Valentine’s Day is coming up quick! Here at the Napping House, the Mr. and I don’t go all out for Valentine’s Day. Our anniversary is six days before and we don’t have the resources for three big celebrations in a single week (Little J’s birthday is two days after our anniversary) and it makes me tired just thinking about it. So, we keep Valentine’s Day pretty simple. I do think dating your sweetie is super important though. Whether you’re married or not, have kids or don’t, it can be really hard to set aside time to date each other. Life gets busy! So, I’ve put together a simple “Year of Dates” kit to help make dating a little easier and to help the variety reach beyond dinner and a movie. Although, some times, dinner and a movie is a fine date too.
You’ve seen the “Open when…” letter ideas on pinterest, right? The basic idea is to write several little notes to your sweetheart and seal them in envelopes. You can tell your sweetie to open this note when they are feeling sad or have had a bad day or are mad at their mom (or boss or buddy or whomever). Inside the envelop is a little note that commiserates and offers encouragement for that particular emotion (“Sorry for your bad day, but I think you are just awesome and tomorrow will be a better day.” Or “Ask for a back rub and I’ll make you forget your rough day.” Or “You’re right, your mother doesn’t know everything. But you still love her. Now let’s eat cookies.”) Sound familiar? Well, I took the idea and put it to dating!
A YEAR OF DATES: “OPEN WHEN” DATES
- “Open When Dates” Printables (Get the PDF File if you want the templates as a single set for easy printing or get the ZIP Files if you want to be able to edit them, one image at a time, on your computer. Basically, if you are just going to print them all, you want the PDF. If you’re planning to edit them on the computer before you print, you want the ZIP files.)
- Scissors or Paper Cutter
- Markers or Alphabet stickers (or photo editing software, if you’re going to edit them before you print)
- Tape or Glue
- Anything else you want to decorate your envelopes with (stickers, washi tape, and the like)
* Because everyone has different ideas about what is a fun and enjoyable date, I have provided these printable templates in such a way as they can be modified to fit lots of different dating styles. The photos shown are not the actual files, but how I have chosen to use them. For example: if you don’t like “cuddle dates”, you can choose any kind of date you do enjoy instead and still be able to use these templates. Because of the customizability (that’s a word right?), you will have to do a little bit of work for this project. It’s not a print-and-paste project but it’s worth the little bit of work for some fun dates with your hubby! Images of the actual download files are at the bottom of this post.
- Download the “Open When Dates” printables and save them to your computer. If you want to type all your info into the templates before you print them, open the files in a photo-editing software. Anything with a text editor will work: photoshop, microsoft paint, picmonkey are all great choices. Save the edited files to your computer. If you want to match fonts, I used Honey Script and Frente H1 (the links will take you to their download pages). You can also type out your info in a word processing program (like Word) and then just manually glue it on to the template pages (with actual glue, not computer “paste”) after everything is printed.
- Print out the templates or the edits you have made. Cut them apart.
- Put the envelop labels on the front of the envelops with glue or tape. Decorate the envelopes how ever your little heart fancies.
- Now you have a decision to make. Do you want the more work for you, this is what we’re doing (The Don’t Surprise Me) kit or the less work for you, let your sweetie choose what you’re doing (The Bring on the Surprises) kit?
The Don’t Surprise Me Kit: Fill out the templates with specific date information. For the “When You Want to be Pampered” date, I chose an at-home spa night. After the kids are in bed, or at grandma’s, we can fill the tub with bubbles and then exchange massages. Choose a specific date for each “Open when…” and fill in the information. If your sweetheart has a had time making decisions, or actually planning dates, this is probably the best option. Mr. Napping’s idea of a thoughtful date is arranging babysitting so we can “go out”… The guy is a charmer, but I definitely bring the creative mojo to our relationship. I tried to choose dates that were inexpensive, all-season friendly so that we won’t have to worry about
The Bring on the Surprises Kit: Last week, on While He Was Napping, I posted some printables (follow the link to get the printables) with date ideas in the 12 categories I chose to put in our “Open When Dates” Kit. You can see an example in the photo above. If you just want to include date ideas and then let your sweetie choose the date, you can print those and stick those in the envelopes instead. Less work for you… but then you might end up snowshoeing for your adventure date. Which could be good or bad. If your sweetheart has a bucket list and can make and keep plans well, by all means, let them help with the date planning!
Once you have all your envelopes stuffed with awesome dates (or awesome date ideas), wrap them all up in a fun little package and they are all ready to gift.
Check out these other fun date night posts over at Krista’s blog!