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proposals - holidays

Marriage Proposals: 10 Holiday & New Year's Eve Ideas

The holidays provide the perfect backdrop for popping the question to your special sweetie. Here are 10 festive marriage proposal ideas to win her heart.

Photo: Gary Oakley Photography

It's that time of year when the world falls in love, every song you hear seems to say, "Will you marry me?" For a marriage proposal that will wow her, review this list of our favorite holiday and New Year's Eve marriage proposal ideas.

Play Santa

Ask a local department store to let you play Santa for a day. Have one of your love's friends take her shopping and convince her to sit on Santa's lap. Once she's in position, give her the ultimate Christmas gift.

Dazzle Him

Commemorate special moments in your relationship by writing or illustrating each event on a Christmas ornament with paint pens. Decorate the tree with all the special moments. On the tree topper -- which you should wait to put in place -- write, "Will you marry me?"

Make Every Day Count

Make an Advent calendar. Each door she opens should reveal a sentimental memory or a reason you love her (or him). Hide your proposal behind the door for December 25. If you're Jewish, use this idea for Hanukkah gifts, with each day's gift building up to the most important gift of all.

Spell It Out

Write out your proposal with roses in the snow or in Christmas lights on your house.

Enlist Help

Attach plastic antlers and a red nose to your (cooperative, selfless) dog. Then put the ring on a ribbon around the dog's neck and send the mutt to wake your beloved. If you have two dogs, attach a "Marry me" sign to the second and send them in together. She'll never forget this Christmas morning! (And then include your dog in the wedding!)

Get Crafty

Make two time capsules. Put souvenirs and snapshots from your relationship into the capsule for the year that's ending. Put only a ring box into the second, signifying a new beginning in all senses of the word.

Count Down

If you're at a party, work your proposal into the crowd's big countdown to the new year. Right before everyone starts screaming, "10, 9, 8..." say, "I want to tell you why I love you so much." After each number the crowd yells, quickly tell your sweetie a reason (you'll have to rehearse exactly what you want to say). When the new year arrives and everyone is hooting, simply whisper, "Will you marry me?"

Stay Home

Bah, humbug! If you detest parties and Times Square-sized crowds, plan the ultimate at-home cocoon (no Netflix allowed). Whatever you like, do it to the extreme. If you're foodies, don't settle for wine and cheese -- think caviar and champagne, the best you can afford. Don't sleep on your bed -- instead, decorate your living room to look like a boudoir, or make a cave out of couch cushions. At the stroke of midnight or when the moment is right, ask.

Take the Cake

Invite your nearest and dearest to a party to celebrate Father Time's birthday -- the beginning of a new year (and a new engagement)! Get or make a life-sized cake. Tell your sweetie you're going to surprise your friends, and tell your friends you're going to propose -- top secret! At the stroke of midnight, jump out of the cake with a big sign around your neck that says, "(Name), will you marry me?"

Say It With Chocolate

Make reservations at an elegant restaurant and arrange for the waitstaff to bring out two covered desserts. Under your lid will be a heart-shaped cake in her favorite flavor; under hers, a ring box nestled in a bed of rose petals. Once revealed, instruct the waiters to bring over a bottle of bubbly.

Happy holidays!

-- Lori Seto

See More: Popping the Question