One of the most beloved holidays worldwide, Christmas is particularly near and dear to the hearts of residents of the North Georgia town of Bethlehem. Not only does the small Southern municipality share the same moniker as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, many of the streets in the heart of town bear holiday-themed names, such as Angel Street, Manger Avenue, East Shepherd Street, Holly Lane and West Star Street. Moreover, each year, presents a live nativity pageant at the town square.
With less than five months to go before many Barrow County residents begin trimming their Christmas trees, hanging their wreaths, wrapping their gifts and adorning their homes with hundreds of twinkling lights in anticipation of the annual Yuletide holiday, residents in Bethlehem may begin feeling the spirit a little earlier. While not as popular a celebration as its official December counterpart, Christmas in July is a fun summertime nod to Saint Nick. To help our readers develop some off-season holiday cheer, Barrow Patch has compiled the following list of five simple ways residents of Bethlehem and beyond can commemorate Christmas in July:
- Season of giving: One of the most special elements of the Christmas season is the feeling of charity and goodwill toward others. With back-to-school just around the corner, what better way to commemorate the season of giving than by donating school supplies to students in need? Now through Aug. 12, Publix Super Markets are hosting a “School Tools for Cool Kids” promotion where customers can purchase prepackaged bags filled with a variety of school supply donations to provide needy children with the tools necessary to succeed in the classroom. Bethlehem’s is located in the Barrow Crossing Shopping Center at 916 Loganville Highway.
- A taste of the holidays: There’s no need to go all out with the decorations, but by stringing the dining room with holiday lights, pulling out the holiday china and serving up all of your family’s favorite holiday dishes — it’s a relatively easy way to make what would normally be an average weeknight a little merrier. To add to the holiday spirit, go around the table and have each family member declare their favorite holiday memory or most beloved holiday tradition.
- Host an impromptu Christmas in July party: For readers who REALLY love the holidays, a Christmas in July party may be in order. Deck the house in a blend of Christmas and summer décor, have your guests bring a holiday pot-luck, fill the air with all the favorite holiday tunes and host a white elephant gift exchange of either inexpensive gag gifts or gifts received the previous Christmas that your guests wish to unload.
- Send Christmas in July cards to friends and loved ones: Why wait until December to let the people you care most about know that you’re thinking about them? Use Christmas in July as a great excuse to reach out to friends and loved ones to let them know you care.
- Stockings hung by the chimney with care: How cool would it be to come downstairs and see the unexpected on a July morning — Christmas stockings hung from the fireplace and overflowing with goodies? After the kids go to bed, fill their holiday stockings with school supplies, candy, gift cards to their favorite clothes store, such as or , movie tickets to , and more — then hang them by the chimney with care. Not only will it serve as a memorable surprise when they wake up, it could help take the edge off back-to-school shopping and may just become a cherished tradition each July.
Merry Christmas in July from your friends at Barrow Patch.
Do you have some great ideas of other ways to bring a little Christmas spirit into the summer? Tell us in comments.
Check back every Tuesday for a new City Spotlight on one of two great Barrow County towns — Bethlehem and Carl.