Gift Guide: Christmas in July

WASHINGTON — When the weather outside is frightful — in this case, frightfully hot — celebrating Christmas in July can be a way to beat the heat.

If you’re planning a midyear gift exchange with loved ones or just want to jump start your actual Christmas shopping, here are some gift ideas in honor of the summertime celebration.

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Christmas decor\n

Now’s the time for some of the best deals on holiday decorations. Stores such as Home Depot are slashing prices by up to 75 percent until the end of July on everything from Christmas lights to holiday inflatables. HSN has also slashed prices on Christmas decor, and is offering a flat $5 shipping fee on holiday purchases. If you’re a child at heart, or just heart animated characters, check out the Disney Store’s Christmas in July discounts on ornaments and collectibles.\n

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Beach reads\n

Bring back the paperback by giving the gift of a solid beach read. Amazon has a list of editor’s favorites for your beach bag. If you’re looking for a specific type of literary adventure, Popsugar came up with the best beach reads for a summer getaway, PureWow recommends this\u00a0list of thrillers that will keep you up\u00a0long after you return home from the beach and Vulture has a timeless list of beach reads that are, well, timeless.\n

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Tote stuffers\n

Instead of stocking stuffers, try filling a tote bag with small surprises instead. Think of summer essentials anyone can use, such as sunblock, flip flops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunglasses or coupons for ice cream or iced drinks. Stores such as Target\u00a0or Walmart are one stop shops where customers can pick up everything from household essentials to beauty supplies.\n

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Picnic basket\n

Switch out the holiday gift basket for a picnic basket that your recipient can use all summer long. Fill it with summertime treats such as seasonal jams or fresh fruit and vegetables, or any of these\u00a0healthy snacks\u00a0your recipient can grab on the go or take on a road trip.\n

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Portable fan\n

If you know someone who doesn’t have an air conditioner, a portable fan can help beat the heat. Some models from Target are between $10 and $20, and you can find a variety of inexpensive options from Amazon, too. If you plan on a ceiling fan upgrade as a gift to your home, Build.com is having a sale on ceiling fans\u00a0and free shipping on some items. The Home Depot offers free shipping on select items as well.\n

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Back to school supplies\n

If you have a friend heading back to school, get the best deals by shopping back-to-school sales. See what $0.50 deals Staples has available in store, or find out exactly what supplies your recipient needs by finding their school’s list on Walmart.com.\u00a0L.L. Bean is having a sale on backpacks and clothing, Dick’s Sporting Goods is also offering deals on apparel and footwear and Old Navy is has first day outfits for kids on sale.\n

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Event tickets\n

Give the gift of an experience (or memories, if you will) through concert, performance or amusement park tickets. Here’s a list of hot local concerts on the horizon.\u00a0See if you can catch some of these events happening the month of July.\u00a0Does your local county fair have an entrance fee? See which fairs are happening around your area. And if all else fails, Groupon offers deals\u00a0on everything from riverboat cruises to golf lessons to sip and paint night experiences.\n

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Bar experience\n

If it requires too much effort and energy to head out to a bar when it’s so hot outside, bring the bar to you. Buy all the ingredients you need for refreshing bourbon cocktails or\u00a0adult versions of these iced teas. Maybe you can learn more about Belgian beer or\u00a0learn how to drink wine like a pro through the experience.\u00a0Pair your beverage of choice with a few snacks from the grill\u00a0or maybe enjoy with a summer show on in the background\u00a0for a full at-home bar experience.\n

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Streaming service\n

If you know someone who doesn’t have a Netflix account or a subscription to a streaming service, they might miss out on some of the best shows to binge watch during the summer. These inexpensive Netflix alternatives provide more content than you could ever watch, perfect for wiling away the dog days of summer.\n

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Fishing equipment\n

You won’t be able to enjoy these great fishing destinations near the D.C. area if you don’t have the right equipment. (Although some locations rent out fishing supplies.) For Christmas in July, it’s not about caroling, decking the halls or drinking hot cocoa by the fire. Summertime is prime time to go fishing. But if fishing doesn’t hold much appeal, celebrate the season by\u00a0splashing around a park or pool, getting your fill of crabs on the Eastern shore, or\u00a0going on a hike.\n

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