As many of you know, last Christmas (2013) I planned and became crafty and researched and eventually put together a ‘Year of Dates’ treasure chest for A as a Christmas gift. I was super excited to give it to him – especially since we had just moved to Colorado and I was looking forward to some of the cool things I had planned as dates for the 2014 year. A? He was not so excited. I would even go as far to say that he was a little more than disappointed. He did hide his feelings pretty well while admitting that it was a good idea – it would be like Christmas on the first of every month!
I first got this date idea from another blog I follow – Friday We’re In Love. (I’m sure you could also find this on Pinterest). This couple resides in Arizona and every weekend they go on a date. Sometimes they plan it together, other times it is a surprise for the other. I am really impressed that they have a dedicated budget to dating – we sort of do…and what I mean by that is we set an amount each month for dates/going out but we don’t always make sure we use it/other things get in the way/we decide (how does this make sense?) that we want a new three season tent instead of dating….
As I reflect back on the year and the project itself- I think the idea of the monthly date box is great but the reality of doing the dates is not so great. I did have some pre-paid things (like gift cards for lunch at Panera Bread or Subway etc or a LivingSocial/Groupon deal for something in town, like we did here). Some activities I couldn’t pre-pay because I had to pick a specific day on which to do it – like white water rafting or Elitch Gardens in Denver (an amusement park) – who knows what they will be doing on June 14th six months in advance? I sure didn’t. I almost wish that I had just bought some sort of open-ended tickets so it was easier to use instead of just letting the activity slip on by.
That was the worst – not having enough money/time in the budget on certain months to do the date activity. Because A did’t know what the date was until the first of the month, it was hard to plan out our budget for that date – especially if it was not pre-paid/we had other obligations/some type of car maintenance came up/we decided the money would be better spent by camping over the long weekend instead….
Yeah. So while a great idea in theory, it was not a very good idea for us. Would I go back and re-do the experience? No, because if you have gotten this far in the post, I learned a few things along the way. If I were to do it again, there would definitely be some changes.
Instead of using envelopes with monthly dates, I would either have envelopes just labeled with the dates themselves or just have the dates in the box. Examples I might do for next time: movie tickets,mini-golf, lunch gift cards, gift certificates to activity places that have a yearly expiration date/never expires like bowling alleys, laser tag, skeet shooting, ice skating etc. So I guess the idea would be that A would know right from the get-go what dates were in the box and when we were looking for something to do/an idea, we could just go to the box and pick something.