Christmas in July

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“Christmas in July” can mean several things.  It could be that someone receives something rather grand as a surprise or as the result of a fortunate turn of events, yet not the result of a deliberate gift though wistfully regarded as such. 

Or, it could be that a movie aficionado recalls a 1940 movie by that very name… it would have to be an extreme movie aficionado.  (Thanks, Google).

Or it could be a cynical observation on the commercial marketplace further eroding the sanctity of a what a few still regard as a holy day by pimping “Christmas” sales in July. 

And so there I was, in July of 1991, shopping for a card to send to my wife while I was out of town for a week.  Upon entering the store, I was fairly bewildered at a sizable exhibit of Christmas ornaments.  Married 4 years and with a child on the way, I was already disillusioned with the overt hijacking of Christmas by capitalism.  Thus in self-righteous condemnation, I approached the counter to check out when, “Hello, what’s this?” stopped me in my tracks.

As a Star Trek fan since childhood, I’ll only briefly mention that every cool looking toy of the USS Enterprise was tragically inadequate due to poor proportions.  The main hull was too big, the warp drives too long, the sensor array to cartoonish, or whatever.  And here, after all those years, was a pretty darn spiffy replica…  Sold.  Thanks, Hallmark!

That particular ornament quickly became a collector’s item, valued up to $300 at one point. I hang it on our Christmas tree each year, a reminder of something of which I’m very fond, or, if you will, even something that has enriched my life.

Soon after this past Christmas, my daughter and I were in the car when the conversation turned somehow to her thoughts on decorating her own Christmas tree when she’s out on her own.  Colored tree lights were a given.  She’s rebelled against our white lights for years, to no avail.  Otherwise… she had no firm ideas, but it was something that had stirred her thoughts.

We have far too many ornaments, some of them acquired soon after we were married to quickly occupy space on our tree.  Others were more carefully selected over the years, or were created by our kids or were given by friends and family.

There’s simply not room for all of them, so the sorting process of each of us picking our favorites has caused the tree to evolve each year. After all, tree decorating is a family activity.  As we were about to pack the tree, it struck me how much our tree has become representative of a short history of pop culture, at least, during our lives.  The themes, or lack of themes, that people use to decorate their trees are always interesting, and I’m quite satisfied with the way ours is trending.

We only vaguely remember that Hallmark’s ornaments go on sale in July, but we’re always interested to see what they have to offer.  The subject matter varies, they’re well crafted… and they’re fairly expensive.  But, a trend has been that if we like, it sells out. 

Well, it’s July, and here we are.

And a small sampling:


National Lampoon’s Vacation, Rudolf, the Grinch, Tom & Jerry, the Peanuts gang, A Christmas Story, Frosty, Scooby Doo…  And there’s others now and more to come in later months, all of which can be viewed in their (free) catalog.

My HipstaPrint 0

Planning ahead for this very blog, I took some pictures last Christmas before packing everything away (hover over the pictures for comments):









This year’s additions?  Well… for myself:


And for my daughter, to adorn her future trees, there is the limited edition “Release Day” Harry Potter snitch.  She’s a happy kid.  Oops.  Young adult.


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