuff, hard stuff,

Jennifer Smith (31:31):

Some more benefits. It’s something to look forward to. So that anticipation in your relationship of being excited to be together, knowing and choosing to have fun on date night.

Aaron Smith (31:41):

It’s fun. Why not? Don’t you want to have fun with your

Jennifer Smith (31:43):

Spouse? It’s refreshing, but it also deepens your connection.

Aaron Smith (31:48):

Yeah. Again, it shows your kids that your marriage is important to you, that your spouse is number one priority on your list. Of course not before God, but it just lets them know what the order is of things.

Jennifer Smith (32:00):

Awesome. Well that wraps up this episode. We end every episode with a growth spurt. This is the last one of the years, so it’s just a challenge that we like to give you guys to focus on, and we’re calling it ti the Season Commit to Connection. You can pray together, you can hold hands, write a note, or leave it on a go on date nights pillow for each other. You can go on a date night. We want you to choose whatever you think is going to help you to connect with each other and reaffirm your love this

Aaron Smith (32:30):

Month. And I want to remind you, we brought up at the beginning of this episode to take the Marriage Prayer Challenge in 2024 that you would get the marriage gift, our newest book, this 365 prayers for your marriage and that you would commit to praying every day for your spouse and with your spouse in 2024. And so get a copy@themarriagegift.com and start the journey with us. Take the challenge.

Jennifer Smith (32:55):

Okay, let’s pray. Dear Lord, thank you for the reminder to date each other. No matter how long we have been married, we pray we would have the courage and creativity to initiate a marriage, to make a plan and make it special. We pray we would take advantage of this magical holiday season to do some fun dates with one another, help us to remind each other why we love each other and to have fun. Together we pray we would lay aside our schedules and other excuses to make sure at least one date night happens as soon as possible. May you be the light in us that others see as we choose to love each other boldly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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