July At Christmas: A Wintertime Beach Party Full Of Great Party Ideas!

 

 One thing is for certain in my life……I have some very creative, very uninhibited, very fun friends!  Never a dull moment with this group.   One of these friends has a Christmas party with a different “theme” every year at her house. (Last year I had to have it at mine because she couldn’t, but other than that it’s always been her “thing”.)  She’s done it for…..I don’t even know……seven or eight years or so.  The same core group has gone every year and she changes it up some from year to year varying the number of people and who the special guests may be.  But, this year with her “July At Christmas” theme (Get it?  Instead of Christmas in July?  Cute, huh!) she stuck with her core buddies – “her posse” – I guess you could say.  Her theme and all her “goodies” warranted eight — so eight it was.

The rules were simple: 

                                   1)  Dress like you would for the beach in July

                                   2) Be ready to party

                                  3)  Be ready to eat

When we arrived we were greeted by her beach signs and lawn chairs.  (And complimentary Santa hats for everyone.)

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 Next we each were given a choice of sunglasses from this sand pail:

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The martini’s were ready with their individual flip flops in different colors so we could keep track of who’s was who’s.

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Of course, Santa and Christmas decor was incorporated in the scheme of things, because it was after all a “July At Christmas” party. 

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Sunglasses, lei’s, flip flop necklaces and martini’s in hand…the party began!

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Happy party go-ers!

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Barb, our fabulous hostess with the mostest.

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She even added flowers to her doorway.  Too fun.

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Her appetizer table was decorated with “fish netting”, starfish candleholders, and sea shells.  And, of course, her Santa’s.

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Oh, and a lighthouse candleholder.

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    She made these yummy appetizers on shells that you can bake in the oven. Love that!

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These fruit sticks were not only refreshing and tasty, but they were beautiful.

 

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On the table our “name cards” were these silver flip flops she got at the dollar store!  How fun and creative is that?!

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Inside this decorative wire gift box, which acted as the centerpiece for the dining table, are all the guys Christmas gifts (or party favors).  They each got sand pails filled with lots of fun little goodies: a CD, bubbles, a beer bottle opener, etc.

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 For the girls she hung stockings on the backs of our chairs.  The stockings were filled with all sorts of wonderful things: a beachy dishtowel, recipe cards, notepads, more bubbles, etc…..Sooooo fun!

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  Good times at the dinner table.  My hubby looks quite content in the middle of Barb and Connie.  He sits there every year.

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 Doug and Dave, Barb’s hubby – the host with the most!  Notice the Santa hats are on now.

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Barb even found this huge wall size poster of the beach and put it up in the dining room so we could feel like we were somewhere tropical.  I mean….did I say creative?

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Here’s the gang after dinner.  Santa hats and beachwear!  Can you tell we’re having a little fun?!

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Okay, now how darling is this?  Barb made a sand castle pound cake with a cake form she has and used brown sugar for the sand.  She made the little flag and just added some beachy things and candy Christmas trees.  Have you ever seen anything more creative?!

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After dinner, and before dessert, we all hopped in the hot tub.  Yes, we all brought our bathing suits – just in case you were wondering!

IMG_0863 After the hot tub the girls borrowed pajamas from Barb and we sat down for dessert and games.  Too fun!!!!!  And look at all these beautiful desserts! 

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Barb outdid herself once again.  But, of course, she does every year. 

I’m grateful and blessed to have such fun, talented, creative friends who love, love, love to have a good time.

I hope this fun party has given you some great ideas for a party of your own!

Happy Holidays, Happy Partying……and, of course, Happy Decorating!

Christmastime At My House

 

Here is the rest of the Christmas tour through my house.  (It would have been way too long for one post.)

Like I said in my previous post I have lots of Christmas “stuff”.  I did scale way back this year, though, which made my husband a happy man.  A few less trips into the attic!

 Family Room

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My cute, new Santa.  I added him last year.  A little thin for a Santa, but cute, none-the-less!

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This year I added the lime green stems you see sticking out of my tree.

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And, I added this charming little Santa book box.

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I like to bring little touches of Christmas to my existing decor such as this stocking and garland.

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And, this little pillow, greenery and garland above my armoire.

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 Like I said in my previous post I love to sprinkle Christmas trees all over the house for an inexpensive, cozy little touch.

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For my breakfast nook table arrangement I displayed different size trees at various heights.  (Like a little Christmas tree forest.)  I incorporated my mosaic candlesticks in the mix so I can create a nice little glow here in the evening.

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I used boxes under the throw to lift some of the trees to different levels to create interest.

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Another tree tucked into my existing decor.

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My Dining Room

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I like to have two Christmas trees in my dining room.  It gives the dining room a cozy holiday elegance.  Here I stick to gold, silver and cream for a more formal look. 

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For my dining table arrangement I used two strands of greenery (that would normally hang on a door.) I weaved the two in and out of my mosaic reindeer and candlesticks, one on each side for a full look.

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I tucked “faux gifts”, more reindeer and some gold Christmas bird cages under the trees for an extra touch.

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Of course, I added garland to my chandelier and tucked in large scale mosaic ornaments for added bling.

My Den 

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In my den, where we do most of our TV watching, I like to have Christmas touches, too, even though it’s a small space.  Here I use a skinnier Christmas pine tree in the corner and my homemade stockings on this fireplace.  Instead of garland on the mantle I just stick Christmas picks all across the top.   Then I sprinkle little touches of Christmas throughout the space.

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 Out Back On My Screened In Porch

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I added a little greenery to the table and in the lanterns around the candle votives.

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I have a collection of birdhouses out here so at Christmastime I bring out my Christmas birdhouses to add to the mix.

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I bring out this wooden Christmas tree that has birdhouses all over it to go with the birdhouse “theme”.   

Once upon a time I had a full size Christmas tree on the screened in porch, but this little wooden tree takes a lot less time to set up than another tree!   I’ve also always had a tree in my master bedroom, garland on my canopy bed and fireplace mantel in my master and in my guest room.  I used to always have garland draped on my fence in the back yard, a wreath on the gate out back, etc…. , but as I get older – and I hate, hate, hate to admit this – I do tend to scale back here and there and let go of things that I once loved doing.  At one time I had seven Christmas trees and this year I only have four and a half!  So see, I have scaled way back.   (Now I reserve all that extra holiday decorating for those years that I have lots of Christmas functions here. )  But, I still always enjoy cozying up the house with Christmas charm and filling it with the warm and wonderful Christmas spirit.

So there you have it.  My house at Christmastime

Happy Decorating and Merry Christmas!!!

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