Thus, 2D: Candlelit dinners for four, say ([DOUBLE]DATES) is represented by DDAATTEESS. Nicely, although we read the doubled letters down singly, when they are in the across answers, they naturally are simply the doubled letters. I knew something was up when I looked at 1A: Stirs in, and couldn't straightforwardly enter A[DD]S, even when I confirmed the A with ANODE. O[TT]OMANS confirmed that something was going on. But it didn't become immediately clear until the revealer.
It's a beautifully done theme, and the rest of the puzzle is excellent as well. Of course, here in Albany, we have a double DOGGO household, so that sat nicely. 51A: Like bad apples and sour grapes? (IDIOMATIC) is a lovely clue. And who doesn't love the sound of CELESTAS, as heard in the Sugar Plum Fairy's song from the Nutcracker?
I solved with Cece and Hope, and so it was fitting that my daughter immediately got 56D: Bops or hits, say (SONGS). Almost without a pause. We've taught her well. She also got 8D: Things that are far from basic? (ACIDS). Among other answers, but those were the ones that really impressed me.
Really, it's a lovely puzzle, just what we like to see to start out the turn. I'd never heard of PAYA, and I don't think I want to think about it ever again. But otherwise, no complaints!