Do you celebrate Christmas in July? If so, how do you deck the halls during the hottest month? I’ve never been to or hosted a sunny Christmas event, but I am now intrigued. After missing out on face-to-face Christmas festivities last year due to Covid, I wonder how many made up for it with a holly jolly July gathering of friends and family.
Tomorrow is August and too late for me to plan a 2021 Candy Cane Pool Party, but I can start making a list and checking it twice for the future mingling of beach balls, sea shells, and jingle bells.
I love the vision of sugarplums and Santa on a flamingo raft relaxing with a snow cone. Oh, and elves draped in beach towels like togas passing out red and green Jello shots. And guests can enjoy Christmas Carol Karaoke, Beachy Tree Decorating Contests, and Little Drummer Boy Limbo (I don’t even know what in the Frosty the Snowman that is, but you gotta admit that it sounds good.)
Sorry, after the long writing hiatus, my muse is overworking my imagination. Please share your most successful and realistic ideas for a menu, venue, activities, decor, and more.
Beyond what to make or buy for a summer Christmas party, I’ll share some gifts you can stock up on early and put on your wish list. The next winter Christmas will be here in less than FIVE months.
- Fun Fact 1 – Many retailers are hosting Black Friday specials this weekend. Maybe you can score a deal.
- Fun Fact 2 – I observe two Christmas dates: December 25th and January 7th. We celebrate with my husband’s family on the 25th (Gregorian Calendar) and my Serbian Orthodox family on the 7th (Julian Calendar). And now I’m planning for a future summer tineselfest. Doesn’t keeping the spirt of Christmas all year round sounds delightful?
- Fun Fact 3- I’m a self-proclaimed coupon queen shopper. It’s been a blessing and a curse that I’ve been working out. Please read on.
When it comes to gifting, who doesn’t love finding bargains, thoughtful presents, and memorable keepsakes? Since the start of the pandemic, I have become a wiser, more conscientious shopper. No more getting things just because they’re on sale. No more stuffing my closets to have a different outfit, daily. No more stuffing myself in clothes that make me feel puffy and stuck just because I had a coupon. My family has grudgingly rescued me from the vices of unforgiving denim, zipperless boots, and spandex sports bras that practically shrink wrapped to my skin.
Dammit Donna, discounts tempt me to plunge into senseless splurges. Time to be more careful and let the coupon expire. Holy Noel! Can you believe I, a coupon queen, said that? Yes shoppers, it’s okay to toss that coupon into the bonfire.
I’ve been paying more attention to how self-purchases and gifts for others can keep on giving instead of taking away space, time, and cash. My favorite personal gifts to share are books, beverages, blankets, and Bath and Body Works products. I find the softest best patterned blankets from Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and Maurices.
Wine and spirits, coffee and tea sets, glasses, mugs, carafes and kettles are always a hit.
Over twenty-five years ago, I worked as a Bath and Body Works associate and have used their products ever since. Right now, my favs to share are their candles, aromatherapy line, and gift packages.
- Fun Fact 4 – Most unopened B&BW products have a shelf life of three years so stock up.
Here are the titles of inspiring, beautiful, and/or fun books that I have picked for friends, family members, and high school graduates: (When opening a link, please be sure to click on “Open in New Tab” to avoid getting knocked off of the blog. If this happens click the Back Arrow)
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young – Daily Devotionals. I’m on year five and gain new inspiration each day. I have shared this title, a daily ray of light, the most.
Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids by Sarah Young – I have given this to my teenage daughters and friends’ children. This version’s language is adapted for tweens and teens.
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach – 365 Days to a Balanced and Joyful life. I’m on my second year with this devotional and highly recommend it. My copy is an older version but just as superb. Great for sisters, moms, aunts, and girlfriends ages 30+.
The Artist’s Way Workbook by Julia Cameron – I was introduced to Cameron via this workbook which is accessible to all creatives (writers, actors, dancers, cooks, painters, bakers, candlestick makers…)
The Artist’s Way: 25th Anniversary Edition – Julia Cameron – A spiritual path to higher creativity. I practice and teach Morning Pages Journaling learned from Cameron. This book has been a game changer for my soul, creativity, and search for authenticity.
You Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds by Jenny Lawson – “Part therapy, part best friend, part humor, part coloring book.” Great for girlfriends! Gather together with your books, crayons, and colored pencils.
A Sloth’s Guide to Mindfulness by Ton Mak – The sloth is so adorable and wise. Great for college kids and those embarking on a journey to mindfulness.
These beautifully illustrated books by Maryjo Koch are great for celebrating various milestones of love, change, growth, and beyond. The artwork gives me happy belly butterflies.
- Flight Plans: A Bird’s Eye View of Life – My favorite to give to college kids and those encountering a big life change.
- The Nature of Friendship
- Love Bugs: A Bug-Eyed View of Romance
- Eat, Sleep, Fly: A Butterfly’s View of Life
- Bee Happy!: Wit & Wisdom for a Happy Life
- Nesting Instincts: A Bird’s-Eye View
- Spices: Delectables for All Seasons (Delectables for All Seasons Series)
- Bird, Egg, Feather, Nest
- Seed Leaf Flower Fruit
- Dragonfly Beetle Butterfly Bee
I decided to split this gift-giving blog into two. Next, I’ll be highlighting our best home, health and wellness, and family purchases as well as gifts for a group, subscriptions, and homemade keepsakes.
Enjoy the end the month. Give yourself the best gift today, time. Go do something you enjoy. Maybe that means shopping, lounging, reading, or celebrating Christmas in July. Whatever it is, shine on and stay cool!