Christmas is never about parties, gifts, and money. If we briefly go back to the reason we celebrate this annual event, we’d remember a homeless couple welcoming their newborn child. No feast, no merriment. Christmas is all about the miracle of life. Thus, it’s a wonder why this season has become a celebration of consumerism. For this year, celebrate the birth of Christ by spending quality time with your partner, away from the lavishness of the season. Explore these nine inexpensive date ideas.
Movie-binging at home
There are a lot of benefits of watching movies at home. First, you save money on tickets and food. Second, you save time (and avoid the hassles) of traveling to the movie house. Third, you can react all you want, how you want, on every scene without offending other people. Some of the top recommendations by Netflix are the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou, Richard Tanne’s Barry and Captain America: Civil War. This season is also a golden opportunity for you to catch up on your favorite TV series. If you haven’t seen HBO’s Westworld, why?
Couple workout in your condo
Skip the bar hopping and binge drinking. You’re not getting any younger and the festive season is no justification to get back to your carefree ways. Tell your date to bring his/her best workout outfit for your Christmas condo date. Hit the gym for two hours then prepare a sumptuous dinner. Then share a guilt-free dessert at the roof deck.
Home cooking date
Have you seen the restaurants and bars over the past weeks? Establishments are fully booked, overcrowded, and no longer conducive for an intimate celebration with your partner. Cooking at home is not only a money saver. It’s a stress buster in festive seasons like Christmas. You can prepare your favorite Filipino dishes or explore new recipes. Try the gastronomic delights featured on the Asian Food Channel. Working together in the kitchen is a perfect time to bond with your significant other. Choose a quality wine that’ll go well with your homemade meal.
Resort living in your condo community
How can you best spend your long weekends with your partner? A cheap holiday date at home can be as fun as going out of town. Enjoy a laidback Saturday by the leisure pool, complete with chilled fruit juice and summer music. While the rest of your friends are battling hotel reservations and traffic in expressways, you and your loved one are relaxing under Manila’s cool skies within the comfort of your resort-inspired condo community.
Explore new music
Holiday dating on a budget can be worth more than a fine dining celebration. It’s not the quantity (or in this case, the monetary value, that counts), it’s the quality. Do you know that there’s an almost endless list of good music available online? While everyone is ranting about “this generation’s poor taste in music,” a number of fresh artists are actually making good tunes. Perhaps they’re looking at the wrong place? Enjoy a relaxing afternoon with your partner by exploring the latest in indie, rock, electronica, and jazz in your condo. Research on the artists and their influences. You can also come up with your special playlist for 2017.
Display your gaming skills
Thanks to technology, there’s a long list of cheap Christmas date ideas for you. Sony Playstation launched a number of new games that’ll surely keep you indoors throughout your vacation. Some of the recommended titles this year for PS4 include Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Overwatch, Grand Theft Auto V, and NBA 2K17. Check out Metacritic for the reviews, or if you want a good laugh to go with your game-hunting, watch Conan O’Brien’s Clueless Gamer videos on YouTube. Don’t forget to order pizza and chips!
Board games and other offline leisure fun
Board games have always been a part of families’ Christmas itinerary. “Every family has at least one—or a dozen—seasonal survival kits squirrelled under the stairwell, all dusty and dog-eared. Draughts and Ludo. Battleship. Monopoly,” wrote Jenny Lee for the Financial Times. Unplug your smartphones and tablets and bring out your board games. The hottest board games for 2016, according to Buzzfeed, include steampunk-inspired Scythe, strategy game Mombasa, and the two-player card game Thunder and Lightning. You can have tacos and nachos on the side!
Spend time in silence
Is your romantic relationship one that frequently requires talking and verbal communication? Or has it reached a point where you can both share silent moments together? You can read your favorite books on the roof deck or by the pool. The long work off-days are perfect to catch up with your reading backlog. You can drop by the bookstore first to get new titles then grab a take-out a dinner on your way home. Lounge under the December skies with the best of literature.
Sky lounge citygazing
This year, plan for a budget Christmas date. It’s time to rethink your money management as a couple. Have you ever tried assessing how much you’re spending on dinners, movies, and parties in a year? You could have invested your hard-earned money for your future, such as a mutual fund account or even a fund for your first condo unit as a couple.
Thinking about your finances together is a reflection on your relationship goals. Is this a short-term affair or bound for permanency? “Discussing money with the man you hope to spend the rest of your life with doesn’t mean you don’t love him. It means you love him and yourself,” says financial guru Suze Orman. How’s the best way to discuss your future with your partner? Over coffee or wine at the sky lounge overlooking the mesmerizing cityscape.
Amid the traffic jam, mall sales and bazaars, and merriment, always remember the true meaning of the Christmas season. This is not a celebration of material things and our consumerist culture. Christmas is about the miracles of love and life. What matters is the quality time you spend with your partner, regardless of whether your stay at home or fly abroad. However, saving money and time by staying in your condo wouldn’t hurt either.