Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lights, Lights, Everywhere

Christmas Eve with the cousins was fun.  Let's see... I scored a great activity box that Jack immediately wanted.  Ricky got two books.  Richard got beach art from Key Largo. My nephews walked away with a Christmas decoration and a wallet, respectively.  My mother in law scored a brand new game.  My brother in law got a piece of plumbing for you toilet.  And, my father in law walked away with the perfect gift for him... a Vera Bradley purse and change purse.  All in all, a successful swap.  Oh, and Matthew... he scored a pair of roller skates.  He thinks he's the coolest thing since sliced bread.  The real question... how well do you sleep with four-pound clunky skates attached to your ankles?
I wonder if any of you will consider doing Christmas in July next week or the week after... or if you'll log the idea and consider pulling it out sometime next year.  Either way... I thought I would share a few afterthoughts... things I wish I would have thought about ahead of time.  Needless to say.. planning is the key to making this idea work... stress free.
  • After packing away Christmas items next December, create a separate box labeled, "Christmas in July."  Set aside any of the decorations or other chatchka you might want to use. Example... I located my Christmas stockings easily, but I could not figure out the box in which I packed my stocking holders.  Consequently, they had to be taped to the mantle... tacky, I know.
  • At the end of season next year, shop with "Christmas in July" in mind.  I found myself wanting Christmas stickers and wrapping for the treats we delivered on Friday and napkins and plates for last night's party.  I ended up finding what I needed, but it could have been better and cheaper.
  • Many of us referenced our kids receiving way more than is necessary from family, friends, and Santa.  How about holding onto some of their presents next year with the intention of presenting them in July?  They won't notice in December and the treats will probably get extra "air time" in July.
  • Consider allowing your kids to organize a "white elephant" gift exchange similar to the one we did last night.  Each child wrapped a gently used item and walked away with, what to them, felt like a brand new toy.  Recycling toys is good role modeling.
  • Big events or gestures not necessary.  Playing Christmas music; Christmas tree pancakes for breakfast; coloring Christmas pictures or doing another Christmas craft; wearing red and green; posing and answering Christmas questions; while driving in the car... these are many of the small things we did throughout the week that helped add to the Christmas cheer.   
Thanks for playing along.  Now an exercise in creativity for you and your kids, the neighborhood, or kids at the pool.  You name it.  Email it to nephews, nieces, and any other child you might know.  I need the fresh and creative minds of kids and adults to help name the character below. 

Anyone submitting a name will have his/her name entered in a drawing for a Christmas in July box of treats.  Thanks for playing.  We'll run this activity through the weekend, so I won't draw the name for winner until Sunday night.  We'll announce on Monday morning.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Signing off until Monday...

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