Christmas in July: Start Planning

Christmas in July is a unique way to celebrate the seasonal holiday in the summer. Many people love the second chance to celebrate Christmas including singing carols, decorating a tree, and receiving a visit from Santa. Others use Christmas in July to start planning for the festive season in December.

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto on

Planning for Christmas in July

If you are looking for ways to take advantage of the Christmas in July holiday season, check out the following.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

Please note: “As an Amazon affiliate, I earn income from qualifying purchases.”

  1. Make Lists (and More Lists): Use a notebook or your favorite app to start making lists for Christmas. Gift ideas, cards, and donation recipients are a great place to start with lists. Use your lists as part of the planning process for Christmas.
  2. Take Advantage of Sales: Christmas in July ads are on television, radio, social media, and print. Finding a deal is always a significant step toward finalizing your Christmas shopping lists.
  3. Shop Prime Days: Amazon hosts Prime Days in July. The two-day event, July 12-13 is a great way to start your holiday shopping. Purchase items early. The holiday season often brings shortages of favorite products.
  4. Shop Back-to-School:  In July, department stores begin filling shelves with back-to-school supplies. Markers, crayons, paint, paint brushes, paper, desk lamps, computers, and bags are generally on sale. The savings are perfect for buying early Christmas presents.
  5. Plan Tentative Events: Make a revisable schedule for the holiday season. Plan social gatherings, teas, dinners, and other festive fun. Creating a tentative schedule allows you to make lists for supplies, gifts, and more.

Christmas in July is a great way to get a head start on the holiday season. Have fun! Take advantage of the seasonal sales.  

10 Ways to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks

The long 4th of July weekend is a great time to watch fireworks. From your own backyard to grand-scale community events, fireworks are a major part of the 4th of July celebration. The booms, bangs, and whistles are part of the night’s festivities. Unfortunately, the loud noises cause anxiety in many pets (and humans too). Does your dog get upset when the vibrant colors light up the sky?

The loud continuous booming noises are frightening for some dogs (and cats). Dogs may bark, try to hide, or get sick over the unfamiliar sounds Taking steps before the start of the fireworks may help ease your pets’ nerves.

Photo by Charles Roth on

How to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks

Being prepared is the best way to help your dog through the firework celebrations.

  1. Research: Check your community’s page on social media or website to learn about the time and dates of the fireworks in your area. Keep in mind, that some communities host fireworks for more than one night.
  2. Ask Your Neighbors: Send your neighbors a quick text or call to find out if they are doing any fireworks this year. Often people host BBQs with added fireworks in the evening. The smaller fireworks often make a whistling or popping noises. The sounds may be just as scary for your dog as the larger booming firework displays.
  3. Consult A Professional: If you know the negative effects fireworks have on your dog, voice your concerns with your pet’s veterinarian. Under some circumstances, your vet may prescribe a light sedative to help your dog get through the 4th of July festivities. The sedative relaxes your dog. When prescribing any type of medication, staying with your dog is essential.
  4. Spend the Night at Home: The 4th of July weekend is a time for numerous activities, gatherings, and celebrations. If your pet gets scared over fireworks, stay home. Do not take your dog to watch the fireworks. Instead, plan to spend the night at home with your favorite furry companion. Your pet will be more comfortable with you at home.
  5. Close Windows and Doggy Doors: If your dog is scared, he or she may attempt to run. Keep all the windows closed and secure the doggy door until after the fireworks show is over.
  6. Go to an Inner Room: Depending on the layout of your home, go to a room where the fireworks sound mute.
  7. Turn Up Familiar Noises: Play your favorite music or binge-watch a television series. Turn the volume up to cover the outdoor noises. Turn on fans to help mute the noises from the fireworks. Familiar noises provide comfort to your pet.
  8. Be Sympathetic: Give your dog extra attention. Constantly reassure your dog that everything is good. Your dog will love all the extra hugs, petting, and cuddling.
  9. Take an Early Walk: Before the fireworks begin, spend extra time outdoors. Go for a long walk or stay longer at the dog park. If your dog is tired, he or she may sleep during the noises.
  10. Go for a Drive: Does your dog like car rides? Go for a long drive. Avoid the fireworks altogether.

Be considerate to your pet’s well-being. Fireworks are loud and scary for many animals. Helping your dog or other pets get through the night is your main priority.

Drawing Prompts for July

Do you need quiet time ideas for your family or yourself? Drawing is an easy way to relax and let your creativity flow. If you are searching for inspiration, check out the following drawing prompts for July.

Photo by javier gonzalez on
  1. Self-Portrait
  2. Sweets
  3. Endless
  4. Happy Independence Day! Celebrate!
  5. Shapes
  6. Old
  7. Dragonfly
  8. Butterfly
  9. Beach
  10. Summer Fun
  11. Flowers
  12. Time
  13. Camping Scene
  14. Tent or Cabin
  15. Lake
  16. Beak
  17. Hiking
  18. Mountains
  19. Walk
  20. Magnify
  21. Mythology
  22. Friendship
  23. Clouds
  24. Swap
  25. Alligator
  26. Stature
  27. Animal
  28. Asymmetrical
  29. Home
  30. Bubbles
  31. Artist’s Choice

Photo Prompts for July

Warm summer days, festive celebrations, fairs, festivals, and the 4th of July are great for photo opportunities. If you need inspiration, check out the following photo prompts for July!

Photo by Sindre Stru00f8m on
  1. Selfie
  2. Animal
  3. Upside Down
  4. Happy Independence Day! Celebrate!
  5. Aged
  6. Light
  7. Guilty Pleasure
  8. Texture
  9. Hands
  10. 3 pm
  11. Similar Yet Different
  12. Dusk
  13. Summer Spot
  14. Mirror
  15. Sunrays
  16. Signs
  17. Cozy
  18. View Through a Window
  19. Old Memories
  20. Adventure
  21. Wavy
  22. Pathway
  23. Rock
  24. Flower
  25. Motion
  26. Distance
  27. Landscape
  28. Warmth
  29. Shadows
  30. Patterns
  31. Photographer’s Choice

Have a wonderful month!

Self-Care Ideas for July

July is here! Are you ready to spend time taking care of yourself? Self-care is essential for a healthy state of mind and body. If you need inspiration, check out the following self-care ideas for July.

Photo by David Geib on
  1. Start the month by making a promise to yourself to engage in self-care. If you need to reassure yourself, write your intentions out. Tape it to your refrigerator door or on the bathroom mirror. Make time for yourself.
  2. Stay hydrated. Try ice cold teas or flavored waters.
  3. Keep a journal.
  4. Happy Independence Day! Enjoy the fireworks or spend the evening at home.
  5. Spend time outdoors. Go for a walk. Go for a hike. Go for a bike ride.
  6. Cook a homemade meal.
  7. Buy something just for you. (Yes, purchasing an outfit at the thrift store counts.)
  8. Go to the library or bookstore to find new summer reading materials.
  9. Take a nap or sleep in.
  10. Get a new haircut.
  11. Go to lunch with old friends.
  12. Binge-watch your favorite series.
  13. Make a cup of herbal tea and watch the sunrise.
  14. Order take-out from your favorite restaurant.
  15. Take a long relaxing bubble bath.
  16. Go for a drive and turn up the music.
  17. Declutter your living space.
  18. Volunteer.
  19. Listen to a motivational podcast or YouTube video.
  20. Try yoga.
  21. Meditate or pray.
  22. Spend a day at the beach.
  23. Find a new hobby.
  24. Unplug from your devices.
  25. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, say no to extra work.
  26. Take steps (make a list) to create your ideal future.
  27. Spend a day doing nothing, stay in your pajamas all day. Enjoy a peaceful day.
  28. Make a playlist of upbeat music.
  29. Buy yourself flowers.
  30. Go on a weekend getaway or overnight trip.
  31. Write a gratitude list.
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