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6 Holiday-Inspired Date Ideas That Will Have You Feeling Santa-Mental

It could easily be argued that the holidays are the most romantic time of year. Between the twinkle lights and the mistletoe, everyone turns into a real-life heart-eyes emoji, and TBH, can you blame them? That means no ordinary dinner-and-a-movie plan will do — you'll want to take advantage of the many holiday-inspired date ideas.

The possibilities for fun and festive activities are endless around the holidays too. If you're an active couple, going ice skating, skiing, or snowshoeing might be a stellar way to bond. Or, if you both tend to get swept up in the nostalgia, you might enjoy going on a little walking tour of the neighborhood to marvel at all the elaborate light and decoration displays. Foodie couples, meanwhile, may opt to use this opportunity to try a new holiday-inspired recipe, or check out the seasonal menu at a local restaurant.

Honestly, the only pitfall during wintertime is that it's super tempting to go into full hibernation mode. And while there's nothing wrong with a little Netflix and chill time here and there, it's well worth the occasional effort to come up with a romantic plan, even if you stay right at home.

That's where these ideas come in. Because newsflash: your holiday-inspired date can be cute AF without being cheesy in the slightest.

Decorate A Gingerbread House

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Nothing screams holiday cheer quite like a gingerbread house. Plus, it's one of the only date ideas I can think of that allows you to simultaneously get crafty while also satiating your sweet tooth (that's called a win-win, fam).

It's up to you whether you want to collaborate on decorating one gingerbread house together, or each make your own to give each other. Just don't be surprised if this becomes a new annual tradition.

Make Your Own Peppermint Bark

If you've never made peppermint bark, what are you waiting for? This delightful holiday confection is a blissful combo of crushed candy canes and chocolate, and it's surprisingly easy to make.

So, crank up the holiday tunes and get baking. If you make a large enough batch, you could totally package some up to give to family and friends — that is, if you and bae don't polish it all off yourselves, of course.

Do An At-Home Holiday Beer Tasting

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I realize this is a bold statement, but the holiday season always boasts some of the best brews (don't @ me). Maybe it's the incorporation of the warm spices or the festive specialty flavors, but these seasonal suds are bound to warm you and bae up on a cozy date night in.

Pick up some individual bottles or cans of four to seven different holiday beers, and set up a little at-home tasting. You may just discover a new winter go-to, or you may get tipsy and start an impromptu snowball fight. Either way, you can't lose.

Volunteer Together

There's hardly a better time of year to give back. Not to mention, volunteering is a phenomenal way to counteract the rampant consumerism around the holidays and to remind yourselves about what really matters.

You can use VolunteerMatch to find opportunities not only in your zip code but also that match your specific interests. Cause areas include education and literacy, children and youth, community, health and medicine, people with disabilities, and more.

Do A Holiday Card Photo Shoot

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For this date idea, all you need are a couple of holiday-ready outfits and a camera (your phone's will do). Use the camera's timer function and set it up on a shelf, table, or tripod, and then pose away until you snag the perfect shot. You can either print this photo onto your holiday cards this year or simply post it on the 'Gram to spread some holiday cheer. Regardless of what you do with the photos, they'll be super fun to look back on around the holidays next year.

Have A Holiday Movie Marathon

Since you've seen Love Actually a zillion times, why not shake things up and watch a different holiday flick this year? Now's the chance to share your childhood favorites with each other, whether that includes The Santa Claus or It's A Wonderful Life. Make it an extra festive affair by donning some holiday-themed PJs and making a couple of hot toddies to sip on during the movie marathon.

And if you and your boo enjoy a little healthy competition, turn your viewing party into a scavenger hunt. Make a list of holiday items (a wreath, a snowman, etc.) that you can each cross off as you spot them on screen. The first person to check everything off wins a holiday-themed prize.