Party It Up, Christmas In July Style
July can be a cruel month. You can't walk down the street without sweating through your clothes or sit on your porch without the mosquitoes devouring your flesh like tiny vampires. Sometimes you stare at your sunburn and yearn for the biting cold, cozy sweaters, and fireplaces of Christmas. Still feeling the heatstroke? Hang up some decorations and throw yourself a Christmas in July party. No, we don't mean actually wear sweaters or light fireplaces, but there are other ways to chase the feeling.
1. Send Out Invites
It's impossible to have a party by yourself. Okay, it is possible, but we don't recommend it, unless you have a punch bowl of eggnog for one. The first step is to make a list of friends to invite to your party. You can pull out unused Christmas cards to invite them or you can make a Christmas-themed e-vite or Facebook invite. Be sure to remind your guests to wear antlers and their favorite Christmas t-shirts. If they aren't up for it, are they really your friends?
2. Decorate Your Place
It's time to go into your attic and closet to pull out your old Christmas decorations. If you want to try something new, many stores like Hallmark have Christmas in July sales for ornaments and other holiday decorations. Once you have all the tinsel and lights you need, decorate your house to look like a winter wonderland. Try not to trap yourself in the attic or you'll be forced to watch old home movies until your family pulls down the ladder and saves you. Remember, it's summer. You'll bake up there.
3. Make a Christmas Playlist
Miss hearing all your favorite Christmas songs? Here's your chance to hear them again. You can make your own playlist with Youtube or other software, or you can leave your music to fate by making a Pandora station for Christmas music. Be sure to have it playing in the background as your guests arrive for the party. Note: Do not sing Christmas carols to your neighbors. They will not appreciate your enthusiasm for all things festive as much as you do.
4. Make a Christmas Feast
So maybe you skipped out on ham in favor of chicken this past Christmas. And then afterward, you royally regretted that decision, because who doesn't eat ham on Christmas? Utilize this holiday to recreate what should have been. It's a great opportunity to make all the Christmas dishes you missed out on last year or to revisit your old favorites. We traditionally make turkey, warm rolls, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes. Wait to make the dessert until the guests arrive. Everyone loves making Christmas cookies! Pro tip: to avoid a hot kitchen, skip the oven and have pre-made cookies ready for your guests to decorate.
5. Watch Christmas Movies
You know how during the holidays, you always MEAN to watch that classic movie, but there's tinsel to hang and relatives to entertain and appetizers to prepare? Sit down and watch 'em now. Cheesy Christmas movies are a great option, too. Hallmark and Lifetime, anyone? You can also do a combination of the two. No matter what, you have to watch He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special. It is not quite the holidays without Skeletor.
6. Have a Christmas Gift Exchange
Holiday gift exchanges are too exciting to just do once a year. You could have a Secret Santa exchange (we recommend you use online sites for this to save paper and yourself from hassle) or you can do a White Elephant/Yankee Swap. Either way, we definitely recommend that you limit the gifts to under $20. Most people do not budget for Christmas gifts in July. Only the true fanatics do that.
Don’t worry if you forget something or accidentally burn your cookies! You just have to wait until December to try it all again.
Sarah Fox is an editor, writer, writing consultant, and pop culture enthusiast. Besides regularly contributing to Quirk Books’ blog, she has published an edition of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can find her online at www.thebookishfox.com.