When I started thinking about Christmas in July, I remembered that my friend Eileen from Countdown to Christmas had celebrated in a unique way last year, so I invited her to tell you about what she did.  It's such a fun idea!  I hope you love it as much as I do! 

Yes.  Santa has a birthday.  At least in our house he does.  He didn’t until last summer, but now I fear he will be a regular on our family birthday rotation until the end of time.  This is entirely my fault and I’m not afraid to admit it!

I love Christmas!   But, this is no ordinary love.  Christmas knows no bounds in my world.  It is something that I will gladly think about and plan for year round.  I love anything remotely related to Christmas, which is why a holiday cookbook I picked up in a discount store last April launched a new, favored celebration in our house. 

Several years ago, when my first child was just an infant, I was introduced to the fact that QVC hosts Christmas In July around July 25th.  My mother, a Christmas enthusiast in her own right, and I decided to make the most of it.  We made our favorite Christmas appetizer, lit a scrumptious holiday scented candle, and watched all day long.  The following Christmas, we set aside several cookies and froze them for our special Christmas in July extravaganza.  This became our routine and a highly anticipated event! 
Unfortunately, however, as more kids came along and they started to grow (and by grow, I mean become increasingly aware of how much fun we were having without them) it became more and more difficult to celebrate Christmas in July without including them.  And, since my kids are not big QVC shoppers, I knew some changes would have to be made.

One day, last spring, as my mother and I were out shopping, I stumbled across a Pillsbury holiday cookbook on a random shelf in a Tuesday Morning store.  As I thumbed through it, a few things caught my eye.  One of which was a cake shaped and decorated to look like Santa.  I knew right away that my kids would love it, but realized I had a very big problem.   With the vast array of holiday goodies tradition demands we make each year, how could I possibly justify baking another entire cake during the holiday season?   Neither my schedule nor my waistline would stand for it!

I decided over the course of the next few days that, if I wanted this cake to be a part of our holiday celebration, I would have to create a holiday celebration around this cake.  With July 25th earmarked as Christmas in July already, I decided to declare it Santa’s birthday (complete with cake and all!).  I’m eternally grateful that QVC got on board and changed their Christmas in July programming to the weekend prior.  It’s like it was written in the stars!

We started the day with snowman pancakes set to Christmas music.  Then we proceeded to make some fun ornaments for our tree, watch our favorite Christmas movie, eat sandwiches shaped like Christmas trees, play some Christmas card games I had fortunately forgotten to pack up with our holiday things, and the kids even got a new present (a Rudolph game for our Wii that I never knew existed) which came with a sweet note from Ralphie, our Elf on the Shelf.  My oldest also took time to pen his Christmas list and a letter to Santa, which helps his over-achieving mother who actually starts her Christmas shopping in August.  It was a blast and such a great way to break up the monotony of our oven dry, triple digit, Arizona summer.  It also gave me, the ever- Christmas- planning mom, a chance to go a little nuts and plan some things we just don’t have time for during the busy holiday season.

Even now, my kids are reminding me that as soon as all of their summer birthdays pass, Santa’s will be right behind!

What will this year’s celebration include?  We are attempting some slightly more labor intensive ornaments out of cinnamon dough, the results of which could be comical. A game of pin the nose on Rudolph is on the schedule and a new Wii game, entitled “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, is on its way from Amazon.com as we speak.  We’ve even gone outside the home and invited my son’s best buddy to join in our holiday madness.  One thing I can guarantee, there will be Santa cake!  Although, he may be a bit smaller and accompanied by several reindeer cupcakes.

***QVC's Christmas in July is this Saturday, July 21st, starting at Midnight EST!  Mark your calendars!!

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