Wednesday, July 29, 2020

My Christmas In July

All this month I’ve been celebrating Christmas in July by watching Christmas movies (some Hallmark, some not), reading Christmas books (mostly cozies, but some others as well) and painting Christmas ornaments.

The month started off with my helping Christina Freeburn celebrate the release of her latest book, Dash Away All, on Facebook. It was a fun 2-hour event. We did posts every 10 minutes, alternating them between the two of us. I think that worked out quite well. Her book takes place in July on the set of a Christmas movie. A fun read. Her main character has been hired as the onset crafter for the movie. Things did not turn out as she planned!

Here are a couple of the ornaments I painted this month. I’m working on some others as well. These two I gave away at the Facebook event I mentioned above along with a copy of my own Christmas book, Ghosts of Painting Past.

Other good Christmas books I read are Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge by Laura Levine and Premeditated Peppermint by Amanda Flower, both cozy mysteries.

The other book of note that I’m currently still reading is “The History of a Nutcracker” by Alexandre Dumas. I picked this little gem up at a Barnes & Noble a couple years ago. I’ve never seen the Nutcracker ballet, but I’ve listened to the music and sort of, kind of know the basic story. What I didn’t realize is that it has its origins in a story by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffman, first published in 1816, called “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”. Fast forward to 1845 when Alexandre Dumas adapted a version of the story in “The History of a Nutcracker”.

In terms of short stories, I’ve been enjoying Steve Hockensmith’s “Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime”. These all appeared originally in EQMM or AHMM. You can hear him read some of the stories on the EQMM podcast. There’s a list of all of the ones that have been on the podcast at

I haven’t only been reading or viewing Christmas stuff this month, but my occasional dipping into it has kept me sane.


Rick Blechta said...

Back in my graphic designer days (after I "retired" from teaching), I was plenty sick of Christmas by the end of July since a lot of the work we did was around 4-5 months ahead of their release date. For June and July, it was holly, santas, Christmas decorations, all the stuff they use in holiday ads.

I was always worried I'd never get into the holiday spirit when it really counted.

Nice work on those decorations!

Sybil Johnson said...

Thanks. I admit that I am almost Christmas'd out right now, but it was a nice change from some of the darker stuff I have been reading and watching.