Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Christmas in July

Only six months til Christmas. 

Hard to believe, isn't it? With temps like these, it seems incredible that this sort of white stuff is ever going to happen again.

Actually, reading about Christmas -- and even getting in a holiday-themed movie now and then -- has a cooling effect during these sweltering days. Why not get a step ahead, and purchase a Christmas present now? Or make a project, like these baby print-related gifts.  (The 'Gift A Day' series run by The Prudent Homemaker is also very good.)  Country Living magazine has a whole list of 50+ diy gifts, as well, for your family and friends.

Edible presents will hang out in your freezer or on the shelf until needed. (This batch is fun, too.)

Here are some other ideas to get you started. 

*Start saving money. Five bucks a week, saved from now through mid-December, will give you approx. $100. That can buy a lot of extras, if done wisely.

*Don't forget the clearance areas...or the dollar store.   Stocking stuffers can be surprisingly inexpensive at the dollar store. But my favorite, by far, is the clearance section.  Summer is one of Wal-Mart's favorite times to clear out everything quickly -- like the rack of beach towels, marked down to $1.50 EACH, I saw this week at our local store. (I literally followed the clerk down the aisle as he was taking them upfront. Got the best of the batch too, including butterfly and 'Frozen' patterns.)

*Buy staples, a little at a time. Nuts, chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, cans of condensed milk -- these are used in a variety of dishes.
         Even though I don't generally start buying seafood now for the Seven Fish Dishes, I do look for sauces, canned soups and such to use. Bacon freezes well -- so does shrimp and salmon.

*Freeze or can fresh fruit.  Use it as a present -- or a sauce, garnish or ingredient in a special dish. While it's in season, you won't find better prices...and fruit that actually tastes good. (I am so tired of 'cardboard' fruits at the wrong time of year.)

Peaches are coming soon to Colorado -- another month or so.

*Go through your things. What do you already own that could be used for projects or presents? This will have a double benefit: you'll keep Extra Stuff down to a minimum by using what you've got.

*Check garage sales or thrift shops for craft materials. Partly-finished kits, skeins of yarn, beads and fabrics are often at rockbottom prices right now. It's also a good time to look for small gifts like crystal stemware, and clothes to wear at those special events.

*Ditto for Christmas decorations: lights, balls, garlands, candles and such.

*Dream about recipes. Now's the time to wander around holiday cookbooks or internet sites, looking for Good Stuff. (Like this batch, from Taste of Home.)

Here are some more posts on planning for the holidays -- this one and this one.
     This blog helps, too.

The time will go by faster than you think. 

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