19 Christmas Proposal Ideas No One Will Be Able to Resist

It's the most wonderful time of the year (to get engaged).
Christmas Proposal Ideas for the Holiday Season
Photo: The Good Brigade / Getty Images
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
by
Hannah Nowack
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Senior Editor, Weddings
  • Hannah writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on real wedding coverage.
  • Hannah has a passion for DE&I and plays an integral role in ensuring The Knot content highlights all voices and all love stories.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hannah was the Social Media Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings.
Updated Oct 24, 2023

There's a good chance you'll notice an uptick in proposals between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, but without a doubt, the pinnacle is Christmastime. Yes, planning a Christmas proposal is definitely okay—in fact, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are consistently the top two most popular days to get engaged year after year. With enchanting twinkling lights, toasty fireplaces and cozy nights at home, the holiday season is practically made for romance, so it's not hard to see why proposing on Christmas is so desirable. If you're ready to take the next step with your partner, be sure to spend some extra time planning, since this time of year already tends to be a little bit busy. With the help of professional proposal planners, we're sharing need-to-know tips for your Christmas engagement, plus our favorite Christmas proposal ideas to inspire your next move.

In this article:

How to Plan a Christmas Proposal

"The holidays are romantic," says Michele Velazquez, co-founder of The Heart Bandits, a professional proposal-planning company based in Southern California. "Places are lit up, festive, and it completely makes for a romantic moment." While Christmas is a beautiful time of year to get engaged, the season is also filled with lots of family events, holiday parties and other to-dos that can keep you busy and potentially make proposing on Christmas Day a bit tricky. Keep these must-know tips in mind to ensure that the proposal is meaningful, memorable and goes off without a hitch. After all, nothing would be worse than letting poor planning get in the way of asking one of the most important questions ever.

Prioritize what your partner likes.

If your partner generally prefers to keep your relationship private and lowkey, a public Rockefeller Tree proposal in the middle of New York City is probably not the best way to go. "No matter what time of the year people propose, they need to make it personal," advises Velazquez. "Christmas is no different. Focus on your relationship and what truly makes you unique and then incorporate that into the proposal. If they love music, maybe hire Christmas carolers to knock at the door but as a surprise, they sing your special song instead."

Consult your partner's friends and family.

Especially if you're planning to ask your loved one to marry you during a family event or a holiday gathering, make sure to let any key players know what you intend to do. Velazquez says that during the holiday season, "your families are both probably in town or you will be with your families, so if you want them to be a part of the proposal or you want to celebrate with them after, it is the perfect time."

Check the weather in advance.

In most parts of the country, snow and inclement weather are common around Christmastime (not like you need us to tell you that). If you're planning an outdoor Christmas proposal, that may or may not be a good thing. Make sure to check the weather forecast a few days before the proposal and have a solid backup plan in place should inclement weather thwart your original plans.

Keep the entire day—not just the proposal moment—in mind.

"It is really important that the proposal stands alone and doesn't get lost in the normal Christmas activities," says Velazquez. While it will only take a few minutes to actually propose, make sure to plan with all of Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in mind. What will your S.O. be doing earlier in the day and what ruse will be in place to get them to the proposal location? Finally, think about how you'll be celebrating after the proposal, whether that means exchanging gifts with each other or heading to a relative's house to gather with family.

Don't get overwhelmed by trying to do everything yourself.

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to start feeling overwhelmed. Don't be too proud to ask for help, whether you hire a proposal planner or simply tap some close friends to assist. Think of delegating miscellaneous tasks that will help you save time if you're going to propose at Christmas, even if it's something as small as sending your best friend to pick up a bottle of bubbly.

Plan the proposal weeks (or months) ahead of time.

"Christmas is one of the most magical days of the entire year," says Ash Fox, New York proposal expert and owner of Ash Fox Proposal Planning & Photography. "That said, Christmas is one of the most in-demand days of the year and Christmas gets fully booked months in advance. Also because so many people are celebrating Christmas themselves, it can be more difficult to find available vendors on Christmas."

Heather Vaughn, proposal planner and founder of The Yes Girls, concurs. (Vaughn's team has planned more than 4,000 proposals around the world since 2008.) She notes that "the biggest hiccup when planning a Christmas proposal is finding available vendors. It can be tricky to schedule with everyone's holiday parties, family plans and such, so that is just something to keep in mind when choosing a date."

Best Locations for a Christmas Proposal

These festive towns across the U.S. are known for taking the holiday spirit to the next level during the Christmas season, making them the perfect backdrop for a holiday proposal (or a Christmas wedding, if that's in your future). From iconic light displays to must-visit Christmas markets, any one of these destinations would be the perfect spot to pop the question.

  • New York, New York
  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • North Pole, Alaska
  • Dahlonega, Georgia
  • Branson, Missouri
  • Durango, Colorado
  • Leavenworth, Washington
  • Santa Claus, Indiana
  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Solvang, California
  • Woodstock, Vermont
  • Freeport, Maine
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Frankenmuth, Michigan
  • Helen, Georgia

Activities and Ideas for a Christmas Proposal

Ready to start brainstorming Christmas proposal ideas? Let these options spark your imagination.

1. Advent Calendar

If you want a long lead-up to the big question, consider making an Advent calendar a key part of your Christmas proposal. Give your partner a small gift for each day of December with the final gift on Christmas morning being a ring box holding an engagement ring.

2. Christmas Tree Lighting

Whether it's during a trip to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting in New York City, the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. or simply a local tree lighting in your own city, there's something so romantic about the moment when a beautiful tree begins to brilliantly sparkle.

3. Christmas Lights Proposal

Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and stroll around the neighborhood taking in all the festive lights and baubles neighbors have decked their homes out with. Then cap off the evening by romantically popping the question once you reach a picturesque spot. Our advice: Secretly scout out the neighborhood Christmas lights a week or so in advance to plan your route.

4. Christmas Ornament Proposal

If you want to have a keepsake to help you always remember your proposal, a custom couples Christmas ornament is a special idea. Pro tip: Don't hang the ornament when you're initially decorating the tree, but instead sneak it onto the tree on Christmas morning so you don't need to worry about spoiling the surprise early. Alternatively, you could pop the question while decorating the tree together so that you're able to enjoy all of Christmastime as an engaged couple.

5. Extra-Special Jewelry

Can you imagine a Christmas gift better than an engagement ring? This holiday proposal idea is perfect if you normally surprise your partner with new earrings or jewelry as their Christmas gift—except this time, we have a feeling it will be their most favorite piece of jewelry ever. Consider pairing the engagement ring with a matching necklace or bracelet to complete the set.

6. Ski Trip Proposal

If you and your partner are big ski buffs, then turn your annual snow sports trip into a marriage proposal.

7. Christmas Movie Proposal

Create a winter wonderland date night as the backdrop for your proposal, complete with hot cocoa, string lights, cozy blankets and your favorite snacks. There are so many great rom-com Christmas movies you could watch to set the tone for your own moment.

8. Christmas Cracker Proposal

Christmas crackers are normally filled with small trinkets or tchotchkes, but you could consider having a special one made to house an engagement ring or a handwritten proposal note. Just be careful that when it comes time for your partner to pull open the cracker that they're in a safe spot where the ring can't go flying or get lost.

9. Ice Skating Proposal

Go for a few twirls around the rink before dropping to one knee to ask your S.O. for their hand in marriage.

10. Christmas Tree Farm Proposal

Talk about a romantic Christmas engagement idea. While trekking around a tree farm to find the perfect Frasier or Douglas fir, find a quiet spot to pop the question. This is the perfect opportunity to hire a secret proposal photographer—there will be plenty of spots for the camera to stay hidden among the trees.

11. Christmas Card Photoshoot

If you want to ensure the proposal is caught on camera, consider booking a Christmas card photoshoot with your pets, family or children as a ruse. Plus, you'll be able to ensure your loved one is dressed to impress without them suspecting a thing.

12. Mistletoe Proposal

Guarantee that your proposal ends with a happy kiss by staging the big moment under a sprig of mistletoe.

13. Christmas Dinner With Family

If family is especially important to you, consider having them be part of the moment by proposing on Christmas Day during family dinner.

14. Decorating Christmas Cookies

Turn this holiday tradition into an unforgettable moment by using it as your Christmas proposal idea. Even if it hasn't been a tradition for you and your partner in the past, start a new one this year that begins with cookie decorating and ends with the proposal.

15. On the Doorstep

Pay homage to the classic holiday film Love Actually by professing your love on the doorstep, complete with handwritten signs. Who could resist a grand romantic gesture like that?

16. On a Sleigh Ride

If you live somewhere snowy where a sleigh ride or a dog-sledding adventure is a possibility, turn the fun winter activity into a marriage proposal. Arrange a surprise at the end of the ride with a custom sign and other decorations asking your partner to marry you.

17. Box of Chocolates

Splurge on a special box of handmade chocolates from a local candy shop or patisserie. Ask the baker to create the chocolates in the shape of wedding-themed items, like rings, bells or champagne flutes, or spell your proposal message in candied letters.

18. Secret Santa

This Christmas engagement idea is perfect if you have an annual Secret Santa tradition with your friends or family. Before everyone draws names, let the organizer know about your plan to propose and rig the selection so that you get your partner's name. When the time comes to exchange gifts, you can surprise them with a ring box concealed in wrapping paper.

19. Christmas Morning Gift

Order a new sweatshirt or other accessory for your partner with a custom message, like "engaged," "bride-/groom-to-be" or "Future Mrs/Mr. [last name]." Wrap it like you would any other Christmas gift, and when your partner opens the box, they'll soon realize that you're proposing.

Samantha Iacia contributed to the reporting of this article.

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