“Christmas in July,” festivities can offer a fun diversion or a way to plan ahead for the approaching holidays, only 5 months away. Try your hand at a Christmas craft, make some Christmas treats - summer style (strawberries and whipped cream!), or relax with a cheery Christmas tale. Look to Australia or anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere who celebrate this holiday in the sunshine.

Christmas with the kids:

  • Sesame Street Christmas Treasury – “Tis the season to be jolly and what better way to celebrate Christmas than with Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and friends! In this delightful storybook collection (featuring 29 stories and poems), Sesame Street fans will be able to sing Christmas carols with their favorite Sesame characters, help Cookie Monster bake delicious Christmas cookies, spread holiday hugs with Elmo, meet Santa Claus with Big Bird, and celebrate the holidays with classic poems reimagined with all your friends on Sesame Street. Share the magic of the season with your family and friends by snuggling up with Sesame Street Christmas Treasury and a warm mug of cocoa.”
  • Cowboy Christmas by Rob Sanders – “Three grizzled cowboys--Dwight, Darryl, and Dub--are stuck out on the range at Christmastime, roping steers and wrestling longhorns. Reminiscing about their childhood Christmases, they try to make the cowboy camp feel festive--and it's no surprise that a cactus decorated with tin cans, and cows dressed as reindeer, don't fill them with holiday cheer! But a surprise is in store for the Circle D dudes when Santa pays a visit to the cowboy campfire!” 
  • Christmas by Nikki Tate – “Christmas is a popular holiday celebrated by people all over the world. This informative and engaging exploration of Christmas is aimed at the middle grades, but will entertain readers of a much wider age range. Learn about the games played, foods eaten, music played and favorite ways of decorating in different parts of the world. With lots of fun facts (about everything from frumenty to the jolly old man in red himself) and recipes, there's plenty in this beautifully illustrated volume to satisfy anyone with an interest in the festive season.” 

Crafting up Christmas:

  • One-hour Christmas Crafts – “The perfect solution for holiday crafters with very busy schedules. This book is filled with over 100 exciting, new craft projects for Christmas--all to be made in an hour or less. Projects include embellished clothing, tree-trimmers, wreaths, coasters, stockings, gift bags, and much more. Step-by-step instructions and color photos ensure great results.” 
  • Handcrafted Christmas by Susan Wagonner – “Fans of nostalgia can craft their way through the holiday season with this newest volume by popular Christmas author Susan Waggoner. The 40 easy projects range from charming punched-tin votive holders, to Russian teacakes for holiday parties, to your very own edible gingerbread house (complete with miniature snowmen on the front lawn). Peppered with engaging facts about the holidays gone by, this is the perfect book for crafters who long for that vintage holiday look.”
  • Seasonal Cupcakes: Christmas by Carolyn White – “Be inspired by these cupcake recipes for a festive Christmas season with delightful designs including Christmas trees, Rudolph and friends, and Santa hats. Also included are tips on baking and equipment in a special selection from Seasonal Cupcakes by cake decorating expert Carolyn White--ideal for preparing both holiday parties and scrumptious home-baked gifts.” 
  • Christmas Cookies by Monika Romer – “Christmas Cookies makes it easier than ever to embrace the cheeriness of yuletide baking during the busy holiday season, with simple yet scrumptious recipes for bakers of all levels. There is even a section on baking with children, perfect for when your kids are home on break or if you have little relatives coming to visit! Cooking up Holiday cheer is a great way for grandparents and grandchildren, new and old family members, and siblings to be a part of the Christmas spirit. Learn how to bake festive treats such as: Cinnamon Vanilla Stars Coconut Balls Chocolate and Cassis-Filled Pastries And many more! Full color photographs by a renowned food stylist and pastry chef make this book a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds”. 

Festive Fiction

  • Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock –“A heartwarming Christmas story about finding what really matters in life. - As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year's if she loses her current case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she's in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic. The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can't say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn's biggest concern now is paying his rent, but half the time Callie doesn't remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild-goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter. When Finn meets Sydney, he's quite sure she's never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He's willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie's Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.”
  • My True Love Gave to Me by Various YA authors – “If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you're going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.”

So pull out your Santa on a surfboard shirts, decorate a palm tree or cactus, and enjoy some Christmas cheer with this fun and festive diversion.