Thank You For Coming To The Etsy Christmas In July Party 2018 – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Good night everyone! Thank you for joining us today for the #CIJParty 2018 here on the Etsy Christmas In July blog!! It was a really fun day in the sun!

I am Michelle, the captain of the Christmas In July team on Etsy!

Alicia, and Cindy, two of the leaders of the team were your co-hosts for the day! 

Here is a brief recap of the days activities!

Party Schedule

We had new blog articles, guest blog articles, and tutorials posted all day for your crafting and learning convenience and excitement! Here’s the party schedule!

Musical Introduction by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Food And Drink by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Photo Booth by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Swag Bag by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Photos From The #CIJLovesJuly Photo Challenge by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Tutorial: Chinese Lucky Stars by Mairi of mairidesign

Favorite Holiday Item In Your Shop by Mairi of mairidesign

Where To Visit For Christmas by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Secret Santa by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Show Us Your Holiday Table Settings by Alicia of AliciasFindings

The Christmas Tree by Mairi of mairidesign

Secrets of An Old Fashioned Christmas by Rebecca of OrnamentsByRebeccaT

Tutorial: Christmas Paper Stars by Barbara of MermaidsHatbox

Fun Facts About Christmas by Cindy of Cynhumphrey

Christmas Eve Luminaria Tour by Mike of burntearthhair

Getting Ready For Christmas by Julie of EveryoneLovesGifts0

Christmas Memories Last Forever – Cutting Of The Tree by Rebecca of OrnamentsByRebeccaT

Trending On Social by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Thank You Etsy On Sale by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Swag Bag

Let’s face it, besides the food and the friends, the best part of the party is the goodie bag! We’ve pulled together a fun download bundle of projects and printables as a ‘thank you’ for stopping by today.

Thank you Mairi of mairidesign for curating our swag bag today! Mairi is a member of the CIJ leadership team, writes for our blog, and is a swag bag expert! The Swag Bag printables were created by CIJ team members Karen of timetalentjewels, Judy of PiecesOfMePaperCraft, Gina of ArigigPixel. As well as team leaders Megha of byTheArtBug and Mairi of mairidesign.

There is a swag bag waiting for you!

Click here for your Swag Bag! #EtsyCIJ 2018 Swag Bag

Tell Your Friends

Even though we’re wrapping (Christmas wrapping) up our day the great benefit of a blog is that this day will forever be on our blog!

The official hashtag for this year’s party is #CIJParty and if you’re partying with us today, we’d love to see you! Be sure to use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Are you new to social media? Don’t be shy! We look forward to getting to know you! Being at a party is all about interacting and developing relationships!

Go Shopping

Many of our Etsy Christmas in July members are partying along with us by offering some sweet sales. Think of this as our version of hitting the snack bar!

When you use the Etsy search bar search Christmasinjuly or CIJ. So many fantastic deals from fantastic shops during #EtsyCIJ 2018.

We are excited to share unique items directly from creative people around the world!

Popular Items For Christmas In July

Many shops are using the universal coupon code – EtsyCIJ18 – so please watch for coupon codes before you check out.

Other shops have already reduced their prices and their items are as marked.

Now, WE’RE JUMPING IN THE POOL!

Michelle, Alicia & Cindy-

Where To Visit During Christmas – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Christmas is one of the biggest family related holidays and because of this some of us end up visiting family and sometimes friends (who are like family). Some of us even go some where’s just to get away. We want to know where you have been for Christmas and what it was like in the area.

I think New York City in the wintertime is a beautiful yet busy place, add in a holiday and its something else. Lights on buildings, trees and more line the busy streets. There is ice skating and also the amazing tree in Rockefeller Center. The store’s window displays are beyond stunning as you spend your day sightseeing before finally ending with a performance of the Nutcracker.

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On the other hand I imagine Nuremberg Germany to be quite amazing also. Just thinking about Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas Market) makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. I can only imagine this 180 stall market of handmade wares. They have a Toy and a Railway Museum for your sightseeing pleasure. I also must admit thinking about all that gingerbread, bratwurst and strudel makes my mouth water.

Nuremberg-Christmas-Markets

spoiledfelines1 from SpoiledFelinesArt states that she loves to spend Christmas where she lives in Southeastern Louisiana. She has a small family, and everyone lives close by, so it’s easier to get everyone together for Christmas. She loves the fact that she never knows what to expect living so close to the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes the weather is cold, and they have to bundle up wearing sweaters, etc. while other times they’re celebrating Christmas in shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops (that’s her favorite)! But no matter what weather is like outside, there’s always something going on … the Christmas Light display in Audubon Park, the Christmas Fireworks display on the Mississippi River … just a few of the exciting activities that one can find going on in the area! One of the best activities is the lighting of the bonfires along the Mississippi River on Christmas Eve … lighting the way for Papa Noel (Santa Claus) to come to the bayou area! Pictured below is her family Christmas tree and the 3 handmade mini stockings Christmas tree decorations … it’s an item that for sale in our shop!

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mistycat from carolinagirlz2 talks about how she has been to DisneyWorld in Orlando Florida USA for Christmas, where every surface is covered in lights and sights and smells of the holidays.

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Mairi from mairidesign says how Badalona,near Barcelona,is her favorite Christmas destination. Christmas time for her, is about getting away from the cold weather and the norms of everyday life. She doesn’t have children, so it’s not about spending time with the family, but about relaxing. No work for a week, strolls and picnics on the beach, and collecting sea glass to make unique pieces of jewellery. This is the perfect Christmas for her.

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I think Mairi’s ideal destination sounds lovely, and there are all kinds of places for all kinds of people. Quebec is a great place to get away to if you are an outdoorsy type. There is snowshoeing, skiing, hiking and more. They have holiday programs for all types of people,nativity scenes from around the world and a Christmas village. Think of roasted chestnuts and sausage as you browse their German Christmas market. They even have a winter Carnival from January 26th to February 11th.

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I imagine most of us think cold or snow when we think of Christmas, but it doesn’t need to be so. Think about sun,sand and beaches to melt all your troubles away. This is what it is like on Bondi Beach Australia. They decorate the beach with trees and other festive touches. Most everyone comes dressed in something to do with antlers, santa or even an elf. There are also bands and dj’s on the Pavilion to help the party atmosphere.

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So there you have it folks a handful of places one can go on Christmas. Some are getaways while some are more family oriented. What ever your destination is this Christmas remember to have fun with those around you!

Photo Booth – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Good morning everyone! Once again this year we kick off our Etsy Christmas In July Party this year with a photo! What is a party the opportunity to take goofy photos in a booth?

I invited members of the Etsy Christmas In July team to share their Christmas Inspired photo booth items.

Gina from ArigigiPixel says: 

This is a red, green and white MERRY CHRISTMAS party banner – DIY flag garland. This digital product is perfect for your holiday party! See additional details in Gina’s shop!

ArigigiPixel

Judith Messenger from FabriArts says:

I started making little knitted socks and mitten ornaments when a friend gave the patterns she had developed. I used the leftover yarn from the socks that my Mom knits for the whole family. At first they were just for gifts for my friends and family, but they are fun to knit out of self-striping yarn, so I kept going, eventually selling them at local craft fairs and here on Etsy. Soon, the ends that Mom supplied weren’t enough, so I started haunting the yarn stores for more colours of wool (my yarn stash is growing now to rival my stash of quilting fabric)! Then I started knitting more little mitts and socks and stringing them in a row to make a garland.

When I make pairs of socks or mitts, I like to make sure that they match. The self-patterning yarn usually has a “repeat”….once I’ve knit 3 or 4 socks/mitts, I get back to the same place so I can knit the matching sock or mitten. Occasionally, the repeat is very hard to find, or there’s not enough yarn to make another, and I end up with a sock or mitt that doesn’t have a match. That’s when I came up with concept of the mis-matched garlands. It reminds me of the times when my kids always lost just one of their mittens and didn’t have a match…..or the “sock monster” ate one of a pair in the dryer (do the socks ever go missing in pairs?).

Now I have a stash of little single socks and single mitts ready to be strung on a garland when I get enough that I think coordinate.

I also make garlands of socks or mitts that all coordinate – a single colour or from a single ball of yarn. More of those will be available in my FabriArts shop in the fall.

FabriArts

Food And Drink – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Good morning everyone! Once again this year we kick off our Etsy Christmas In July Party this year with food and drink! What is a party without refreshments?

I invited members of the Etsy Christmas In July team to share their Christmas Inspired food and drink items.

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says:

I distinctly remember as the holiday season approached, my Mom buying small gifts of candy for folks like our mailman, milkman, bread delivery guy, pharmacist, even our garbage man. It was a traditional part of the holiday season and it made we realize, even as a child, that it was important to say thank you to everyone at that time of year (and throughout of course).

Who wouldn’t be delighted to receive this gift of chocolate – okay, perhaps not our dentist.

TheOldBarnDoor

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says:

Once I started my business of making accessories for everyone including your pets my desire to use unique patterns was strong. So, when I found this hot chocolate ribbon I knew it would make a great print for my dog collar! I mean if you’re a dog lover and love Christmas then you’ve got to love hot chocolate too!!

There’s nothing like a cup of rich hot chocolate piled high with marshmallows on a cold winters night!! Who can resist right?

DesignsbyCristal

Mairi from mairidesign says:

Cheers! A bottle of wine to hang on your tree or in your window. The first one of these that I made was for a couple of friends who own a wine shop. I couldn’t buy them a bottle of wine for Christmas but, hey, I could make them a bottle. They loved it and have it on display the whole year.

This would make a great gift for your party host or for a couple sharing their first Christmas together and it’s perfect for year round décor not just for Christmas Also available in red wine colour and different bottle shapes.

mairidesign

Musical Introduction – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Good morning everyone! Once again this year we kick off our Etsy Christmas In July Party with a musical introduction! What is a party without music?

I would like to introduce you to The Choraleers Acappella Singing Group! They discovered our Christmas In July Party while searching the internet – it indeed is a small world! I invited Damon, the representative of group and the singers to join us!

The sextet was established over 35 years ago at Texas Southern University and performs Doo Wop, Gospel, Holiday and Motown hits. We have performed at private parties, weddings and at country clubs.

They are based out of Houston, Texas USA! Please contact Damon if you are in the area and are looking for performers!thechoraleersphoto

We also invited members of the Etsy Christmas In July team to share their Christmas Inspired musical items.

Gail from QuiltSewPieceful says:

This item is not music themed, but it is a Christmas runner sized to fit a Piano! There are not very many runners on Etsy that are sized to fit an upright piano. I think it’s fun to switch them out for every holiday or season.

QuiltSewPieceful

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says:

Music is always a big hit… everyone can relate to music in some way. So in my shop I decided to make a line of music themed items… I have bookmarks, banners, ornaments, and pillows and hope to add more soon. The item I decided to include in your music theme is one of my music pillows!

ThisandThatCrafter

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says:

There is something about Christmas music that brings out the best in people and always seems to make me smile. Pair that feeling with a winter bird and some cheerful holly and you have everything you need to make the holidays bright.

This charming antique postcard captures that feeling perfectly. Attach a bit of fancy ribbon to the card and hang it on your tree for a festive vintage touch or tuck it into your table centerpiece.

TheOldBarnDoor

Pam from PamsPawsJewelry says:

This is a Vintage Sol D’Or Miracle Lyre Pin from the 1970’s Made In the United Kingdom and is a traditional Anglo-Saxon piece of jewelry.

Sol D’ Or means Sun of Gold and is found on some Miracle jewelry which was distributed in Ireland. This hallmark belongs to the Solvar company of Dublin though Miracle manufactured most of this jewelry. Originally in 1946, the A. Hill & Company Ltd. began producing Miracle jewelry in Birmingham, England.

These designs were taken from original Celtic, Irish, Scottish, Anglo-Saxon and Viking jewelry. Miracle has always produced very high quality jewelry. It was recently acquired by the British St. Justin jewelry company. It is not clear whether or not St. Justin will continue the Miracle line.

Celtic harp and violin cultural music has influenced our American Country music since the first Irish, Scottish, and English immigrants came to this country in the 1600s to 1800s.

This brooch would make a lovely Christmas or any time gift for anyone who plays and loves the harp, loves Celtic culture and or it’s musical heritage!

PamsPawsJewelry

Welcome To The Etsy Christmas In July Party 2018 – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Good morning everyone! Welcome to the #CIJParty 2018 here on the Etsy Christmas In July blog!

I am Michelle, the captain of the Christmas In July team on Etsy!

Alicia, and Cindy, two of the leaders of the team will be your co-hosts for the day!

The Christmas In July leadership team wanted a way to party with team members and followers around the globe during #EtsyCIJ 2018, so we are taking this party virtual. Besides, what better way to enjoy blog articles, guest blog articles, tutorials, shop, and get swag bags, than from the comfort of your deck, patio, or swimming pool in July?

Sit back, relax and enjoy the party!

Etsy Christmas In July Team

Etsy Christmas In July Team

Party Schedule

We’ll be having new blog articles, guest blog articles, and tutorials posted all day for your crafting and learning convenience and excitement! Here’s the party schedule!

Musical Introduction by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Food And Drink by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Photo Booth by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Swag Bag by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Photos From The #CIJLovesJuly Photo Challenge by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Tutorial: Chinese Lucky Stars by Mairi of mairidesign

Favorite Holiday Item In Your Shop by Mairi of mairidesign

Where To Visit For Christmas by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Secret Santa by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Show Us Your Holiday Table Settings by Alicia of AliciasFindings

The Christmas Tree by Mairi of mairidesign

Secrets of An Old Fashioned Christmas by Rebecca of OrnamentsByRebeccaT

Tutorial: Christmas Paper Stars by Barbara of MermaidsHatbox

Fun Facts About Christmas by Cindy of Cynhumphrey

Christmas Eve Luminaria Tour by Mike of burntearthhair

Getting Ready For Christmas by Julie of EveryoneLovesGifts0

Christmas Memories Last Forever – Cutting Of The Tree by Rebecca of OrnamentsByRebeccaT

Trending On Social by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Thank You Etsy On Sale by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Swag Bag

Let’s face it, besides the food and the friends, the best part of the party is the goodie bag! We’ve pulled together a fun download bundle of projects and printables as a ‘thank you’ for stopping by today

Thank you Mairi of mairidesign for curating our swag bag today! Mairi is a member of the CIJ leadership team, writes for our blog, and is a swag bag expert! The Swag Bag printables were created by CIJ team members Karen of timetalentjewels, Judy of PiecesOfMePaperCraft, Gina of ArigigPixel. As well as team leaders Megha of byTheArtBug and Mairi of mairidesign.

Click here for your Swag Bag! #EtsyCIJ 2018 Swag Bag

Tell Your Friends

The official hashtag for this year’s party is #CIJParty and if you’re partying with us today, we’d love to see you! Be sure to use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Are you new to social media? Don’t be shy! We look forward to getting to know you! Being at a party is all about interacting and developing relationships!

Go Shopping

Many of our Etsy Christmas in July members are partying along with us by offering some sweet sales. Think of this as our version of hitting the snack bar!

When you use the Etsy search bar search Christmasinjuly or CIJ. So many fantastic deals from fantastic shops during #EtsyCIJ 2018.

We are excited to share unique items directly from creative people around the world!

Popular Items For Christmas In July

Many shops are using the universal coupon code – EtsyCIJ18 – so please watch for coupon codes before you check out.

Other shops have already reduced their prices and their items are as marked.

Now, LET’S PARTY!

Michelle, Alicia & Cindy-

Thank You For Coming To The Etsy Christmas In July Party 2017 – #CIJParty 2017

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Good night everyone! Thank you for joining us today for the #CIJParty 2017 here on the Etsy Christmas In July blog!! It was a really fun day in the sun!

I am Michelle, the captain of the Christmas In July team and I was your host for the day! 

Here is a brief recap of the days activities!

Party Schedule

We’ll be having new blog articles, guest blog articles, and tutorials posted all day for your crafting and learning convenience and excitement! Here’s the party schedule!

Musical Introduction by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Food And Drink by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Swag Bag by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Dawn of DeeDeeDeesigns

Tutorial: Wooden Christmas Ornaments by Megha of byTheArtBug

Christmas Back To Front And Upside Down by Jessica of GusandOllie

Christmas Decor by Judith of FabriArts

Greenery – Pantone Color Of The Year 2017 by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Christmas Movie Ideas by Julie of EveryoneLovesGifts0

Tutorial: Travel Utensilo by Barbara of MermaidsHatbox

What #EtsyCIJ Means To You by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Tree Decorations by Julie of EveryoneLovesGifts0

Holiday Jewelry by Sheila of BeadyEyedBird

Christmas Around the World by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Tutorial: Boho Christmas Tassel Swag by Marijean of MariMartiDesigns

Christmas Wish List by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Thank You Etsy On Sale: EOS by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Swag Bag

Let’s face it, besides the food and the friends, the best part of the party is the goodie bag! We’ve pulled together a fun download bundle of projects and printables as a ‘thank you’ for stopping by today.

Thank you Dawn of DeeDeeDeesigns for curating our swag bag today! Dawn is a member of the CIJ leadership team, writes for our blog, and is a swag bag expert! The Swag Bag printables were created by CIJ team members Kelly of ColourscapeStudios, Megha of byTheArtBug, Christine of cwagenblass9, and Mary of StockLaneStudio.

There is a swag bag waiting for you!

Click here for your Swag Bag!

Tell Your Friends

Even though we’re wrapping (Christmas wrapping) up our day the great benefit of a blog is that this day will forever be on our blog!

The official hashtag for this year’s party is #CIJParty and if you’re partying with us today, we’d love to see you! Be sure to use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Are you new to social media? Don’t be shy! We look forward to getting to know you! Being at a party is all about interacting and developing relationships!

Go Shopping

Many of our Etsy Christmas in July members are partying along with us by offering some sweet sales. Think of this as our version of hitting the snack bar!

When you use the Etsy search bar search Christmasinjuly or CIJ. So many fantastic deals from fantastic shops during #EtsyCIJ 2016.

We are excited to share unique items directly from creative people around the world!

Popular Items For Christmas In July

Many shops are using the universal coupon code – EtsyCIJ17 – so please watch for coupon codes before you check out.

Other shops have already reduced their prices and their items are as marked.

Now, I’M JUMPING IN THE POOL!

Michelle-

Christmas Wish List – #CIJParty 2017

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Remember when we were young and we made up a list of all we wanted for Christmas? As we’ve gotten older, we still have at least a few items that are on the top of our list (so to speak).

For the #CIJParty tell us what is on your Wish List. You can tell us why you want these items and anything else relevant.

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says when my youngest daughter was growing up, there was always one thing mentioned in her letters to Santa: a dog. I kid you not, I’ve gone back and read them and every letter mentions a dog or has a picture of one. Well now we finally have our dog and everybody’s fine. Our GSD likes to sleep on a cold floor, so dog blankets and pillows are just tossed aside. We are not a family that dresses up our dog and he certainly doesn’t need it in the Upstate NY winters – he loves the snow. But he does have a passion for chewing up everything he can find, so a few dog chew toys would be welcome please Santa. I have seen a few of these here on Etsy. . .

Children’s printable decor

Jennie from FromBasementToArt said a trip to Montana is what would thrill me this Christmas. I spent a lot of time there during a five-year relationship years ago. It has been on my bucket list since 2000!

Mini Daniel Boone playing cards

Donna from TreasuresFromTheLake states I would love a trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for Christmas. Growing up, I spend many Christmas’ there. Then when I had a family of my own, my parents, me, husband and daughter would go there too. This was a family tradition until my dad passed away and I would love to go back there.

Flamingo bookmark

Gillian from Gillisflowers discusses that my daughter has ME, severe endometriosis and is now being tested for a bladder problem. My wish would be for her to get the treatment she needs to be able to fully enjoy life.

Vintage style rose choker

Carol from SilverTrove says recently I’ve been hearing many stories of people around the world meeting Jesus. Muslims, Jews, Buddhist and even Satanists are converting to Christianity. My Christmas wish is for more of God’s children to come closer to him through Jesus Christ, who is, after all, the reason we celebrate Christmas!
I’m praying for your daughter’s complete healing, Gilliam Haqqani.

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Sterling silver Reborn necklace

Patty from PupcakesBowWowtique said I too have a GSD and I can say chew toys have saved us a lot on furniture, etc. I hope Santa comes through for your pup!
Gillian,
I hope your Christmas wish happens for your daughter. My thoughts are with you both!

I would like to spend Christmas in a mountain cabin. A few days of real winter weather for the holidays would be a welcome change from the Florida heat.

il_570xN.1207214065_posm

Reflective safety light collar

Alicia from AliciasFindings states that I would love for all my team mates to receive their “Christmas Wish” and for my rheumatoid arthritis(and other problems) to reach a point where all is fairly stable and all problems mainly controlled.

Dark blue dotted pattern bracelet and earring set

Cristal from DesignsbyCristal says my Christmas wish is to have a special Christmas with my family in New York just so that we can see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and just enjoy some of New York’s sights.

I LOVE Christmas and don’t even have to see not one present!!! Since our 2 children have started their journey in college and in just 1 year our oldest is graduating college and will be moving out of the state so this would especially be a time I’d value so much.

VW Bug dog collar

Here is hoping all of the #EtsyCIJ teamies receive many wonderful Christmas gifts this year!

Christmas Back To Front And Upside Down – #CIJParty 2017

Guest Blog Contributor post by Jessica of GusandOllie

The things that come to mind when I think about Christmas are pretty different these days. I feel Christmas for me now, is how it looked in Christmas movies and on Christmas cards growing up. That winter wonderland the everyone else seemed to be talking about, except those of us in the Southern hemisphere.

Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, my Christmas memories consist of hot Summer nights, where I had to kick off the doona on my bed. Playing outside after our evening bath, in our shorty pyjamas, never wanting to come to inside. Dusk light until late, the sound of cicada’s, the smell of eucalyptus and browsing the toy shop catalogue for my Christmas wish list.

Christmas was all about sunscreen, Summer holidays, the end of school for the year and looking forward to heading down to the beach. Father Christmas would arrive the night of December 24th, but would find an ice cold beer waiting for him, instead of milk.

Christmas day began at the crack of dawn. Sometimes the sun beat us up, when we would rush to the Christmas tree, eye all the presents, then drag our poor parents out of bed. Mum would put the Christmas album on the record player, Dad was in charge of building anything that required assembling.
We almost always received a new Summer outfit, which I would promptly put on and wear for the rest of the day – if I wasn’t in the pool. Backyard cricket, totem tennis and any other outdoor activity is what we did all day, unless summoned to the dinner table. I remember the year I received a hot pink skateboard and I didn’t come inside until it was dark.

The idea of Summer and Christmas seems to mesh perfectly for Australians. To be able to cook your meat on the BBQ, have a swim, relax in the sun with some Summer reading and have a family cricket match, where Uncle Sam always bowls out one of the little kids, just seems so normal for us. 

The fact that Santa always wore big black boots and a big red suit and drove a sleigh, never seemed extraordinary to us, because we always knew the North Pole was a cold place. It never really occurred to me to question what he’d do, once he hit our 40°C climate and had to lug our presents down everyone’s chimneys. Maybe the thought of a cold beer waiting for him, was enough for us to think he’d be fine.

Nowadays, is a little different. I have been living in the beautiful city of Hamburg for nearly 10 years and Christmas here is not only completely opposite, back to front and upside down from what I’m used to, but the entire month of December is dedicated to Christmas, which I love.

Germany’s Christmas Markets start on the last weekend in November and run right up until Christmas Eve. As the days get shorter, darker and colder here, the number of fairy lights seem to increase. Lanterns are hung from all the trees and ornamental light symbols hang from the street lamps.

The smells of gingerbread, hot crêpes and Glühwein (hot mulled wine) flood into every corner of our neighbourhood. It’s almost impossible to walk home without stopping to enjoy one or the other, because the smell is intoxicating.

The markets are everywhere. They fill almost every little plaza, square and hof (courtyard) and are brimming with warm winter treats, Christmas lights and candles, pine trees and typical German Christmas ornaments made from glass or wood. Friends, families and colleagues meet after work – every day – for a drink before heading home, to touch base and warm up at the same time. It’s on the way home for everyone, so why not?

When you’re an expat living abroad, sometimes the holiday season can get get you down. The thought of being so far away from your family, the Christmas dinner with all the trimmings you’re used to and the feeling of losing that time with loved ones.

But, the blessings we gain here are a new culture, new traditions, new stories to tell and an amazing group of friends, who invite you into their homes for Christmas, because they have become your family. Quite often those friends are far away from home too, so Christmas turns into a celebration of different cultures, different foodie delights and always a barrel of laughs. It’s different, but it’s still wonderful.

Until I moved here, it never really occurred to me just how unique this experience is. Just as some Aussie kids have never seen snow, the idea of Christmas on the beach is a mystery to many here and we love sharing our stories and traditions here. I find myself continually grateful to have experienced both sides of this coin, which come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

To find myself now celebrating in the dark, drinking hot wine and staying indoors to play board games with fantastic friends, is a little different from playing cricket and swimming at the beach with family. But we are lucky enough to get the best of both worlds, as we try to fly home every January so we can enjoy Christmas in the dark with our kitty cat and firm friends, but then New Years on a hot Summer night at the beach with family back home.

I’m pretty happy to have Christmas upside down and back to front, either way.

Social Media Sites

Facebook: GusandOllieHamburg

Instagram: gusandollie

Pinterest: GusandOllie

Twitter: GusandOllie

Website: GusandOllie

Food And Drink – #CIJParty 2017

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Good morning everyone! Once again this year we kick off our Etsy Christmas In July Party this year with food and dink! What is a party without refreshments?

I invited members of the Etsy Christmas In July team to share their Christmas Inspired food and drink items.

Barbara from HometownUSA says:

I have a spot on my kitchen wall where I hang a special crocheted pot holder which is always being changed to coincide with the current holiday or season. This one is for Christmas.

HometownUSA

HometownUSA

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says:

My kids love homemade gingerbread cookies and the smell floating throughout the house is delightful! I found some cute fabric for a pet Christmas bandana that has gingerbread cookies on it.

DesignsbyCristal

DesignsbyCristal

Rebecca Turkovics from OrnamentsByRebeccaT says:

I have a quilted fabric ornaments in what I call The Grillmaster Series. The were inspired by my best friends, both of which have passed away. The one I’m giving the link for immediately made me think of him. He was such a “Grillmaster”. And an exceptionally good one I might add. All four of the series brought back so many good memories of summer barbques with our families. The ornament would look great on stand for summer as well as on a Christmas tree because ornaments are #NotJustForChristmas.

OrnamentsByRebeccaT

OrnamentsByRebeccaT

KATERINA ILIAKI from OnceUponJewelsCo says:

In some religions they do not eat meat during a long period until the final week of Christmas. Fish is a very important dish for them as it is the only kind of meat they can consume and that is on certain days.

OnceUponJewelsCo

OnceUponJewelsCo

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says:

Christmas colours for me are red, gold, white and green!!

This handmade ceramic bowl in green would make a gorgeous centrepiece for the Christmas table. Fired to stoneware temperature this bowl is suitable for oven to table to dishwasher, so is perfect for saving time in the kitchen so that you can spend more time with family and friends during the festive season.

DeeDeeDeesigns

DeeDeeDeesigns

Avedona Lucero from the2911plan says:

Because Angels are Christmas!! So these ones guard your liquid cheer – often called “wine!” Who wouldn’t want to toast at a Christmas party with a lovely angel charm to mark their glass?!

the2911plan

Linda from LazyYVintage says:

Drop on by any time and I’ll offer you a drink. Ice tea, wine, coffee? But drop by during the Christmas season, and I’ll offer you those some drinks in a lively, colorful Christmas glass. I can’t resist them. So much so that now my friends drop in and bring me a glass, or two, and if I’m really lucky, a set of holiday designed glassed. So, my set is a bit mismatched; but used often and full of memories.

LazyYVintage

LazyYVintage

Jeanne from TheSandlapperShop says:

Any time in winter, but especially for the holidays, bring out the hot chocolate! These Raffiaware mugs are designed to keep hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold and definitely bring a touch of nostalgia to your home.

TheSandlapperShop

TheSandlapperShop

Shelly from ShellysSelectSalvage says:

I live in South Texas and we rarely have a white Christmas; so I like to make a big pot of homemade hot cocoa. We might have the a/c on, but having that hot cup of cocoa makes it feel like the holidays.

ShellysSelectSalvage

NeatoKeen from NeatoKeen says:

There is nothing more festive than a cocktail during the holidays and this vintage tea towel supplies a dozen recipes for mixed drinks such as a Singapore Sling and an Orange Blossom. The graphics are lively and colorful. This would be a great gift for a mixologist or a handy reference at your bar!

NeatoKeen

NeatoKeen

Gail Gismondi from kensingtonminiatures says:

Gathering with friends and family during the holidays is such a joyful time. Food and drink add to the fun and enjoyment of the season. I invite you to my shop to see the many choices for spreading warmth and good cheer.

kensingtonminiatures

kensingtonminiatures

Gail Gismondi from kensingtonminiatures says:

What would holidays be without the cookies, candy canes, sweet drinks, and delicious aromas?

When creating my Christmas items, I was reminded of the many family and friend parties we have had over the years and the excitement of seeing festive food and decorations all around the house. I hope that my cocktail punch reflects this joy.

kensingtonminiatures

kensingtonminiatures