This year Ryan and I are celebrating "The 12 Dates of Christmas," an idea I've seen on a few blogs including A Beautiful Mess, The Rockstar Diaries, and Daniel and Marci (whom I believe originated the idea -- please correct me and link if I'm wrong as I'm a big believer in giving credit where credit is due.)
One of the things that's great about this tradition is that, in true meme fashion, everyone adds a little something, does it their own way, and puts their unique spin on it. The basic idea is that you celebrate as a couple by carving out time to do romantic things together (12 things to be exact) in the days leading up to Christmas. For some, it's the 12 days just before Christmas; for us, we had to allow for off days when we just wouldn't have time due to work, etc. (not to mention days when we were doing other Christmasy things like a white elephant poetry exchange or our engagement party).
We each wrote out 6 ideas and kept them secret, then we mixed up the ideas before sliding them into envelopes marked 1-12. In this way, we never know what activity might pop up next. This makes it a lot of fun for me because surprises are one of my favorite things, especially where Christmas is concerned.
We then clipped the envelopes to the tree with clothespins, and have been opening them in order together.
So far it's been a lot of fun. I wasn't sure if Ryan would be all that into the idea since he's normally not as into holidays as I am, nor is he as into structured blogging activity memes and the obsession with documenting every one of life's special moments through Instagram. But, I was pleasantly surprised that he actually got enthusiastic about it and came up with 6 date ideas he's psyched about. His ability to surprise me is also one of my favorite things. Boy, do I love that boy.
So far, we've walked down to our favorite bar for a candy-cane cocktail (a new tradition since the one I enjoyed the first time we ever stopped into The Chameleon while out doing some holiday shopping just after moving to Northside), we've made gingerbread together while listening to old holiday episodes of This American Life, and we've had hot-buttered Maker's Mark in bed while reading Dunk and Egg tales.