A Year of Dates

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I’ve been seeing the year of dates gift all over Pinterest lately and I decided I wanted to give it a try. Most of the ones I’ve seen are pretty sparse, presentation-wise. Cute printables exist if you look hard enough, like this one from the Dating Divas. There’s even a girl that will create a custom set of printables for you! But I like to do things the hard way, so I spent the last week wandering around several different stores until I found something perfect.

Here’s what I came up with:

  • Gold takeout boxes from The Container Store, one for every month.
  • Jenni Bowlin calendar cards, attached to the outside of the boxes with removable scrapbooking tape. (The plan is to scrapbook all the dates next year.)
  • An “Admit Two” ticket, with a description of the date. I got the image from The Graphics Fairy, and added the text in Pages, using American Typewriter as my font.
  • An info circle, also from The Graphics Fairy for whatever else needs to be written down. Addresses, dress code, shopping lists. Just a nice place to fit any additional information.

So what else is inside? Well, that depends on the date:

  • January: Ice skating! Two ice skate ornaments, and two packages of hot cocoa. (The info circle has the address and the daily specials for the skating rink.)
  • February: Pottery painting! A gift certificate and two Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
  • March: Mini golf! A gift certificate, a little scorecard, and two tiny pencils.
  • April: Botanical garden walk! Cash for parking, a map of the garden. (The info circle has a list of what’s in bloom for the month.)
  • May: Dessert at The Melting Pot! A gift certificate, two Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and sparkler birthday candles.
  • June: Baseball game! Tickets (or they will be in there, once they go on sale), two tiny bags of peanuts, and a tiny team magnet.
  • July: Drinks! Membership cards to the bar–the one we decided to get married in, since it’s our anniversary month–and a menu, if I can swing it.
  • August: Board games and ice cream! A tiny deck of cards, a keychain edition of Twister, and a cute ice cream magnet.
  • September: Picnic! I found food-shaped gummies at the dollar store–hamburgers and fries–plus some cute plastic silverware that didn’t fit in the box.
  • October: Spa night! Single-use face masks, a bath fizz, and a little bottle of massage oil. (I doubt I’ll get Ian to use the face mask. ha)
  • November: Movie night! Candy, chocolate, and popcorn seasoning.
  • December: Christmas cookie making! Two cookie cutters and Christmas sprinkles.

That seems like a lot of stuff to buy, but including all the boxes, and without the gift certificates, it came to just a little over $50. (The dollar store is your friend.) I treated filling the boxes like stuffing twelve tiny stockings, being careful not to collect too much worthless crap. I was tempted to buy a bag of plastic ants for the picnic box, but put them back when I realized I was going to have to find something to do with them after Ian opened it. Most of the stuff is either edible, like chocolate, or consumable, like the gift certificates. The things that we’ll save are the Christmas ornaments, the magnets, the tiny games, and the cookie cutters, all of which seems reasonable to me.

We have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be moving in July or August of next year, so that made the planning a bit harder. All the dates after July are at-home dates, which I was kind of bummed about at first, but overall I think it will be a nice balance to going out for the first half of the year. Speaking of balance, I tried to make sure that some of the dates were things that we both wanted to do (drinks, dessert, movie night) and some of the dates took one or both of us out of our comfort zones (ice skating, pottery painting, mini golf). Hopefully there will be enough new stuff to keep us interested but not so much that we want to stay home.

Have you done the year of dates project? Leave your tips and date ideas in the comments!

If you want to do your own year of dates, I uploaded twelve blank tickets and a sheet of twelve circles to Google Drive. Just download the files and you can add text on your computer, or print them out and write on them. The tickets come in three colors: pink, blue, and cream. There is a page of four tickets in each color, so if you want to do one of each, or three of one color, you can.

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