Christmas Trees in July? Origins of Christmas in July Celebration in Retail & Roadrunner Emporium

Christmas in July or Christmas in Summer is a second Christmas celebration held around the summer season, mainly during July. It is centered around Christmas-themed activities and entertainment, including small gatherings, seasonal music and specials, and shopping, with the goal of getting the public in the “Christmas spirit” during the summer season and engaging with retail stores during the slump of summer sales in July.

Werther, an 1892 French opera with libretto by Édouard BlauPaul Milliet, and Georges Hartmann, had an English translation published in 1894 by Elizabeth Beall Ginty. In the story, a group of children rehearses a Christmas song in July, to which a character responds: “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.” It is a translation of the French: “vous chantez Noël en juillet… c’est s’y prendre à l’avance.”[1] This opera is based on Goethe‘s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Christmas features in the book, but July does not.

In 1935, the National Recreation Association’s journal Recreation described what a Christmas in July was like at a girl’s camp, writing that “all mystery and wonder surround this annual event.

The term, if not the exact concept, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in July in 1940, written and directed by Preston Sturges. In the story, a man is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends, and neighbors, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.

In 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. celebrated Christmas in July with carols and the sermon “Christmas Presents in July”.  They repeated it in 1943, with a Christmas tree covered with donations. The pastor explained that the special service was patterned after a program held each summer at his former church in Philadelphia, when the congregation would present Christmas gifts early to give ample time for their distribution to missions worldwide.  It became an annual event, and in 1945, the service began to be broadcast over local radio.

The U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army and Navy officials, in conjunction with the American advertising and greeting card industries, threw a Christmas in July luncheon in New York in 1944 to promote an early Christmas mailing campaign for service men overseas during World War II. The luncheon was repeated in 1945.

American advertisers began using Christmas in July themes in print for summertime sales as early as 1950.  In the United States, it is more often used as a marketing tool than an actual holiday. Television stations may choose to re-run Christmas specials, and many stores have Christmas in July sales. Some individuals choose to celebrate Christmas in July themselves, typically as an intentionally transparent excuse to have a party. This is in part because most bargainers tend to sell Christmas goods around July to make room for next year’s inventory.

In the Northern Hemisphere, a Christmas in July celebration is deliberately ironic; the July climate is typically hot and either sunny or rainy with thunderstorms, as opposed to the cold and snowy conditions traditionally associated with Christmas celebrations in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Some people throw parties during July that mimic Christmas celebrations, bringing the atmosphere of Christmas but with warmer temperatures. Parties may include Santa Clausice cream and other cold foods, and gifts. Nightclubs often host parties open to the public. Christmas in July is usually recognized as July 25 but also sometimes celebrated on July 12.

The Hallmark Channel and its companion outlets (Hallmark Drama and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) run blocks of their original Christmas television films in July to coincide with the release of the Keepsake Ornaments in stores, thus literally making the event a Hallmark holiday (an accusation that Hallmark Cards officially denies).

Every July, the television home shopping channel QVC has Christmas in July sales, mostly decor and early gift ideas for children. What was once a 24-hour block of holiday shopping every July 25 (or the closest weekend day to it) has become a month-long event: generally, the sales begin on July 1 and are showcased throughout the day, with various blocks of holiday sale programming sales throughout the month. Generally during the last week of July, QVC will dedicate entire days to holiday sales.

Christmas in July in Alamogordo…

This past weekend was the Christmas in July Craft Fair at 705 Delaware Avenue featuring tons of crafts from local craftspersons and artist.

Check out the biggest Christmas in July window display in Otero County at the Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo. Several of its 42 partners are offering Christmas in July discounts from 10% to 30% off discounts of their expanded art work, Native American Art, Antiques, jewelry, collectibles and more.

The Burro Street Exchange – Cloudcroft, NM sections of jewelry, unique gifts and more.

McGinn’s Pistachio Land-World’s Largest Pistachio select gifts, unique decor and more, 70, 7320 US-54, Alamogordo, NM 88310

Most major online retails from Amazon, QVC, Macy’s and more are offering Christmas in July sales.

So escape the summer heat and if in Alamogordo come check out Christmas in July at select fine small businesses such as Roadrunner Emporium, check out Victoria and other fine local shops on New York Avenue Alamogordo, Cloudcroft’s downtown and other local business locations around the area. 

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New Sculpture Release by Artist Rene Sepulveda: “Angelina” Flowing Ivy, Wood and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture

Angelina Flowing Ivy, Wood and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture Artist Rene Sepulveda available at artistrenesepulveda.com or at Roadrunner Emporium & Fine Arts Gallery Alamogordo New Mexico

“Angelina” Flowing Ivy, Abstract Wooden Basket and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture by Artist Rene Sepulveda

“Angelina” A Flowing Ivy, Abstract Wood Basket and Lava Rock Natural Sculpture by the Artist Rene Sepulveda was crafted as a piece to honor his 80-year-old aunt Bertha Angelina Sepulveda Rommel.
The historic symbolism of ivy, central to the sculpture by Rene Sepulveda as it reaches out of the wooden basket deals with connections of family, because of its propensity to interweave in growth. Ever furrowing and intertwining, the ivy is an example of the twists and turns our relationships and family connections take – but also a testimony to the long-lasting connections and bonds we form that last over the years. Ivy is further considered a symbol of survival and determination for the same reasons. It seems to be virtually indestructible and will often return after it has suffered damage or has been severely cut back symbolic of the indestructability of family.

This is an example of the human spirit and the strength we all have, to carry on regardless of how harrowing our setbacks may have been.

The basket is one of humankind’s oldest art forms, and it is certainly an ethnic and cultural icon filled with myth and motif, religion and symbolism, and decoration as well as usefulness. Taping in the artist Native American heritage of his ancestors he felt a wooden pieced basket was an essential part of this sculpture due to its symbolism and history as a not to his family roots. The Native Americans may well have left the greatest legacy to the world of baskets. The Indians of Arizona and New Mexico made basket-molded pottery from 5000 to 1000 B.C. as part of the earliest basket heritage. Their baskets (many of which have survived in gravesites) are heralded as a pure art form and one that was created not only by a primitive people but also by women. Basketry extended into the making of many other materials the Indians used daily including fishing nets, animal and fish snares, cooking utensils that were so finely woven that they were waterproof, ceremonial costumes and baskets, and even plaques. The Hopi, Apache, and other Pueblo tribes made coiled baskets with bold decorations and geometric patterns of both dyed and natural fibers. Thus, the bold geometric coloring and shape of the basket crafted into this artistic sculptured work by Rene Sepulveda.

The wood of which the basket hangs is of fallen branches that were gathered near the Apache Mescalero tribal basin and symbolize the strength of eternity. This strength lives on and transcends life and death representing the timeless strength of family.

The 5000-year-old lava rock of which is the sculptures base is composed of rock from the Valley of the Fire lava flow originating at Little Black Peak in Southern New Mexico. The selection of this material as the base was to signify the strength of the earth from deep within, as lava flows deep within the earth and periodically erupts, so do the emotional ties of a family. Those ties and emotional connections are buried deep and carry from one generation to the next, and on occasion erupt to show their true inner strength and strong bonds as the foundation of family.

Finally, the piece is capped with a metal Zia symbol. Given that this artistic creation was conceptualized, crafted and created with natural elements of New Mexico, Artist Rene Sepulveda found it only fitting to cap the piece with the Zia symbol which is sacred to the original people of New Mexico, from the Zia Pueblo and who regard the sun as sacred. Four is a sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the points radiating from the circle.


The number four is embodied in:
The compass (north, south, east, and west)
The seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter)
The periods of each day (morning, noon, evening and night)
The stages of life (childhood, youth, middle years and elderhood)
The sacred aspects one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the well-being of others)

That final aspect in symbolism of the Zia is what ties this artistic creation of Rene Sepulveda, entitled Angeline, together in each of those characteristics that speak of his aunt. She has always been one from youth to age 80 of strong body, clear mind, pure spirit and devotion to her family as well as the well-being of others.

Each component of this work of art independently is of beauty, but when combined into a sculptured work named “Angelina,” from the heart and mind of the Artist, Rene Sepulveda; one sees it spiritual relevance and reverence to family, presented as a visual piece of artistic beauty.

Available to be seen as part of the Valley of The Fire Collection Exhibition of Works of Artist Rene Sepulveda at 2nd Life Boutique and Gallery at Roadrunner Emporium and Fine Art Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and is available online to ship for free anywhere in the US at https://www.etsy.com/listing/1007837864

Congratulations to the new owner of Artist Rene Sepulveda’s Abstract Sculpture titled “High Desert Bloom”

Congratulations to the new owner of Artist Rene Sepulveda’s Abstract Sculpture titled “High Desert Bloom.” This original abstract was showcased on exhibition at the Roadrunner Emporium & Gallery at the 2nd Life Art Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and is SOLD and enroute to a collector of fine art in Austin, Texas, USA.

About the Piece: “High Desert Bloom” Artist Rene Sepulveda created this one-of-a-kind nod to the New Mexico high desert and white sands located near Alamogordo New Mexico. The piece was crafted with 5000-year-old Lava Rock from the Valley of the Fire Lave Flow, combined with ancient fallen driftwood and replicas of desert flowers that create a unique and inspiring view of natures “High Desert Bloom”. This one-of-a-kind piece is heavy, crafted from ancient lava flow rich in iron and heavy metals. The wood is ancient from the Lincoln Forest and the flowers are replicas of flowers colorized to the artists imagination and found in the High New Mexico Desert.

About the Collection: Artist Rene Sepulveda reaches from his Native American Tarahumara tribal roots and creates works of art from 5000-year-old New Mexican Volcanic Lava Rock paired with recycled metals fallen driftwoods to create art of nature for home, office or outdoor spaces. Highly prized and highly collectable. Approximately 5,000 years ago, Little Black Peak located in Southern New Mexico erupted and flowed 44 miles into the Tularosa Basin, filling the basin with molten rock. The resulting lava flow is four to six miles wide, 160 feet thick and covers 125 square miles. From a distance, the region appears as barren rock but when you visit the nature trails there are many varieties of flowers, cactus, trees, and bushes typical of the Chihuahuan desert. Animals include a variety of desert ants, bugs, bats, roadrunners, quail, cottontails, mule deer, barberry sheep, lizards, great horned owls, burrowing owls, turkey vultures, hawks, gnat catchers, cactus wrens, sparrows, and golden eagles and more.

This collection of works crafted by Artist Rene Sepulveda is inspired by his Tarahumara tribal roots as a tribute to the wildlife, flowers, cactus, and beauty of the region, crafted from recycled lava, woods and metals found from the Tularosa Basin and Sacramento Basin. The molten lava rock is repurposed rock pulled from abandoned homes and abandoned locations; repurposed into a “second life” as an “artistic sculpture” to bring joy and value to the owner of each unique piece.

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5 Questions An Interview with New Mexico Abstract Natural Sculpture Artist Rene Sepulveda Roadrunner Emporium

Rene Sepulveda former NCAA Award winning Track and Field Coach, Rehabilitative Coach turned artist creates sculptured works. One art critic recently said of his works that they are “incisive meditations of colorishis designs, shapes and composition complimenting natures wonders using lava rocks, tree roots, tree trunks, bark, cholla desert cactus as components of his canvas.”

Artist Rene Sepulveda’s carefully constructed sculptures and art installations are abstract interpretative works that rely heavily on the influence of nature for texture and symmetry, for rural to urban spaces.

We sat down with the man who wears many hats; Former Award Winning NCAA Coach, Rehabilitative Fitness Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda, to find out more about his processes, inspiration, and his unique artistic journey with the release of his most recent exhibition the “Valley of The Fire Collection” With this interview he is also releasing two sculptured works, a tree trunk abstract sculptured piece called “Baily Canyon” which is a stunning blend of a hallowed out tree trunk textured, preserved and intriguingly colored then placed on a bed of lava rock and combined with local treated and colored natural cactus to make a stunning visual display.

The second piece to be released today he calls “Stark NM” it is a combination natural wood, recycled metals and woods crafted into a one of a kind abstract piece sitting on a Zia stone with lava. This intricate piece is a dazzling array of colors that inspires awe in its bold colors and unusual textures.

How would you describe the sculptures and artwork you create?

“My goal is to create compelling works that draw the viewer in to explore the underlying structure of color, texture and the natural elements created by mother nature. My hope is that the initial reaction is an emotional response to the color relationships, the contrasting textures between the flat and fluid paint and the hard edges and gestural marks that are embedded in the pieces as marks of nature. I want the person to enjoy my sculptured pieces and to be rewarded as they soak into the piece so that the placing of each element, the precise color balance, the textures, and carefully calibrated proportions of my sculptures are revealed to our inner senses. The inspiration comes from both natural and man-made elements and share my preoccupation with patterns, colors, textures, and the natural elements of nature.”

What message do you want to get across with your artistic works?

“I tap into my Native American roots. I believe I’m empowered by my grandfather’s ancestors in how I commune with nature to bring harmony and balance to my art pieces. I believe nature is complex in texture color. I know that harmony can be achieved to create an appealing and interesting work of art when we reconcile vastly different and contrasting colors and textures using techniques and processes that I’ve created to enhance natures work to be placed into an urban or rural household, office, or place of business.

I believe that the artistry of Cholla Art, Tree Trunk Art, Root Art or Lava Rock and Metal works are unique and not well understood, in that most homeowners or business owners don’t have the knowledge of the beauty these pieces can bring to their environment.

Most people have not been exposed to these kinds of sculptured works, very few artists create art with these mediums as a canvas.

Most people don’t know the sense of Zen or harmony that is created by including these pieces into the home, office, or business environment.

I’ve created works where chance takes over as the prominent sense and caused me to be fluid with colors and textures. The colors and textures then take over my mind and through my hands flows the wonder of color and texture. Sometimes it flows through me like a force of gravity down the surface of the art piece showing a series textures and colors from my mind that are then frozen in time to create a timeless piece of art.

Several of my creations become art dense in color and texture with very defined creations begun my nature that eventually show a high degree of control but are complex in their inspiration of color. I see this as the human impact on the natural world that is expressed with the culmination of taking objects from nature such as complex root art systems, tree trunks, unique fallen forest wood pieces, 5000 year old lava rock, unique cholla desert cactus skeletons and using them as the canvas for human expression of color and texture.

Patterns of all kinds fascinate me, including the hidden structures of living things. Tinting, repeat sequences, geometric shapes and grids, pre-historic symbols and pottery designs and the underlying laws that dictate how the natural world evolves influences my craft. The influence of all of that finds a way into my work, which I don’t really consider to be pure color or texture abstraction. Maybe interpretative abstract sculpturing is a better term for my works. I use very defined textures but counterbalance with color and the canvas of nature in my sculptured works. My work is all inspired by something I have seen or felt which has sparked my imagination. Nature is the foundation of hope for the world we live. That hope comes with a responsibility to acknowledge natures role in our daily lives, to embrace it and to appreciate its influence, by its placement, through art into our homes, offices, or businesses.”

How did you come to mixing texturing and color design in your natural art sculptures?

“Textures and colors of all kinds have always intrigued me, most especially the colors and textures of nature. When I was young and an Olympic Trials Athlete, I would run 100s of miles weekly in the mountains, the desert floor and in the woods and always along those runs, I could almost feel the colors and the textures of the natural elements around me.

So when I began exploring my artistic side, the ideas of color and texture were a natural expression of what I had absorbed from my time outdoors. On my travels around the world, I’m always attracted to the colors and textures of our ancient ancestors. The geometric abstraction in colors and shapes of the Inca’s in Peru, the geometry of the Pyramids in Egypt, my travels to my mother’s homeland of Ireland, the imaging of my grandfather’s ancestral tribes of the Tarahumara; each imprinted on my mind. Those influences’ flow through me into each art piece I create with color, textures, and design.”

Do specific colors and forms hold definite meanings in your work?

“For me color complemented with texturing is the most important part of creating art to be enjoyed. The relationship between the size, shape, texture, and color of each art form to ensure it compliments natures handiwork is of highest priority to me. The dominance of each color, the warmth or coolness, flatness, or texture, as well as denseness and fluidity, are hopefully resolved so that there is a restless balance that is appealing to the eyes and inspires the heart of those who are viewing my creations. My appreciation for color and texture began with me, in appreciate of Georgia Totto O’Keeffe’s paintings of enlarged flowers and New Mexico landscapes. O’Keeffe recognized as the Mother of American modernism certainly had an influence on me. Similarly Antoni Gaudi of Barcelona remarkable for his range of forms, textures, and for the free, expressive way in which these elements of his art seem to be composed have always inspired my own appreciation for colors and textures.

The colors and textured in each piece have symbolic meaning for me. The earth colors are often mixed directly with the piece to form the landscaped base and then the real creativity begins. I see color and texture as an evolutionary process, building up layers and design elements to reflect light and darkness differently with each vantage point. In some designs the colors of the urban world show though as they are attached to a piece created in the natural environment of forest or deserts. What is crafted is a contrast that is appealing and inspiring to the observer. Colors of reds and yellows remind me of the sunsets within nature and the natural elements of sunflowers which bring joy. The various grays, blacks and coppers define a more commercial manufactured world but when combined with the textures of nature they then bring meaning of wholeness with nature to me and hopefully the observer.”

Have the goals of your work changed during the Covid-19 lockdown and do you have advice for an aspiring artist?

“I have a hard time viewing myself as an artist. My business partner jokes with me and tells me once I began selling my works, I became a professional artist. I don’t know if I’d ever view myself as an artist, certainly not a professional artist, as I have a Masters in Epidemiology and a Master’s in Public Health. I Coached for over 20 years at the university level and competed professionally. I continue to coach as a rehabilitative coach today. However, the Covid lockdown did provide me an opportunity for reflection and a period of isolation without distractions to explore and expand on the artist within. With the support of family and my business partner, I’ve created some fun pieces that I am immensely proud to have been able to craft. Some people seem to enjoy my work. Some pieces are a bit eccentric, abstract, and sometimes confusing but overall the reaction has been incredibly positive, and we have sold several hundred pieces even with a pandemic going on. For that I am humbled and surprised. Each art piece I create is almost like a child to me. I nurture it and collaborate with it and want to ensure each piece goes to a good home or business where it will be cared for and cherished for years to come.

I can see preoccupations, moods and themes running throughout my artistic journey. My aim is to create a balanced work that is balanced between color, and texture and complimented by the canvas of nature. Those are competing forces which are the canvas that work as the inspiration in my work.

My advice for an artist starting out would be, just do it. It doesn’t matter if you are an art major or an art novice, it doesn’t matter if you are 12, 18, 25, 55 or 70 everyone has art within themselves, but few will ever express the art they have the potential to create. The world needs art, color, complex designs, and simple beauty. If its within you, do it, put it out there and just do it. Everyone of us wants to express ourselves from within, in some way; some write, some create art, some craft music, or performance arts. Whatever is within you, just believe in yourself and just do it.”

Learn More About Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda. Several of his pieces are showcased online via the 2nd Life Boutique and an Etsy Store. Rene Sepulveda’s more exclusive pieces are showcased on the artist website ArtistReneSepulveda.com. Many of his pieces are showcased and can be seen in person at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few of his largest installation pieces are showcased on exhibition in the yards and homes in and around Northern California and Southern New Mexico. His recently released 9 foot by 8 foot complex root art piece he calls “Ventricle” and his extraordinary 9 Foot Tall sculptured abstract tree trunk artistry sculpture called, “Bailey Canyon” and his other awesome piece called “Stark NM” can be found on exhibition at 2 private residences on McKinley Street in Alamogordo, New Mexico and are available for viewing. All are sold via his website ArtistReneSepulveda.com or at a discounted price when purchased in person and for pickup via the 2nd Life Boutique at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico.

To schedule a viewing in person and a discussion with the artist or for more information contact Mr. Sepulveda’s publicist coachedwards@2ndlifemedia.com or call 707.880.6238