If you’re trying to come up with a personalized and thoughtful gift for a loved one – whether for Christmas or any other occasion – I have a great idea for you! If you’re like me and enjoy perusing Pinterest, you may have seen people who create a year of dates for their significant other. Some give ideas for each month, while others go and buy tickets and gift cards to go along with some of their ideas so they are mostly ready to go.DIY Date Night Book: An Easy Gift Idea for Anyone Special In Your Life! #ontheblog #DIY #datenight Click To Tweet
I used to look at these all the time a few years ago, but I wasn’t dating anyone (I’m still not) so I decided to tweak the idea and make a Mother/Daughter Year of Dates for my own mom. I gave this to her two Christmases ago and we loved it so much, I did it again last year…and I’m doing it again this year. She knows what she’ll get every year, in terms of it being 12 dates, but she never knows what those will actually be so it’s still very much a surprise if you want to make this a yearly tradition!
When I first started this, I went on a search for Date Night books and I found the perfect one! It’s a book made up of envelopes, and each one has the name of the month. When I bought this it came with idea cards – I just used those for someone else’s gift – and I put my own ideas/gifts into the envelopes. Now I have this lovely book that I simply refill every year. I got mine from Jenny Lynn Paper on Etsy. Right now she’s not selling any of these, but she has other great ideas if you want to check her out – and you can always message and ask about Date Night books! I give this to my mom every Christmas now, but it would make a lovely Birthday or Mother’s Day gift too!
Since my mom reads my blog, I can’t share my date ideas for 2018, but I can tell you some of the things we’ve done in the past!
We saw the Broadway musical A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. We love musicals so this was a fun outing for us!
I had two tickets to AMC Theaters and another coupon for a free popcorn. This was for the month of May, so we ended up seeing the movie Snatched – as it dealt with a mother and daughter!
We went to a spa and got ourselves a relaxing pedicure! Here are my toes with a pretty purple color.
Another musical! This one was Disenchanted, which my sister and I had seen in New York on Off-Broadway. It’s a hilarious musical about the Disney princesses after happily-ever-after. My mom really enjoyed this one too!
Now, maybe you’re thinking: how do I come up with 12 ideas? This book might say Date Night, but obviously the dates can be any time of the day – like when we got our pedicures! As for date ideas, try and think of things that you and the recipient already enjoy and then perhaps add in some things that you’ve never done but would like to do! This could be seeing a play/musical, getting a spa treatment, going to a new restaurant, going to a community event like a festival, make your own ice cream, etc. You can always look at other date night ideas on Pinterest and go from there!
What really helps me figure things out is by looking at websites that offer deals, like Groupon and for Cincinnati folks, CincySavers. I’ve definitely utilized these websites to help save money because I really like having as many things ready to go beforehand. Last year I probably had about half and half: half just ideas written down and half things that already had tickets or gift cards included, to make things easier! For 2018, I’m really hoping to have something included for every single month; whether that’s a full ticket or just some money included to help with costs. Of course you can do just ideas and worry about the monetary costs as each month arrives. Plus, there is nothing wrong with finding cheap or free things to do like going to the park, playing in the snow, having a movie and/or game night, etc. The idea is to spend time with whoever you are gifting this to – not to break the bank!
Finally, if you can’t find a Date Night book like mine, or simply don’t want to make your own “book”, then I suggest searching Etsy for fun envelopes! You can get 12 envelopes, fill them up with ideas, and then put them all in a nice box or bag that your recipient can keep throughout the year! Some fun ideas I found on Etsy are these 12 Teeny Tiny Envelope Note Card Set, 10 Handmade Calvin and Hobbes Envelopes, 8 1904 Wizard of Oz Upcycled Book Page Envelopes, or these 10 Alice in Wonderland Envelope and Card Set. Besides the first option here, these all have less than 12 envelopes – but you can always double the order or message the owner to see about adding for an extra price!
Voila! A fairly simple (if you want it to be) gift perfect for any friend or family member that you hope to spend more time with. Again, I’m sharing this now if you need a great Christmas gift, but it’s not just for the holidays! After all, you can start the year whenever you want. If you’re interested in making your own Date Night book, don’t go shopping without using your Ebates account so you can get cash back at places such as Groupon and Etsy. If you don’t have an account, feel free to use my affiliate link (I get cash back when you make a qualifying order, and if you spend at least $25 somewhere, you automatically get $10).
Tell me – would you make a Date Night book for anyone in your life? Would you want someone to make this for you? What date ideas would you choose? I’d love to know!