Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for a good holiday romance. It is one of my top guilty pleasures. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching two characters fall in love at this most special time of the year—a time when most people are filled with joy, kindness, charity, forgiveness, and hope. Visual reminders (ignoring the commercial ones) are spread widely throughout cities and across media. Family and friends gather, or at least, take time to reach out to each other to spread a blessing of good fortune or word of cheer. And if you’re like me, you always have that one friend—that Debbie Downer or Bitter Betty—who proclaims you’re delusional because romances like that don’t exist and never happen. Ugh! Well, my life will never be like a Hallmark movie, that I can agree upon since I live in a city far too large to be considered “small-town USA” and there’s rarely snow. (See my blog Not Dreaming of a White Christmas on my blog page Creole Bayou about this holiday snow business.) However, that does not mean I can’t invent a little holiday romance for myself. So, here are some ways to give the holidays a festive romantic boost.
- Hot chocolate. This can’t be any old box hot chocolate. This must be the real deal—you know, homemade. There are some great recipes out there. I recently bumped into one made in a slow cooker with red wine. Talk about getting your sexy love vibe going with that one with your special someone. Making hot chocolate works romantically in so many ways. First, it gives a reason to invite someone inside or to extend a stay. Second, it’s a process. It’s not just boil some water and dump in a packet. It has multiple steps during which the time can be filled with conversation. The smell is simply delightful. It makes one feel tingly just by sniffing. And the taste is divine. It is wonderfully smooth and chocolately. (Yeah, I know that isn’t a real word.) But the best about this treat is that it gives you a reason to snuggle with that special someone as you sip.
- Fire. When I was discussing this post with my bestie and stated fire was on my list, he replied, “No one is going to want to burn down their house.” You just got to love friends like that. But no, I wasn’t talking about arson. I meant a fire in a fireplace. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I live in the deep south. We rarely have a need for a real roaring fire. If we had one, instead of roasting chestnuts, we’d likely be roasting ourselves. So, if your situation is one as such, a faux (cause there’s nothing sexy about “fake”) fire will suffice. Dim the lights, turn on soft music, put on the fuzzy socks, and chill in front of the faux fire with a cup of eggnog. (You may want to spike the eggnog for good measure.)
- Sleigh ride. This may be a little difficult to pull off, especially if you don’t have access to a horse, sleigh, or snow. For most people, the sleigh would be pretty much out of the question. But no fear. There is an alternative. See, here in the south, a hayride can be just as romantic (granted, probably a lot itchier) as a sleigh ride. Just hitch up a mule, throw on a couple of bales of hay, and trot off into the woods. Add a few blankets, a bottle of wine, and cheese and crackers in a picnic basket, and you have yourself a grand date.
- Holiday scented candles. One can never go wrong with a nice smelling candle. (Well, almost never.) The selection of designs, aromas, and wicks to choose from are abundant. And the best part is that they do not have to break the bank. Plus, there’s no rule that states they can’t be swapped daily to invoke a new mood.
- Mistletoe. Yes, it is a thing, and it won’t kickstart the allergies since it has no discernible scent. It’s pretty, inexpensive, and can be statically placed to garner a kiss from that secret office crush or hot next-door neighbor. It’s the perfect excuse to lock lips. Just don’t eat it and keep your pets away. Mistletoe is poisonous if ingested. If you’re feeling especially amorous, check out these Kiss Me There Mistletoe Plaid Christmas Box at BestGot.myshopify.com. (DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored or affiliated.) And kind of overlook the fact that origin of the word mistletoe roughly translates to mean dung hung on a tree. That totally kills the romantic, sexy vibe.
- Reflection. I love this one so much. This can bring two people closer together, especially if the two people in question have been going through difficult times. Reflection involves taking a moment to look back and remember good times. Share those thoughts with someone who is or you want to be special with you. Usually, these types of memories are deeply personal and cherished. Sharing will allow a type of bonding. And speaking of sharing…
- Give of yourself. This may not seem like something especially romantic, but giving to others and giving of yourself makes you feel good. This act not only will make the holidays so much better for others, but it also will put you in the headspace to enjoy the holidays more. Thus, you will appreciate that someone special even more, and that’s very romantic.
- Going to church. Not everyone is religious, I get that. But for many, it is the reason for the season. Being in touch with one’s spirituality can be enlightening.
- Treat you and your boo to something ritzy. Every now and again, a person deserves to be pampered. What better time to do that than doing the holidays? Give yourself a gift and make it a fancy one. How about a trip to a swanky spa with that special someone? Or if you prepare to stay in, why not feast on upmarket delicacies, such as lobster tails, foie gras, hanger steak, caviar blinis, paella, or Scotch egg. Not only are these delish, they also can be fun and romantic to make with the right person.
- Twelve days of (Christmas) dating. Instead of singing this classic tune, go on twelve consecutive dates. Make it even more special by giving each date a unique theme or doing activities you’ve never done before.
- Snuggle up with a good movie. I would say book, but unless you’re willing to read aloud, reading would be difficult to create a romantic experience with another person. If you’re alone, reading a lovely romance would be a great ending to the night or spending the afternoon. However, if you’re with your significant other, bundling on a couch and watching a movie together can lead all sorts of places. However, I would suggest shying away from slasher films for romance to be in its full effect.
- Go on a cruise. I like this idea a lot, but two of my critique partners said this wasn’t something that should be on the list because a cruise may or may not be romantic. Well, shucks. Is anything guaranteed? They always raining on my carnival. I say if you can get a good deal, why not sail the Seven Seas? After all, the Love Boatwas a real ship and cruise.
- Building gingerbread houses. Okay, let’s talk. I put this on the list per request (and insistence) of one of my closest girlfriends, but I honestly added it under distress. Why? Seriously, have you ever worked with gingerbread? It isn’t as easy as people crack it up to be. And “crack” is the most appropriate word. Gingerbread has to be at that exact consistency or it will split like the Weber Deep fault or cave like a nasal valve collapse from a botched rhinoplasty that leaves one looking like Lord Voldemort. No one has time for that. Oh sure, they make it look as simple as painting by numbers. Lies, all lies! Gingerbread is extremely temperamental. Now, I’ve said what I said.
And those are some ways to spice up and have a very romantic holiday season. What do you have planned that is romantic? What should be on the list that I missed? Let me know in the comments. Happy Holidays! Be blessed and merry.
Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.
Coming February 2020… Ice Gladiators… Hockey so hot it melts the ice.
Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.
Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.
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