Thursday, June 30, 2011

Countdown to Christmas in July 2011

Photo courtesy of

I'm borrowing this awesome photo from my blog friend Ginger over at Rudolph Ramblings. Ginger is so amazing; she writes a blog, she's the Administrator of the Magical Holiday Home Forums, and she does so much for Christmas in July. I am really looking forward to getting to know her better this year.

I've been busy making a Christmas in July Planner, because I do so much better when I can see what's on the agenda for each day. I've broken the calendar into groups of three days as I think I've mentioned before - recipe one day, craft the next, and a decorating tip on the third day. I've got all my crafts picked out and most of the supplies purchased, as well as the recipes lined up and pantry supplies on hand. I've only got a couple of decorating tips so far and they will basically be links to blogs or Pinterest pins that caught my eye during my endless Christmas surfing!

On the craft front, I'm trying out some ornaments. I would like to participate in the Christmas in July ornament swap next year (found out about it too late to join in this year) so I'm test-crafting a few different ideas to see how they turn out and how involved it would be to make five or ten or fifteen or whatever number is needed for the people who sign up for next year's swap. Let's say ten people sign up - we each make ten ornaments (the same) and then mail them to the organizer of the swap. We include a check for the cost to mail our box plus a couple of extra dollars for any overage. The organizer gathers all the boxes from the ten participants and then takes one of each ornament and mails them to each participant. So, I end up with ten different ornaments, one of which is the one I made. Sounds like a fun way to gather some new ornaments, and new ornament ideas, don't you think? I'm going to be working on felt mistletoe, a snowman face disc, a memory box, a quilted ball, a Christmas bauble, a music star, and a half-eaten gingerbread man. I've got one other craft project and that it to make a set of wine charms. Michael's is beginning to put out their Christmas in July supplies but there were a few items that I could not find so I'm going to improvise and when the holiday craft supplies are more readily available, I'll be able to finish up or re-do wherever necessary.

On the recipe front, we're kicking off Christmas in July with a Poinsettia Cocktail. New recipes for sweet treats include Simply Sensational Truffles, Oreo Truffles, Eggnog Truffles, Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cake, Pecan Tassies, Peppermint Bark, and Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake. My savory choices are Sausage and Potato Squares, Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Rolls, Chicken Holiday Wreath, and Turkey and Biscuit Casserole (although it will be a Chicken and Biscuit Casserole). All the recipes are new, things that have caught my eye in cookbooks or on blogs, that I have filed away to test for the holiday season.

Our Christmas reading selection is The Snowglobe by Sheila Roberts but I also picked up a selection of Christmas books by Debbie Macomber to check out. I'll also be turning to my all-time Christmas favorite, This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy. I've got thirty-one Christmas movies lined up, one for each evening, along with a couple of balls of Bernat's Boa (eye lash novelty yarn is the way it's described) in, you guessed it, Fa La La! It looks like this:

Photo courtesy of

I've got to line up a visit from the Christmas Elf for Sophia - more on that later. She may be 17 years old, but she loves a Christmas surprise as much as a little one does!

Would love to hear from anyone planning to participate. Merry Christmas in July!