Friday, July 15, 2016

9 Long Christmas in July Eves

I've read this quote before. It's on the back cover of the June issue of The Simple Things. Thorns don't have roses. Thorns on roses and pomegranates do remind me of the truth the author tried to say in a clever way. 

Six weeks of rest feel like six thorn picks every six seconds when I think about it. JC is probably already sick of me. Prednisone straps me onto an emotional roller coaster with the first six-pills-dose and gives me quite a ride. It always has. I gain seven to nine pounds too. Side effects aren't all minuses if I squint. My skin glows, my appetite improves, my productivity goes into quantum overdrive, hence this photo. Proof! I'm talking thirteen wrapped and addressed Christmas in July packages. 

I forgot one! My bag overflows because there's one that's way too big to fit. "Let there be thorns," the man said. And, so there are. I have sixteen packages when the deal was thirteen. 

This one shouldn't count seeing as how it's a birthday gift I forgot. So I'll subtract one. That still leaves fourteen. Fifteen! Minus Alex's big envelope, and the Norman Rockwell wrapped stuff will make thirteen! Thanks for help with my math. Such thorns, huh? One down and one to go. Those pesky customs forms are a pain in my palm. I always have a stack on hand but of course I cannot find them. Alert. Found another gift. Not a Christmas in July one though, but still. 

Have you wondered why I'm really doing Christmas in July? Lest you forget, I didn't sufficiently celebrate the holiday this year. That meant reproachful looks from unwrapped gifts digging at me every day. Then I just wondered where the saying, Christmas in July" originated. Well, in case you're curious too, here goes a cut and paste from wiki:

Werther, an 1892 opera with libretto by Édouard BlauPaul Milliet, and Georges Hartmann, had an English translation published in 1894 by Elizabeth Beall Ginty. In the story, a group of children rehearses a Christmas song in July, to which a character responds: "When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season." It is a translation of the French: "vous chantez Noël en juillet... c'est s'y prendre à l'avance."[2] This opera is based on Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther. Christmas features in the book, but July does not.[3]
The earliest known occasion to make the phrase Christmas in July literal was in July 1933 at Camp Keystone, a girl's summer camp in North Carolina, which celebrated with a Christmas tree, gifts, and a visit by Santa Claus.[4] In 1935, the National Recreation Association's journal Recreation described what a Christmas in July was like at a girl's camp, writing that "all mystery and wonder surround this annual event."[5]
The term, if not the exact concept, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in July in 1940, written and directed by Preston Sturges.[6] In the story, a man is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends, and neighbors, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.[7]
In 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., celebrated Christmas in July with carols and the sermon "Christmas Presents in July".[8] They repeated it in 1943, with a Christmas tree covered with donations. The pastor explained that the special service was patterned after a program held each summer at his former church in Philadelphia, when the congregation would present Christmas gifts early to give ample time for their distribution to missions worldwide.[9] It became an annual event, and in 1945, the service began to be broadcast over local radio.[10]
The U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army and Navy officials, in conjunction with the American advertising and greeting card industries, threw a Christmas in July luncheon in New York in 1944 to promote an early Christmas mailing campaign for service men and women overseas during World War II.[11] The luncheon was repeated in 1945.[12]
American advertisers began using Christmas in July themes in print for summertime sales as early as 1950.[13] In the United States, it is more often used as a marketing tool than an actual holiday. Television stations may choose to re-run Christmas specials, and many stores have Christmas in July sales. Some individuals choose to celebrate Christmas in July themselves, typically as an intentionally transparent excuse to have a party. This is in part because most bargainers tend to sell Christmas goods around July to make room for next year's inventory.[14]

Okay now. Did you know all this? Wow. And how. But there's more. It has to do with Australia. Google the phrase and read on. In the meantime, I'm reading this. I picked it up a couple-three years ago, didn't care for it with the "dear reader-ness" of it all, so it's collected dust since then. Until day before yesterday. See the Copic markers to the right? Two more ran dry. (sigh) The black plastic box has nibs. Can't do much calligraphy practice these days. See the glass jar with the giant fly? That's a whole other story. I'll get around to telling it soon.

Drood seemed like a bargain for $5.98. Dan Simmons. The author. His name is Dan Simmons. Sorry. I wonder how long it took him to tell his story. No way should his tome fall on deaf ears or blind eyes. This will be my summer read. Correction. My six week read.

All 771 pages. It's a story about Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, I think, since he is the only Wilkie I'm familiar with from the literary world. Well there you have it. Mr. Collins. Recently I  caught the beginning of a movie about the train crash Dickens and his mistress and her mother were actually in. Twice. But fell asleep before the middle. The book begins with the story of the accident. A strange story it is, dear Reader. Six long weeks of spare time that needs filling. Wow. Drood is looking gooder by the second. Someone should read Mr. Simmons' story this summer. As I said, I will the designated reader. 

There are no more Christmas in July gifts to wrap. Finishing ahead of time got my goat. That does not mean I shall drift in a rudderless boat. No mail from me means there's not much going on in this room with four walls. Translation? There won't be much worth writing about. JC will surely need time off from fetching and carrying, picking up paper bits, shopping, cooking meals I will not cannot eat . . . He is not a good cook. He is not a cook at all. 

All in all, there are nine more eves until Christmas in July. Please, please, please do not open yours until then if your gift comes early. And especially please do not be upset or think less of me if you I missed you this year. Recipients were randomly chosen from the one address book that's still within reach. Did you know that I still use my 2011 address book? Along with  ones from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

I wish you happy feelings.

Sincerely sincere,

Big Foot Limner


  1. oh my gosh you make me smile my friend I can have no greater ambition in life than to be a good friend and you certainly have shown me how . God love you my dear take care .

    1. Once again you render me speechless. I sincerely do not know what to say except thank you. And I pray the same prayer for you.

  2. I read Dan Simmon's The Terror about the Franklin Expedition several years ago that sent me in search of other information about the Expedition. Merry Christmas in July!

    1. At last! Someone who has read Simmons. He discusses the story in Drood (am only on page 41) but I remember the story from news articles, movies, magazines and other books. Very few people I know are familiar with the story of the Donner party and are turned off by the very subject. Science news reported yesterday, and it's been reported years before, that Neanderthals engaged in the taboo practice.

      Thank you! :) I'm still making more merry than I did in December. I found a wrapped Christmas gift behind my reading chair. LOL.

  3. I just thought I would add this as one of my pen friends has written me and telling me that you are of two classes when reading this one book drood . A . You are the one who loves it or B. You are the one who hates it . Either way choose for yourself which one you fall into . I will leave you with that . No I have not read it .