I’ve always wanted to have a Christmas in July part but it never really made sense to do it when it was blazing hot during the summer in the US. So living in Botswana where its pretty darn cold in July made it a perfect opportunity to check this off my bucket list. The fact that it could coincide with my birthday (just a few days away on August 1st) made it even more perfect!
Doing anything with a theme is tough in Gabs because there just isn’t the same kind of access to things as we had in the US. There’s no Hobby Lobby, Michaels and worst of all NO AMAZON PRIME! You don’t realize how much you rely on amazon until it is ripped out of your life unwillingly! Garrett and I used to conjure up costumes weekly for Denver Cruiser rides from miscellaneous items we could easily find around Denver or would just order things on amazon to arrive the next day (now I hear you can even get them same day!). In Gabs you will be hard pressed to find anything costumy. Christmas decorations become available for only a few weeks in December and are pretty sparse as it is! Luckily we had brought a few items with us but even more lucky is that one of our American friends who has been living here for over 8 years has a plethora of Christmas decorations. With her help our backyard became a tacky Christmas wonderland!
Garrett luckily already had access to the perfect Christmas outfit to wear. A friend had recently loaned him a tux that used to be his formal uniform in British military school. It consisted of a normal black vest and jacket – but the pants were red/green plaid! And it fit him perfectly – it was actually pretty amazing. So how was I going to compete with that! I had nothing to wear! But in Botswana, when we can’t buy what we need – we have just learned to make it! I went to the fabric store and picked out a christmasy pattern. I decided on a Betty Draper-esque style that I tried to communicate to my tailor. Luckily it turned out great – a little big but that is always better than too tight!
Deciding what to cook was the next step. We wanted to try out a new way to cook lamb that we learned during our trip to the Serengeti. They just shoved the leg into the sand and let it roast slowly next to the fire. Our ground is too hard to do that so Garrett built a tripod to allow the meat to hand and roast over the fire. Then we also marinated a warthog and cooked it on the weber grill. We had stuffing, glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and loads more holiday treats. I made apple cider and mulled wine. Then had a holiday Moscow mule station ( a twist on the traditional with cranberries and rosemary) – people really hadn’t tried Moscow mules before and were really loving them!
People aren’t so into dressing up here so we weren’t sure if anyone would be getting into the festive spirit. Of course not everyone dressed up but we were really impressed with some of our friends. Our friends Dale and Bri improvised a santa and elf costume which were awesome. We had a few ugly Christmas sweaters and lots of santa hats. It was an awesome party and a great way to celebrate my birthday. I am happy to be able to finally say that I have thrown a proper Christmas in July party!