While the idea of celebrating Christmas in July might be a bit out-of-this-world, this unofficial holiday happens to be a thing in a few countries across the world! From Australia to Canada, there are several destinations that put people in the “Christmas spirit” in the middle of the year with a robust line-up of holiday-themed activities that included parties, tree decorations, Christmas movies, and even gift exchanges.
Eager to discover more about this fun holiday and possibly celebrate it in 2021? Then read on to learn everything you need to know about Christmas in July — from when it started to the best ideas on how to enjoy it.
What Is Christmas In July: The Story Behind It And Where It Started
While the exact origins of Christmas in July are still unknown, it’s believed that everything started on July 24th in 1933, at a girl’s camp named Keystone Camp in Brevard, North Carolina. Their summer Christmas celebration included everything from a Christmas tree to fake snow made of cotton, and the tradition not only carried on until today but spread throughout the world.
Others say that one summer a long time ago, a group of visitors got stranded by a blizzard in the Old Faithful Inn, in Yellowstone Park, and decided to celebrate an early Christmas rather than bemoan their situation.
So, in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas in July is a good excuse for people to celebrate this holiday off-season, and for the local commerce to boost sales.
Others believe that there was a group of Irish tourists who went for a vacation in Sydney’s Blue Mountains in July 1980. Since in the Southern Hemisphere seasons are in reverse to the Northern Hemisphere, with winter falling in June, July, and August, these travelers got overjoyed at the sight of snow in Australia and convinced the proprietor of a local hotel to hold a party called “Yulefest”. The idea was a hit, and the proprietor saw a golden opportunity in this, deciding to throw a Christmas Party each year in July.
So, since in the Southern Hemisphere Christmas is actually celebrated in the summer, this unofficial holiday has the goal of providing people with the magical “Christmassy feel” during their wintertime, which is in July.
Countries That Celebrate Christmas In July
With Christmas falling in the midst of the summer months in Australia, Aussies associate this holiday with sunshine, fun times at the beach, barbecues, and all sorts of outdoor activities. In fact, they can’t even imagine celebrating Christmas as seen on television: drinking hot mulled wine by the fireplace, marveling at snowflakes falling from the sky, and dizzying swirling and twirling on ice rinks.
So in order to emulate the magical atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere’s Christmas, some Aussies trow an extra Christmas celebration in the middle of the year. Activities that brighten up the winter months include comforting meals in local restaurants that offer Christmas menus, partying in pubs and clubs, and decorating the house with twinkling lights.
Those who crave the ultimate festive feel also take the opportunity to travel to Australia’s ski resorts, from Thredbo, New South Wales, to Falls Creek, Victoria, to hit the slopes and indulge in a hot cup of eggnog while curling up by the fireplace.
This year, several destinations in Australia — Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Parramatta— will host the whimsical Winter Village, an alpine-inspired winter wonderland that features an ice rink, private igloos, and comforting food and drinks that are simply perfect for an off-season Christmas celebration.
Even though the celebration of Christmas in July is not as widespread in South Africa, there are still a few exciting events and themed activities on offer across the country, especially in Cape Town.
People who are seeking an excuse to celebrate this off-season holiday in South Africa usually throw a traditional Christmas feast with all the mouthwatering trimmings or head over to thrilling annual winter festivals. One of the most popular is Hogsback Xmas In July Winter Festival. Held in the small mountain village of Hogsback, in the central-southern part of the country, the event features Christmas dinners, carols, and arts & craft markets surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.
While Christmas in July in the Southern Hemisphere is a way of imitating the magical atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere’s Christmas, in countries like the United States and Canada this unofficial holiday is more of an excuse for embracing the holiday spirit and having fun.
In the United States, Christmas in July was actually nicknamed “the Hallmark holiday”, as the channel traditionally plays blocks of Christmas favorites during the month.
Aside from binge-watching Christmas movies, people take the opportunity to indulge in some shopping, as the month of July is filled with seriously good deals, a.k.a the “Christmas in July sales”, from big-name retailers.
Americans and Canadians also celebrate Christmas in July by throwing exciting Christmas parties with holiday-themed decorations, gift exchanges, family activities, and, of course, hearty feasts with the traditional trimmings.
In Canada, specifically in Quebec, Christmas in July is celebrated with a traditional festival called ‘Noël des campeurs’, which translates to Camper’s Christmas. In late July, people gather at campsites across the province to enjoy a weekend filled with festivities. Some of the typical activities include decorating the campsites, exchanging gifts, and the traditional turkey dinner. All that carried out under the hot July sun!
The Best Ideas To Celebrating Christmas In July In 2021
Throw An Off-Season Christmas Party
The best way to celebrate Christmas in July? By hosting a theme party featuring your favorite holiday treats. And don’t be afraid to go overboard with the activities — the more the merrier. Whether you’re in the midst of winter in Australia or summertime in the United States, you can organize a fun gift exchange, decorate a gingerbread house, write letters to Santa Claus or craft your own Christmas cards.
Don’t forget to gather your friends and family, and indulge in a hearty feast with staple Christmas dishes, from roast turkey with mashed potatoes to apple pie and eggnog!
Decorate Your House
Feel things are more Christmassy than decorating your house with festive ornaments. Make every room look as jolly as possible with ribbons, garlands, twinkling lights, and oversized snowflakes.
If it’s summer where you are, swicth the traditional Christmas decoration for something more vibrant and creative. Instead of the typical red-and-green palette, play with different colors, and incorporate items like seashells, tropical flowers, and plants to the décor.
Organize A Hallmark “Christmas In July” Movie Marathon
Binge-watching Hallmark’s annual selection of holiday movies is a great way of embracing the holiday spirit in July. The network has the tradition of airing their best Christmas movies in June and July as part of their annual Christmas in July movie event. So grab a hot cup of mulled wine — or a piña colada —, and get ready for a fun Christmas movie marathon!
Go For A Weekend Trip To A Nearby Getaway
Not in the mood for celebrations and parties? No worries! This unnofficial holiday might also be a great opportunity for those who want to do some traveling! Take advantage of the jolly holly Christmas spirit, and go for a weekend trip to a nearby location you always wanted to visit. It could be a ski resort, a cozy mountain city or even a pristine beach is the temperatures are warm and pleasant.
Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas in July
Who Thought Of Christmas in July?
The origins of this celebration are still unknown. Some say it started on a girl’s camp in North Carolina, while others believe that Christmas in July was invented in Australia’s Blue Mountains in 1980.
In Which Dates Christmas In July Is Celebrated?
On July 25th and July 11.
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