What is Christmas in July?

What You Should Know about Christmas in July

What is Christmas in July? How did it start? Is it just an excuse to sell more stuff? Or is it an awesome way to make July 25th more fun? Unlike the traditional Christmas in December, this holiday is fairly new and it hasn’t caught on everywhere. But perhaps it should. Let’s begin at the beginning.

How Christmas in July Started

The very first celebration of this summertime holiday was in North Carolina at a girl’s summer camp. The staff at the Keystone Camp decided to throw a Christmas celebration in July of 1933. They went all out with a fir tree, presents, and a visit from Saint Nick. The event garnered national attention (at least in recreational magazines). It was such a hit, that the holiday became an annual occurrence. Churches picked up on the idea in the 1940s, and they used the celebration as a time to collect gifts and donations to support mission work.

During World War II, the U.S. military and the postal service got together with greeting card companies, to promote early mailing of Christmas letters and cards to service members overseas. It was a clever way to spread out some of the massive holiday rush of mailings—and boost morale in the process. Advertisers and retailers caught on by the 1950s and took advantage of the Christmas in July theme to run specials. It was a fun way to offload unused Xmas inventory from the previous winter holiday.

Christmas in July Today

These days, Christmas in July or “half Christmas” is celebrated in many countries that also observe the usual December holiday. In areas south of the equator, where July is a chilly month, it’s a great way to finally enjoy Christmas with more of a “winter wonderland” feel. In the Northern hemisphere, particularly in the U.S., the whole goal is to put a hot twist on the holiday by celebrating with some fun in the sun instead of in the snow. Plenty of stores put on “Black Friday” style sales to tempt shoppers to do some early shopping, but without the crazy rush of the post-Thanksgiving crowds. For example, this is a great time to get awesome deals on mens and womens ugly Christmas sweaters that will come in handy in December.

Have a Christmas in July Party

It can be fun to throw an Xmas party in the sweltering heat of summer, when snow seems like nothing more than a distant memory and all people want to do is cool off. If you’re in the mood to break up the doldrums of summer with a Christmas in July event, there’s plenty of stuff to do. The Hallmark channel will often play reruns of favorite holiday movies, which provide the foundation for a great pajama party.

A pool party with frosty beverages and snow cones is another popular option. At the beach, party goers might band together and create sandmen instead of a snowman. Frozen hot chocolate and other warm weather versions of traditional holiday treats are tasty and timely. Instead of ugly sweaters, Christmas themed tee shirts rule the day for fashion. Whatever the season, it’s never the wrong time to celebrate the spirit of Christmas!