Christmas in July
As a little girl, Christmas was the best time of year. Festive things to do, lights and decorations, the best movies and music, treats, and of course presents. As I grew up, Thanksgiving took the favorite holiday spot, because food began to outweigh presents, and my mom’s stuffing is the stuff(ing) of dreams! (Hope my dad reads this and sees that I’m continuing his tradition of lame jokes.) As an adult, wife, and homeowner, who JUMPED at the opportunity to host large family holidays, I started to understand why there’s always someone in the Christmas movies who doesn’t like Christmas. Managing a family event, dealing with drama, all of the prep, hours of labor preparing the perfect meal, all left me too tired to taste the food, and thinking about going off to spend next Christmas in a cabin on some mountain with only the people who live in my house.
Similarly to childbirth though, you forget the bad parts and are soon willing to do it all over again because the happiness is worth it. So no fears, I’m no grinch now, I still love Christmas.
In fact, I was recently feeling festive and realized that July was about to end so I decided to make the last Sunday of the month Christmas in July! Everything we ate had some holiday flair, and I put Mickey’s Christmas movies on for the boys. My husband is a stickler for only celebrating events (holidays, birthdays, etc.) when the calendar says you should so I didn’t get any Christmas movies playing on the main screen, but I spent most of the day in the kitchen so my Christmas playlist got me through!
Here’s what made the day merrier than your average July day:
We started the day with Christmas tree waffles and frozen hot chocolate. I’ve been using this waffle recipe from Buns in My Oven for a while now and they are always a hit. Just added some food coloring at the end of making the batter, assembled, and added M&Ms. My toddler loved that he got to have M&Ms with breakfast! I added a whipped cream star to the top of subsequent waffle trees.
For the frozen hot chocolate I followed this recipe from the Sway. I didn’t have hot fudge sauce so we used chocolate syrup but they were still delicious. We’re going to experiment with some adjustments next time though. I want to make chocolate milk ice cubes instead of using regular ice, and I just know that it would be fabulous with Baileys or RumChata. My husband isn’t into mint, but peppermint schnapps also came to my mind when I had it.
Then we had a light lunch of guacamole Christmas tree pitas! I had seen various images like this on Pinterest and it’s so easy! I didn’t miss breaking tortilla chips into the guac, so this actually might become a regular thing around here. A combination of wanting the guac to not be as chunky as usual, and laziness, lead me to throw the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro into the food processor instead of dicing everything up. I’M ALWAYS GOING TO DO THAT! It saved so much time, and tears from the onion.
For dinner we had brown sugar pineapple ham and mashed potatoes which I didn’t bother photographing because it wasn’t shaped like a Christmas tree. It is my husband’s Christmas dinner of choice so there you have it.
And my favorite part… dessert!! A day or two before, the toddler and I made the Rice Krispie treats. I added the food coloring to the melted marshmallows which is another hack I’ll always use now. Having the marshmallow mixture dyed made it so easy to see that it was all mixed together evenly! We will forever only make colorful Krispie treats. We pushed it down into a round cake pan and left them covered until Christmas in July day when I let the toddler decorate a few of the trees. My husband wanted them coated in chocolate so he dipped one side of them in melting chocolate, I threw together a simple buttercream to stick on the Rolo trunks and piped on some garland, then the little one got to add some sprinkles. Fun and delicious!
Then I made some eggnog meltaways from The Recipe Critic. I went a little over on the spices and extract and I under baked one pan of them, but they are so yummy! Being July, my grocery store isn’t carrying the eggnog that I needed for the recipe so I had to make some. I used this recipe from The Cooking Geek and just did 1/3 of the recipe which perfectly filled one pint jar. I enjoyed the remaining eggnog too!
My husband and I also enjoyed some boozy eggnog shakes to finish up the last jar of the aged eggnog that I made from Alton Brown’s recipe for last Christmas. I’ve made this eggnog two years in a row and let me tell you that it is knock-you-out boozy. Alton states that the longer it ages, the more mellow the alcohol will be. So the first year I made it probably less than a month before Christmas and it was like taking a shot, which is no longer my preference. Last year I think I made the eggnog in October AND I cut the alcohol in half, but it was still SO STRONG. We hadn’t drank any since probably January, but there was one jar still left. We opened it on Christmas in July and what do you know? You can barely taste the alcohol now! It was so tasty! I don’t know how long it took to get it to that point but I’ll be making this Christmas’ eggnog ASAP.
Anyway, assuming it was still on the strong side to drink straight, we had been planning to throw it in the blender with some vanilla ice cream for boozy shakes, so we still went with that last weekend.
Overall, I enjoyed my Christmas in July. There’s no way I could do that many cute things on Christmas Day so it was nice to just have the fun without so much to do. Also, I learned some things to adjust for actual Christmas time. Operation Christmas in July was a success!