Chocolate Christmas tree

Carter Eiden and Santa Claus decorate a Cerreta chocolate Christmas tree.

Everyone’s invited to join in the fun at the annual Christmas in July from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14 in Historic Downtown Glendale and Catlin Court.

Attendees are encouraged to start the day at the North Pole Information Booth at the Arizona Doll and Toy Museum, 5847 W. Myrtle Ave., to pick up the event map and enter to win prizes.

Many of the downtown shops and restaurants will feature festive treats, holiday gift ideas and merry make-and take-crafts. This is an opportunity to shop for gifts and decorations early and avoid the rush. New this year are special discounts and breakfast with Santa at The Spicery Tearoom from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; reservations are required by calling 623-937-6534, and a Catlin Court Charm Trail.

Event goers can hop on the cool and comfortable event shuttle sponsored by Sands Chevrolet Glendale to travel throughout the downtown area, visiting boutique stores, specialty shops and downtown eateries for special offers, discounts and activities, including holiday-themed chocolate decorating at Cerreta Candy Co.; sweet tamales at Bitz-ee Mama’s; Peppermint & Pumpkin Caramel Crunch ice cream at Papa Ed’s Ice Cream; readings and massage at The Astrology Store; a free grab bag with a donation of school supplies at Gracie’s Marketplace; cookie decorating at Cookie Oaties; free Christmas cookies at Bears and More; and holiday trivia at Velma Teague Branch Library from noon to 4 p.m. Some activities have a nominal fee. Photos with Santa are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Glendale Flowers & Gifts.

The holiday spirit continues with the annual Back to School Supply Drive through July 29 to benefit the OCJ Kids Organization. Needed supplies include high school backpacks, red pens, highlighters, rulers and mechanical pencils. For a complete list of items and school supply drop-off locations, call 623-931-2416.

For information about Christmas in July, call 623-930-7303 or 623-931-2416 or email Visit the event Facebook page for updates on event activities and specials:

Christmas in July is sponsored by Sands Chevrolet Glendale, Glendale Ambassadors, State Farm Agent Yvonne Knaack in downtown Glendale, Cerreta Candy Co., Glendale Flowers, Gracie’s Marketplace and the Historic Downtown business community.