If you’re eager to celebrate the holiday season with the exuberance of summer, then you’ll love our ideas for Christmas in July! What better way to cherish all the wonderful memories with friends and family than with a get-together that also lets you soak up the sun. Get ready for some midyear cheer. Fluff your Christmas tree, serve up some eggnog, and kick-start the merrymaking with Tree Classics’ 12 ways to Christmas in July!
Christmas has always been a season of giving. Whether you’re handing out gifts at an orphanage or helping out at a local soup kitchen, you know there is nothing more satisfying than being able to make other people happy. Celebrating Christmas in July allows you to continue spreading the joy of the holidays. Join Tree Classics as we list down ways you can turn your Christmas good deed into a year-long tradition.
1. Hold Storytelling Sessions with Kids
Reading is a great way for kids to enrich their imagination. There is a tale of adventure and awe locked inside every page of a good book. But reading can be very difficult for a child who has dyslexia or is visually challenged. Remove this obstacle by lending your voice in an audiobook production and holding a storytelling session with kids.
By using well-loved storybooks and textbooks that have been transformed into electronic recordings, children with learning disabilities can enjoy the lessons that these wonderful literary treasures have to offer. Visit Learning Ally to find out how you can sign up as a volunteer reader.
2. Visit Homes for the Elderly
Time has a way of making us forget the things that really matter. We won’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the people who came before us. Let’s not wait until the Christmas season to check up on Grandpa and Grandma and make them feel appreciated. Drop by your grandparents’ house or your local elderly home and bring back their smiles. You can share a meal, tell stories, and even play fun games with them. Check out organizations such as Little Brothers to learn more about how you can help bring cheer into the lives of our beloved elderly.
3. Become a Red Cross Volunteer
If you’re looking for a long-term commitment helping out, you can never go wrong with the American Red Cross. Always ready to help where there is a disaster, the organization has come to symbolize solidarity and care. For decades, it has given aid to those situated in the most dangerous corners of the world. The Red Cross has diversified its volunteer work into different functions. Aside from helping in disaster relief efforts, you can also be a volunteer at blood drives, become a health and safety instructor, or even a social media advocate.
4. Rescue Animals with Your Neighbors
Animals have the right to be safe. Sadly, not everybody is aware of this fact. We often find pets neglected or mistreated by their owners. Groups such as Sanctuary One and The Humane Society of the United States try their best to care for these poor critters, but they also need the help of other animal lovers. Sign up for their programs such as rescuing and protecting these pets from cruelty and providing them a loving home.
5. Build Homes for the Homeless
And, yes, there is no place like home. This has always driven the volunteers of Habitat for Humanity. They have dedicated their time and energy to providing homeless people everywhere a shelter where they can be safe and warm. You can join hands with family and friends and turn home-building activities into a time for bonding. With every brick you lay and every beam you hammer into place, you can have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped create a better tomorrow for your fellow.
You don’t have to wait until Christmas to spread holiday cheer. Now is as good a time as any other.
Summer inspires people to get healthy. Just think of all the luscious fruits and mouthwatering veggies bursting with color and flavor! They’re not only tasty. They also cleanse your body. But if you’re looking for something other than your usual summer salad, you can switch things up. Count on these thirst-quenching smoothies that also work as a complete meal, light snack, or summer drink that takes all your worries away.
1. Carrot, Mango, and Herb Smoothie
Sip your way to good health with this carrot, mango, and herb smoothie. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene and vitamin A, which promote good eye health and slow down the aging of cells. The falcarinol and falcarindiol in carrots also reduce the risk of lung, breast, and colon cancers. Meanwhile, mangoes prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, promote good eyesight and help alkalize the body. The fusion of mint, tarragon, and basil helps with its digestive and anti-oxidant properties.
Enjoy these amazing benefits with the carrot, mango, and herb smoothie by Whole Living. Combine two cups of frozen mango chunks, one cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, one cup of fresh carrot juice, 1/4 cup of fresh herbs, such as mint, tarragon, or basil, and blend until smooth. Super easy!
2. Avocado-Apple Smoothie
Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats that help the body absorb vitamins A and E important for maintaining the smoothness of skin. This fleshy green-skinned fruit can also lower cholesterol, fight eye disease, and prevent oral, breast, and prostate cancers. Anti-oxidant and fiber-enriched apples, meanwhile, fight the effects of aging on the brain, providing protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Make the avocado-apple smoothie from Incredible Smoothies by blending together one green apple, 1/2 avocado, one tablespoon of lime juice, and 1/2 to one cup of water. This is one yummy anti-aging recipe that you’ll never get out of your mind!
After six months of stashing away your Christmas tree in the attic or basement, it’s time once again to take it out for some much-deserved cleaning and fluffing and celebrate Christmas in July. To help you along, Tree Classics runs down basic steps as you display your beloved tree this summer.
Dust off the Tree
Just like any item stored in a box for months, your Christmas tree may have accumulated dust – and dust often sticks deep within the bristles and branches. Cleaning it can get frustrating. To make things easier, you can either use a handy vacuum or go old school with a whisk broom.
- Vacuums can be used on newer and sturdier trees. When using one to clean your Christmas tree, make sure that the vacuum is not too powerful for it. Attach an upholstery bristle to your vacuum and test it out first on the base of the tree. If your tree can handle it, go ahead and proceed with the vacuuming. Once you get to the needles and branches, keep the vacuum about an inch away from the tree so that it won’t suck in the foliage.
- When dusting old and delicate Christmas trees, it is better to use a soft whisk broom. Carefully brush the dust off the tree, paying close attention to the branches and needles. You can also use a damp rag for a more meticulous cleaning of the foliage.
- For the trunk and larger branches, a bucket of warm water and some mild dish soap will do the trick. Soak a rag in the bucket and start wiping the tree. You can also use shampoo.
- For pre-lit Christmas trees, avoid using any liquid cleaner to prevent short-circuits.
Check the Detailing
Once you’re through getting rid of all that muck from your tree, the next thing to do is to check all of its parts. Sometimes in our haste to store our tree right after Christmas, we tend to leave out some of its pieces. We wouldn’t know until the next season when we’re about to take it out again.
- Familiarize yourself with each part of your Christmas tree when setting it up and disassembling it. Also, keep the manual for the tree handy to have a complete list of its pieces.
- When working on a pre-lit Christmas tree, double check it for loose connections or busted bulbs before plugging it in.
Ask Help Early
If you find that some parts are missing or that there are damages to your Christmas tree, you should notify your tree company’s customer service right away for parts replacements or appropriate repairs. Inspecting your tree’s condition as early as July will save you from further troubles during the busy holiday season.
More than just being a mere summer holiday, Christmas in July is a convenient reminder of how to properly take care of your beloved Christmas tree. Add this to your family tradition and you can be sure of a happy and stress-free yuletide season.
The slower pace of life in the summer allows you to take time, relax, and delight in a good book. As you make the most of your summer holiday, Tree Classics recommends titles that will help you unwind and pull away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life:
1. The Classics
There are novels that you wish you had read thoroughly back in college. Enjoy some of these old favorites. The classics take you back to the early times, giving you a greater perspective of the way people used to live and the ideas that had once influenced our world. Reading books written decades or even centuries ago not only increases your knowledge of literary references, but exposes your mind to different viewpoints. With some written in old English, and others representing the beginnings of modern English, classic books also improve your vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Tree Classics Recommends: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen; Les Misérables by Victor Hugo; Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy; and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
2. The Bestsellers
Don’t shy away from the bestseller rack. Reading something popular once in a while allows you to check out mainstream literature. Many bestsellers have, in fact, received good reviews. Whether fiction or non-fiction, these titles can explain much about the present world we live in. They especially give us ideas of the latest trends both in literal and literary terms. Since most are written in modern English, popular books are easy to understand, but this is not to say that you won’t pick up any new words from them.
Tree Classics Recommends: Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser; Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld; The Peripatetic Coffin by Ethan Rutherford; and Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon.
3. The Beach Reads
Languorous afternoons on the beach set the stage for light, escapist reading. Let’s face it: no one actually reads something as heavy as The Brothers Karamazov while out in the summer sun! Summer books or beach reads should not be as challenging or heart-wrenching as the classics, but they should be interesting enough to keep you entertained while you’re swinging on a hammock or lounging under a beach umbrella.
Tree Classics Recommends: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick; Heat Wave by Richard Castle; Summer Sisters by Judy Blume; and Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult.
And the list is complete. Happy summer reading!