Can You Complete This Winter Dating Bucket List Before New Year's Day?

by Annie Foskett

Winter is here, and so is my yearly threat of relocation to L.A. When I do finally follow through on my promise to go west, I won't miss January or February, but I will sorely miss the month of December. There's something intoxicating about the whiff of a Christmas tree stand, the glow of holiday lights, or sitting at a bar with an actual fireplace. It snowed this past weekend in New York, and I re-caught feels for my city. Rather than go back to being a grump, I decided to create a winter dating bucket list to help you through the existential darkness that is the holiday season.

I want to be clear that this bucket list is for all the good little girls out there. Whether you are completely single and dating yourself, casually cuffed up for the season, or in a relationship so serious that the holidays send you into "engagement panic," this list is for you. I attempted to craft a bucket list that will bring cheer no matter, because having a partner isn't required for keeping warm this season.

Here's the thing: Winter is unescapable, so why not make it sort of fun? Even if you don't live in a frigid, over-run city like me, winter can be the most depressing season of them all to navigate. It can also be the most nostalgic, innocent season. So now, let me present to you my bucket list of activities to do and indulgences to take part in as the calendar rolls over into 2018.

1. Make A Greeting Card Celebrating Your Relationship Status To Send To Your Friends

Yes, even if you are single. My roommate and I received a very perfect "Seasons Greetings" card from a mutual friend featuring said friend and a beer, standing next to a tree, with the caption "Love, me." It was hilarious, and I want to make one now. If you're just cuffed up, a card together is probably too much, but if you're on the more serious end of the relationship spectrum, a funny Paperless Post holiday card featuring you, bae, and your pup is a sweet way to keep in touch with friends. Somehow, receiving a personalized card is far less obnoxious than when couples lay it on thick on Instagram.

2. Go Get A Hot Chocolate And Treat Your Boo To One, Too

Because, really, when is the last time that you got a hot chocolate? Again, whether you are single or super serious, you can do this. If you don't have an SO to buy for, treat the stranger behind you by buying their beverage. The holidays are a great time to remind yourself what it feels like to be a kid. Just don't drink it too fast — yes, I took myself for a cocoa recently, and yes, I hadn't had that much milk in years and almost projectile-vomited on the street. (Yes, New York, I am part of the problem.)

3. Find A Cozy Date Spot With A Fireplace

Again, yes, single ladies, you can take yourself out to that cute bar with the actual wood-burning stove. (Solo dates are empowering as f*ck.) Or, you can go on Tinder and recruit someone who loves winter activities as much as you do. The best part about winter is being cozy, so sidle up to whoever you're hooking up with, flirting with, or loving by the heat of an actual fire. That's hot.

4. Have A Snowball Fight On Your Way Home From A Date

Turn your life into a movie scene by snagging the cleanest looking snow you can get your hands on and pummeling your date in the face! Just kidding. But a playful "snow date" of sorts is a sweet idea. Whether you build a snowman or go sledding, make sure that you get at least one bite of fresh, non-peed on, non-New York snow in your mouth this winter. And if you live in Florida? Build a sand-woman! Have a sand fight? Maybe not that, but you catch my drift. Do something you haven't done since you were little this winter.

5. Take On A Major Baking Project

Whether that happens to be baking cookies, making homemade tamales, or trying a new chili recipe out, cooking either by yourself or with someone you really like is an excellent way to bond and do something different. This is an especially good idea for a second date with a Tinder match (always make your first date in a public place). Cold weather means plenty of time spent indoors, and indulging your inner Ina Garten is much more exciting than watching Netflix forever.

Some of these ideas might seem basic, but actually holding yourself to doing them — with your partner, with a Bumble date, or with your dog — is a great way to make a sometimes draining season more exciting. Completing projects feels really good, and checking off a bucket list feels even better, so cozy up in a sweater, find the closest fireplace to your apartment, and plan a damn date — solo or otherwise.