November 22, 2021

The holidays are magical times to find love or grow in it.  The lights, the music, and the snowy landscapes full of Christmas lights and decorations, the legends, and the upbeat mood of people, all bestow a kind of wonderment within which it is easier than normal for romance to flourish. Cold temperatures make for peaceful nights indoors with hot cocoa or wassail, curled up in front of a fire or a feel-good Christmas movie with your special friend.

At Christmas time, there is an abundance of special Christmas concerts, light displays (such as we have every year on Temple square), and other events to celebrate our thankfulness for our blessings, the most transcendent of which is God's gift of His Only Begotten Son--as He came into the world heralded by choirs of angels.

Yes, the holidays are a magic time. They are also a time when people reflect on the fact that they may be spending another holiday season without someone special in their lives, and are sometimes a little more open to trying something new. You might become that new idea.

I am not suggesting that you hurry up and force something. I am simply suggesting that you be open to it and let your heart accept the joy of the season. Check online for Christmas events you might attend and bring a date. Consider bringing someone to your office Christmas party. Many of these events are free and open to the public. Different choirs perform on Temple square at different times during the season. Check when those are occurring and take your date on one of those evenings. There are also plentiful opportunities for service oriented dates. There is even a story in Intentional Courtship about something I did for Cathy on a Christmas Eve. I won't spoil it by revealing what it is here; but you can read it for yourself in the book.

Over the years, I went on lots of holiday dates. I saw numerous Christmas concerts and light displays, followed by hot cocoa and cuddling. I delivered inexpensive gifts to other mid-singles' children, some of whom could not afford very much for Christmas. With one partner, I visited the Provo City center Temple under reconstruction, where I would later be married to Cathy. One time when we had been dating about five months, Cathy took me to a Christmas concert where one of her students was performing, to the temple to perform initiatories, then to dinner, and finally to a performance of The Nutcracker at Weber State University. That was a truly magical all-day date that I will never forget. (Thanks again for planning that Cathy.)

One night last winter, I was shoveling the driveway and the snow started coming down hard. It was really beautiful. So I put down my shovel and went into the house, and I said to Cathy, "It's beautiful outside tonight. Let's go for a walk!" She looked at me in some disbelief and said, ”Are you serious?"  I said, "Yeah, why not?" So Cathy bundled up and we went for a walk in that beautiful wintry landscape. We walked through neighborhoods illuminated with Christmas lights and decorations, which the falling snow seemed to amplify. It was cold but not windy, and we were actually quite comfortable in warm coats and with a little exercise. We have been on many walks together since we first met more than five years ago--including a walk on Kay's Creek Parkway on our very first date. But I think that walk last year in that beautiful wintry landscape has to be my favorite. It was unique and different from all the rest. So you might create an impromptu date like that. Call up the person you are dating out of the blue on a snowy night, and ask him or her to go for a walk with you. Maybe you know a commercial location or a neighborhood somewhere near you with beautiful Christmas lights.

Whatever you decide to do, be enthusiastic! Sometimes I think we get stuck in a rut and tell ourselves things like, "I can't go walking tonight. It's snowing for Heaven's sake." And then we miss out on some of the most glorious moments of life. We may even have thoughts like that when it comes to finding love. "I can't ask [insert name] to meet me at Starbucks for Cocoa. He (or she) couldn't possibly be interested in me." We think, "I'm too short," "too plain," "too old," ” too young,"  ”too ugly," "too poor (financially)," "I have too many kids for him (or her) to accept," or "my life is too much of a hot mess." So we rob others of the opportunity to love and accept us. We make the decision for them out of fear.

This holiday season, why don't you just give it a try? Affirmatively look online and elsewhere for a person to spend the holidays with. Don't force it, but look and be open to identifying someone great. Reach out, even if it feels like a risk. Plan a fun holiday themed activity, and let yourself get swept away a little bit in the magic of the season and you might just see some little miracles. If your first date goes well, when you say good night to your partner, ask if he or she would like to go out again. If you get the right answer, start planning another holiday theme activity. Maybe you even bake Christmas cookies and go caroling. It could be anything. If nothing else, at least you will be building some good holiday memories in your mid-single years.

I thank God for the holiday season and what it meant to me during my mid-single years. I pray that yours will be joyful and filled with love.

Love in Later Years © 2021
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