As the middle of the year approaches Christmas seems a long way off, but not if you plan on celebrating Christmas in July!
We elves know a lot about Christmas (obviously) but the concept of Christmas in July is a relatively new one to us so we started wondering – where did Christmas in July come from?
According to legend, Christmas in July was first celebrated in 1933 at a girls’ camp called Keystone Camp in Brevard, North Carolina. The event was created to replicate a typical Christmas for the girls to celebrate together while at camp. They had carolers, a Christmas tree, presents and Santa Claus as well as some fake snow to add to the novelty of celebrating Christmas in the Summer.
Now that you know where Christmas in July originally came from, you might have a whole lot more questions about the unusual celebration of Christmas in July. If you’ve not heard of Christmas in July before, you might even be wondering, is Christmas in July really a thing?
What Is Christmas In July?
So, what is this mysterious celebration of Christmas in July really all about? Christmas in July is just like it says in the name, it’s Christmas, but it’s celebrated in July rather than the usual December 25th.
There are a couple of reasons for the popularity of celebrating Christmas in July, one being the novelty of sharing a Christmas style celebration in the middle of summer.
On the flip side, Christmas in July is also popular in the southern hemisphere where July is in the middle of winter, so people have the opportunity of celebrating Christmas with all of the trimmings usually depicted with Christmas being in a cold environment.
It’s worth noting though, that nobody gives up their usual Christmas celebrations on December 25th. Christmas in July is celebrated as a bonus, second Christmas for a bit of fun and novelty value and never to replace a traditional Christmas in December.
When Did Christmas in July Start?
The first recorded Christmas in July was in the USA in 1933. Christmas in July celebrations, which are now popular in countries such as Australia in the southern hemisphere, did not seem to become popular until the late 1970’s.
Where Did Christmas in July Originate?
The first recorded Christmas in July event seems to have originated in North Carolina, USA where it was celebrated for fun at a girls’ summer camp.
Where is Christmas in July Celebrated?
Christmas in July can be celebrated pretty much anywhere that Christmas is celebrated. In the Northern Hemisphere countries such as the UK and USA, Christmas in July is celebrated in an ironic sort of way – imagine having Christmas in the heat of the summer!
In the Southern Hemisphere countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will hold Christmas in July celebrations as a nod to their European heritage and an attempt to have a cold and wintery Christmas, or maybe even a white Christmas.
It’s really just an excuse to get together with friends and family and eat Christmas-y type foods together!
Who Celebrates Christmas in July?
Christmas in July is not a public holiday like the one on December 25th and is certainly not celebrated by everyone. It’s just a good excuse to hold a party in July and give it a Christmas theme.
If you love Christmas, like we do, who wouldn’t want to celebrate it more than once a year?
Christmas in July is reasonably popular in places such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, so that they can enjoy a hot Christmas dinner by the fireplace and wear Christmas sweaters in a far more appropriate climate than the hot, humidity of December.
Christmas in July is also sometimes celebrated by people in the UK and USA as an excuse to hold a Christmas themed party in the middle of summer.
Is Christmas in July a Thing?
Believe it or not, yes, Christmas in July is a thing – but it’s not a real Christmas and no one expects it to replace the real Christmas on December 25th.
Christmas in July is like an added, bonus, Christmas held in a more appropriate or traditional climate for people in the southern hemisphere.
The real Christmas, on December 25th, is likely to be celebrated in fairly hot, humid weather in the southern hemisphere, so celebrating it again in July gives southerners the chance to experience Christmas in some cooler, or even cold, weather.
There’s even the chance that they might get to experience a white Christmas! Although snow is rare in most of the populated regions of Australia, so it’s more likely just a chance for a cold, potentially wet, Christmas.
Christmas in July has become a great marketing tool for restaurants and catering services with many offering Christmas in July packages to entice customers to their establishment for a set Christmas menu, in July.
There is no particular date for Christmas in July, so restaurants can offer this menu for the entire month to gain some excitement and interest from customers.
Which brings us to an interesting point – if we’re going to celebrate a second Christmas in the middle of the year, shouldn’t it be 6 months after the real Christmas? Why is it not celebrated on June 25th?
Why Christmas in July not June?
We imagine Christmas in July celebrations are held, and not Christmas in June celebrations, because of that very first recorded ‘Christmas in July’ which was held at a girls summer camp in North Carolina, USA.
Clearly on that occasion, the camp was in July and so their Christmas celebration was in July and the name kind of stuck!
We think ‘Christmas in July’ has a better ring to it than ‘Christmas in June’ anyway!
From the southern hemisphere’s point of view, July offers the coldest weather and thus is more likely to be able to offer up that traditional cold (possibly white) Christmas that traditionalists expect for a true Christmas celebration.
The Final Word
So yes, Christmas in July is really a thing! It originated in 1933 at a girls summer camp called Keystone Camp in Brevard, North Carolina. It was originally just a fun idea for the girls to celebrate Christmas together while on camp in the middle of summer.
Christmas in July became popular in the southern hemisphere in the 1970’s as a way to celebrate a cold and wintery Christmas rather than the hot, summery Christmas offered by the one in December.
Christmas in July does not replace the traditional Christmas celebrations in December, but is rather used as a fun excuse for a get together with a Christmas party atmosphere.
Christmas in July does not have a specific date, the hosts of the Christmas in July celebration simply pick a date, in July, that suits them.
There is no public holiday or even official acknowledgement of this celebration.
While Christmas in July is usually more about the food than the Christmas presents, if you’re planning a Christmas in July celebration, a gift exchange would be a fun way to make everyone feel even more Christmassy.
Whether you opt for Secret Santa or Yankee Swap, a gift exchange will always add some fun to your Christmas party atmosphere.