When Christmas Comes in July

Christmas is a very important time in our household. Traditions are upheld with strict observance. It has a certain flow to it that makes the entire month of December magical and familiar. How were we supposed to adjust then, when Christmas came in July?

The first hint of the holiday season in July came when my mom shared with me a newsletter from the lake association where they live. It announced a whole slew of activities on the 4th of July weekend and the theme for this year’s boat parade – Christmas in July. My mom must have been just as excited about the theme as I was because it was not long after that she excitedly announced that we would be entering this year.

Nothing gets the Cummins family going like a themed, creative event. We quickly put our minds together to come up with our boat float. The first idea tossed out was a good one. What if Santa (Dad) were fishing in a barrel? That would be fun.

But, it was too simple. We had to go bigger.

What if Santa were fishing in a barrel, then when he caught a fish, he handed it to the elves (all the cousins) and they threw it in the chimney?

Close, but we could do better.

What if Santa (Dad) were fishing in a barrel, then when he caught a fish, he handed it to the elves (all the cousins) and they threw it in the chimney. Then, when the fish went in the chimney, an elf popped out of the bottom of the chimney holding a present? Oh! And what if Rudolph (Mom) were driving the boat?


We set to work, or rather, my mom set to work putting the creative pieces together and mapping out the plan. I bought a few things from Amazon, including some great red and blue Santa hats for the elves, wrapped a few “presents,” and brought my tree. When the morning of the boat parade came this weekend, we were ready.

After breakfast, we were fast at work putting together the chimney and making the last-minute preparations on costumes and the fish. A few last-minute changes were made. Santa bowed out and was replaced by our back-up Santa, my sister’s husband. After a hefty amount of sunscreen in his beard, he looked perfect for the part. We needed to make some adjustments to the lights, the barrel ended up being a Santa sack instead, and two elves were too grumpy to participate.

After the scene was assembled and the remaining elves were fed and dressed, the Christmas boat float made its way to the parade. We were confident in the win. The judges couldn’t deny its flawless execution.

Oddly though, the first prize went to a much less creative boat, and we were awarded second. Surely the judge had been drinking a bit too early that morning. However, nothing says go bigger next year like second place! Stay tuned till then!