This post is sponsored by Noodles.

Christmas is a hectic time of year. Between Christmas shopping, holiday parties, and unit events, it can often be hard to find time for you and your service member to reconnect and to find time for one another. On top of that, it is also an expensive time of year- gifts for the kids, gifts for each other, hostess gifts, and parties at school- have us pushing aside our regularly scheduled (or let’s be honest- it’s not so regular since we never know their schedules) date nights. After all, babysitters are expensive and so is traditional date night events like going out to dinner and a movie.

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But it is still important to try and squeeze those dates in with your service member, even if they have to be during the day. In order for these ideas to work, you’ll probably have to have someone watch the kids if they aren’t in school. We suggest doing a kid swap with a neighbor so they can partake in the day dates, too! Here are five day date ideas to get you back to what is really important this holiday season: each other. 

Day Date Idea #1: Christmas Shopping

Online shopping is great, but let’s be honest: there is something special about being able to walk into a store and shop around, especially during the holidays. Everything is decorated beautifully, holiday music is playing, and you might even find things that isn’t on your to-buy list. Before you hit the stores, though, head over to grab some lunch from some place quick, healthy, and that gives you something back during a time when your purse strings are a little tight like Noodles.

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Noodles is a delicious day date lunch, and their new Noodles Day #RelationshipGoals campaign from December 3rd through December 14th rewards you every day you check in to their app. All you have to do is download their NoodlesREWARDS app and make them your third wheel by “dating them”/checking in each day. You even get a $3 reward when you sign up, and each time you check in your rewards are bigger (i.e, the first check-in is $2 off a $10 order, the second visit is $3 off, and so on). Turn on the notifications on the app, too- you’ll be notified of bonus days and extra rewards during the #RelationshipGoals campaign. So you’ll already have coupons the first day of your day date and you’ll get extra rewards: score!

Day Date Idea #2: Wrapping Party

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Send the kids off to a friends house, check in to the NoodlesREWARDS app, order some Noodles to go using your coupons, stop and grab some wrapping paper essentials, and get to work. Christmas wrapping usually isn’t fun, but when you have your loved one by your side along with a Hallmark movie on the tv and a delicious lunch it is a lot more fun!

Day Date Idea #3: Outdoor or Indoor Picnic

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Instead of meeting for lunch in a random place, check in to your NoodlesREWARDS app to see if today is a bonus day with extra surprises, grab some Noodles, and have a romantic lunch right in their office. Sure, it might smell a little musty and you can probably hear artillery going off or helicopters flying above you but sounds of freedom, right?

Day Date Idea #4: Go to PT with Them

Day dates don’t have to be all romantic. PT is a job requirement for your service member, so join them in their daily workout one day. Head to the base gym or the gym at their unit and sweat it out with a good old American workout. You can even make the date a little more fun by actually doing their PT test with them. Maybe you’ll even beat their score! Chances are they won’t want to leave to grab lunch (or probably won’t have time) so this is a perfect time to hit up your third wheel- NoodlesREWARDS– and see what surprises are waiting for your solo lunch!

Day Date Idea #5: Go Visit a Christmas Tree Farm

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Maybe you already have your Christmas tree (or maybe it’s still in the closet or lost with the rest of your HHGs; we’ve all been there), but visiting a Christmas tree farm can be romantic. Walking in between the sweet smelling trees with cocoa in one hand and your love in the other can really help to connect you together. Talk about what each other wants for Christmas or any vacation plans (ha! Plans. That’s a good one) you might have in the new year. ProTip: Talk about what your ideal vacation would be if you didn’t have to worry about schedules, time constraints, or orders on travel restrictions. Before you head back home, grab dinner for the whole family at Noodles using any NoodlesREWARDS you have racked up.

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Trying to find time with your service member can be hard during a regular season, but add the holidays in between trainings, pre-deployment work-ups, and duty you can seem near impossible. Like everything in the military, we need to be a little Semper Gumby (read: always flexible) and try to find ways to squeeze in those dates with them as best we can. And with rewards from Noodles, we can save a little extra cash on our day date ideas.

Need some ideas for your holiday shopping? Check out our Christmas Gift Guides for ideas for the whole family!

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