I know, I know... I'm a day late. It's not July anymore, but 'Christmas in August' just doesn't have the right ring to it. In any case, it's that time of year again for my Christmas in July giveaway. I usually post this giveaway on July 25 at the 'five months till Christmas' mark, but alas, I was on vacation. I still planned on the giveaway, and when I realized that Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 1, 2010, exactly four months from today, I thought today was a great alternative to my usual. So a heads up to all my Jewish friends and followers: you've got four months and counting to prepare for your holiday! Those who celebrate Christmas, we have a little less than five months to go.
Normally, I'm a last minute kind of girl when it comes to birthdays and holidays. I don't mean to be, but that's just how things go for me. I end up pulling it together somehow and things usually work out fine, but every year I say next year is going to be different. In that vein, I'm saying now that this year is going to be different. I'm going to have my shopping finished well in advance, homemade gifts crafted, presents wrapped, greeting cards mailed, gifts shipped, cookies baked and the house decorated so that I have time to savor the season with friends and family. Wish me luck! ;)
I realize for some people--myself included, it's not easy and frankly quite insane to start thinking about the holidays now when we're in full summer vacation mode. I don't even like seeing school supplies in the stores right now, so forget about thoughts of Christmas, right? The truth is, though, if my game plan of being ahead of the game in December is going to come anywhere near fruition, I need to start now. I figure this is a good time to at least pull some ideas together for home crafted gifts I'd like to give to some friends and family, so that's what I'm starting to do now.
So far, I've made homemade strawberry jam and a few jars of these amazing rum soaked cherries that I will give as gifts for Christmas. In the next week or two, I'll be making peach preserves and then later in the summer, raspberry and blackberry jam, and I may even try my hand at jalapeno jelly for the first time. I think these will make delightful little gifts for some lucky people on my gift list. If I may say so myself... ;)
Other homemade gift ideas I have in mind include bookmarks, beaded wine glass charms, quilted coasters or those little scented pillows to put in your underwear drawer to make everything smell nice, both made using decorator fabric scraps. Maybe some other ideas will come my way along the way.
Enough talk about my super advanced holiday preparations and on to the giveaway. In the tradition of the past two years that I've held my Christmas in July giveaway, I'd like to give away some books from my own, overflowing bookshelves. Some of the books are brand new and some of them are gently used by either me or my book fairies--Kate and Mariana who have so generously passed on boxes and bags of books to me. Some of these books are doubles of books I already have, some are ARCs with the final covers and some are ARCs with plain card stock covers, the latter of which I know is important if you're a cover art junkie. Hey, don't be embarrassed if you are--it takes one to know one. ;)
I'm going to give three winners a book of their choice from my gift shelf on Shelfari, which you can view by clicking on the link.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment in this post telling me your favorite homemade gift to give or receive. I'm looking for some ideas!
The giveaway is open to everyone--I'll ship overseas, but will use the cheapest mailing option to mail outside the US or Canada.
Giveaway ends on Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm (noon) EST at which time I'll use random.org to select the winners. Check back that evening or the morning of August 9, 2010 for the results.
Winners have one week to contact me with their book choice and mailing address. After that, I'll choose a replacement winner.
NOTE: I have at least two dozen more books--some of them fairly new releases, to add to the 40 books already on my Shelfari gift shelf, so if you don't see anything that interests you right away, click back to my gift shelf in 24 hours or so for a bigger selection. I need some time to enter them in Shelfari.
Good luck! :)