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Just Write: It's July, it's hot, it's busy — time to slow down and think Christmas

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

It's beginning to look a lot like …

OK, so it's July 24. Christmas Eve in July!

Children nestled all snug in their beds with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads might not happen tonight. Maybe visions of pools, beaches and ice cream are more likely?

This should come as no surprise to those who've read previous columns where I gush about loving Christmas, but I'm almost in full Santa mode.

For the first several days of the month, I DVR'd many Christmas movies from the Hallmark Channel. I spent the other night listening to Christmas music from my iTunes, where I discovered I have 27 hours, 58 minutes and 36 seconds of holiday hits at my fingertips. Really.

I even contemplated having a Christmas Eve party tonight, but the idea came so very last minute that I don't think the elves will have time to get it together.

I'm not the only one already thinking Christmas. A few friends have started Christmas shopping, and my mother discussed buying a new artificial tree for this year.

I'm not sure where or how celebrating Christmas in July began — I'm sure it has something to do with a retail business trying to squeeze out every marketing promotion to get customers in the door during a slow time of year. But I do know that I welcome the sights and sounds of the holiday season, no matter the temperature or month.

July is a good midway point in the year, where we've likely forgotten our festive feel-good thoughts of being friendlier and slowing down to cherish friends and family. Many of us are running around trying to cram work in before a summer vacation, and preparing for said vacation, plus picnics, pool parties and more.

For those who made New Year's resolutions, it's safe to assume picnics and patio parties ruined the exercise and diet regime of January.

So here we are … July 24. A day when Frosty probably wouldn't feel too comfortable.

Take note, though. There are 154 sleeps until Santa arrives. So while you're lounging at the pool, it might not be a bad idea to take those lazy moments this month to start preparing wish lists for Christmas.

It'll be here before we know it.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408 or

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