Use colored card-stock and envelopes to give each month a pop of color. Get as crafty as you want with decorations and designs, I'm usually in the less-is-more camp though! 

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There are a number of reasons why you may want to forego a regular present this year and consider giving the gift that keeps on giving - a year's worth of dates. For my husband and I, there always seems to be something going on where we would rather not spend the extra money on elaborate gifts for each other, but rather put that money towards the new house we're building, the furniture to go in said house, vacations, future babies, whatever.  It seems that for the past couple years now we've opted to opt-out of pricey birthday/Christmas presents and put that money towards the stuff we really want/need. 

Despite this agreement to not exchange presents, I just can't give nothing on a holiday so I create a year of dates instead. This costs little-to-nothing to do, and spreads the costs of dates over the next 12 months. This idea is perfect for a first anniversary present (the paper anniversary), a birthday present, Valentine's Day, or a Christmas present (The 12 Dates of Christmas).  I try to plan a variety of dates, some that may be more expensive and some that are free, some that have to happen on a specific day and some that are flexible/can be completed any time during the month.  

Below are 12 of my picks for my most recent year of dates that I gave to Brian for our first anniversary.  While these are specific to the Minnetonka/Minneapolis area, with a little googling you can find a variety of events going on throughout the year in your region.  Since it was for our first anniversary, I also decided to put quotes and bible verses applicable to weddings/marriage on the cards - obviously you can take 'em or leave 'em but I'll include the lists of those as well just in case! 

Even though these didn't make this most recent year's 12 dates, some other ideas I've used in the past include concert tickets, tickets to the Stillwater Brewer's Bazaar and sporting events.  There are several websites where you can find out what's going on in your neck of the woods. City Pages, Eventful, and Minneapolis Magazine are just a few sites that have great event calendars to help you get started. Look up your local towns for more ideas! 

Lake days, live music, golf, ice-cream - the possibilities are endless! Check out what online event calendars are available in your area, you'll be surprised at all there is to do. 

These quotes about love and marriage are a perfect accompaniment to your year of dates. 

Nothing goes with marriage and love quite like our man JC! Add some scripture to remind each other of the religious foundation your marriage rests on. 

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