Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christmas is July Fun!

This super fun idea came from Maggi over at Just Add Glitter and Stir. I thought I would participate, even though I am off at the fair this weekend. I love all things Christmas, so I could not pass up on this fun. Head on over and check out all the Christmas cheer.
As for me I wanted to get inspired for this Christmas. Yes, I am one of those annoying people who start in September. My goal is to be done with everything but the baking before Thanksgiving. I know it sounds crazy to most of you, but I do this so that I can Enjoy the holidays, instead of running around crazy, stressed and very grumpy. Shopping is not my most favorite thing to do, so you can see why I don't have any desire to be at the mall at 5:00 am with 5 million other people. This would be me...

(borrowed from

Ok, so here are some of my favorite things about Christmas, and hopefully you will take away a few good ideas to use on your own Christmas.

Christmas Trees

I love the lights, decorations and all around ambiance that the tree gives a room. I use a fake tree, and have since having kids, so they don't eat the needles or scream when they see a spider, but that's just me!Here are my two oldest in front of our tree.

I use the same theme each year, but add something new. So The snowflakes are from our first Christmas 16 years ago. The reindeer ornaments I made by hand one year, and the snow angel is from a craft bazaar I went to at my good friends Grandfather's farm. So many memories are attached to each item on the tree. My theme is always based on red.

Here are some adorable trees that I found while out searching for fun Christmas stuff. I just love the snowmen.

I thought this one was so elegant, and I just love the carolers in front.

Christmas Music
I love, love, love Christmas music. We start listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween. That is all the longer we can hold out. Four weeks is just not enough time around our house. So we start early. Our favorites are Bing Crosby

We also love O Holy Night by Martina McBride, and Christmas Cookies by George Strait. It wouldn't be Christmas without all the great music.

Christmas Stockings

I love stockings! I love all the different kinds of stockings, because each one has such a unique personality. I ran across this super cute and easy idea from the Queen of crafts Martha Stewart. These adorable Scarf Stockings are so cute, and there is even a template to make the project easy. Love that Martha Stewart. I searched hi and low for pictures of our stockings but couldn't find any. That will give you something to look forward to in December.

Christmas Trains

I love the sound of a train whistle going around the tree. I love that my boys come running from the other side of the house when I turn it on. I even love the smell of burning oil as it chugs around the track.

What would Christmas be without the cat napping next to the train after a long hard morning of playing with Christmas wrap. We got this train from Orvis a few years ago. It was the best price train that I could find at the time. It has held up well even with boys and cats.

Christmas Baking

I love to bake goodies at Christmas time. All the Girls in our family get together and have a mass baking day. It is so much fun. We get to chat, bake and of course eat. It is such a great tradition that I hope to pass on with my daughter one day. Here are a couple of my absolute, can't live without, Christmas goody recipes.

These are a lovely little cookie my Great-Grandmother used to make and send to our house each year. They were the first to go, because my entire family loved them. I still use the handwritten recipe she gave to me years ago.

Creme Wafers

1 c. soft butter

1/3 c. whipping cream

2 c. flour

Granulated sugar

Creamy Frosting(see below)

Mix thoroughly butter, cream and flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Heat oven to 375. Roll out 1/3 of dough at a time 1/8" thick. Cut into 1 1/2 inch circles. Transfer rounds to piece of wax paper that is heavily covered with sugar. Turn each round so both sides are coated with sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheet-prick with for 4 times. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or just until set, but not brown; cool. Put cookies into pairs with creamy filling. Enjoy!

Creamy Filling

1/4 c. soft butter

3/4 c. Confectioners sugar

1 t. mint extract

Food coloring

Cream together until smooth and fluffy.(I usually double this recipe to make enough for everyone to enjoy)

This recipe if from the Quick Cooking magazine. I love this magazine because everything is easy and yummy. This recipe if from Janice Brightwell of Jeffersonville, Indiana. It is a yummy one that I look forward to all year long!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls
1c. peanut better
1 jar marshmallow creme
1 1/2 c. rice crispy cereal

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate)

4 t. shortening

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter and marshmallow creme; add cereal and stir until well coated. In a small bowl combine chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or until chips are melted. Stir until smooth. Roll cereal mixture into 1" balls; dip in chocolate. Place on waxed paper. Refrigerate until set. (Again I double this recipe, because they are my favorite)

This is how they look in the magazine...

...and this is how they look when we do them. I am sure they all taste the same!

Christmas snow

What would Christmas be without snow. We don't always have it, but when we do, it makes this so much more magical. Snow makes the world so quiet and peaceful.

The smiles on their faces says it all.

The reason for the season?

Christs Birth

I love that the world becomes a little more soft, and a little more kind. We all look at little harder to make someones life a little better. That is what the season is truly about, being and example of Christ. Merry Christmas in July!


Dustjacket Attic said...

Merry Christmas in JULY

I love Christmas music and Stockings too!

xxx DJ

Amy said...

Goodness girl we are twins separated at birth. All the coincidences ( you've know/seen them) I could have written this post. HA! I too get my shopping completely finished (except for church giving trees) before Thanksgiving. I TOO love to just enjoy the holidays, minus the nightmare crowds. Our local radio station starts playing music just after Halloween. I sometimes drive the family crazy with it though. Our tree is RED... and I too make new ornaments each year.. this is eery. Do, Do.... Do, Do. One difference.. never had the creme wafers. My grandmother used to make mexican wedding cookies by the hundreds for all of us. And instead of crunch peanut butter balls we make buckeyes. Kinda similar though. Ever had one? Hope your enjoying the fair. I enjoyed reading your Christmas in July post.

Kathie @ my net finds said...

Merry Christmas in July!!! Wonderful pictures and those recipes sound delicious :-)

Jocelyn said...

Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing so many wonderful photos!!!! Love the cookies and need to try these out and your are so right....Happy Birthday Jesus!!! :)

BananaStamper said...

Happy Holidays! Those cookies look so yummy! MMMM, now I'm hungry for sweets! Okay, so the day after Halloween? Me too - it's all I can do to wait that long. I often have my collection pulled out before then, just waiting. However, sometimes I pull them out and play them anyhow while I'm making my Christmas cards. I always try to start early and the music helps me with my mojo! One summer, a bunch of us got together to crop and some of us were doing Christmas cards, so we thought what the heck - we blared the Christmas music and sand along - it was a blast!


Lemondrop Marie said...

Merry Christmas, lovely blog post!

Shady Creek Lane said...

Goodness woman, do you ever rest? At the fair and still have time to post a beautiful blog...amazing. That does inspire me though. It also scares me because it gets me thinking about the bazaar and I am so not even started. Take care and have fun at the fair, I can't wait for some pics of Logan showing the goats.

Love Ya,

Maggi said...


I came in from the warm and sun,
To find that Christmas has begun!

I love your favorites list! Christmas music is a fave of mine too and those cookies look amazing!

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Rest of Your Year!

Melissa said...

Ok, I'm drooling, totally! Loved this post, and love Bing Crosby too :D

roostreehouse said...

I love your christmas favorites too! i have stacks and stacks of CDs...when november rolls around, i dig out my sony discman and my old cds and my evening walks are full of inspiring tunes of the holiday season, so that i am too excited and by thanksgiving evening i am dragging out the decorations! (my family makes me wait til after thanksgiving dinner-though really, i start furtively dragging things out veterans day weekend!)
MERRY CHRISTMAS, this was a fun post!
xoxoxoxoxo Rhonda roo

Gina said...

Merry Christmas in July! Just stopping by from Maggi's. I need to try those Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls! They sound DELISH! :)

<3 Gina

That's Who I Am said...

Merry Christmas in July! I love all of your pics. That tree with all those gifts is amazing:) Hope you enjoyed the fair!

Jackie said...

Merry Christmas in July, I love your blog post!

Bella said...

I love all your pics. Trains have always been big at Christmas in my family, too. Hope you enjoy the fair. Merry Christmas in July! Stop by for a visit some time - the door is always open.
~Bella (Beauty Does Matter)

Suzanne said...

Merry Christmas in July! I can't wait to make those cookies and I am soooo ready to start shopping, too. Love your blog...the photos are all so gorgeous!

printersdevil said...

Wonderful CIJ party. I am finally getting to make the rounds. I did a quick check on my party and visited with guests there, so please excuse me if I missed you. I will be back home later to mingle some more. Right now, I am trying to fit in all the blog parties. This is such fun!!!!!

Merry Christmas in July from Texas!

Great post. Your kiddos are adorable.

I love the kitty photo under the tree.

Your grandmother's cookies sound and look yummy. I will be trying this recipe out for sure.

Maureen said...

love that photo on the sled! thanks for sharing and spreading christmas cheer! merry christmas in july!

HiHo said...

you and my husband....not christmas without trains under the tree....we have a running train in the christmas room at the shop, because of that tradition. Merry, merry. heidi

Danielle said...

Merry Christmas in July! great post!

Molly said...

Merry Christmas in July! What lovely photos and memories. Thanks for sharing the recipes too!

yyam said...

Merry X'mas! Thanks for sharing the photos and recipes!

I love your blog header!!!

laterg8r said...

love the contrast b/w the mag pic and your pic of your treats LOL - i'm sure they taste better at your house :) merry christmas in july!

GypsyFox said...

What a great Chistmas post!!! loved everything especially the pictures & the recipes :) Merry Xmas in July

Kim said...

I love hearing how everyone celebrates or gets ready for Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

Hayley G said...

Love the recipes!! Great Post! Merry Christmas in July to you!!!

My Big Mouth said...

The kitty made me giggle.
Don't you just adore Bing for Christmas!? I have a cd of his Christmas music,I love it!
Merry Christmas!

Scrappy Girl said... are definitely on top of things! I look like that cat at least 2 out of the 7 days of the week...LOL! Merry CIJ!