8 Ideas on How You Can Celebrate Christmas in July

Do You Celebrate Christmas in July?

For many of us, July is one of the hottest months of the year.  Why would we celebrate Christmas when heat indexes soar to the upper 90's or higher?  

The answer is simple--we LOVE Christmas!

Twelve months between celebrations is just too long.  Christmas in July is our booster shot of holiday cheer that keeps our hearts merry and bright for five more months.

In the comment section below, share what you do to celebrate Christmas in July.  If you've never recognized or participated in this pseudo holiday, we'll give you some ideas to plan your first ever Christmas in July.

1.  Christmas in July Countdown

If you still have kids at home, Christmas in July brings extra excitement to their summer vacation. 

Do you have an advent calendar stashed away among your boxes of decorations?  Dig it out and let your kids track the countdown to July 25.  Since we celebrate this event each year, we never put our advent calendar in storage, but leave it in a closet where it's easily accessible.  Even though our kids are older, our all-time favorite countdown calendar is the classic one from Melissa & Doug.

Place the countdown calendar in your family room and have each child take a turn affixing the day's ornament to the tree.  Just be sure to remember whose turn it is or there will be bickering!  

Using an advent calendar also provides an opportunity to remind your family why you hold Christmas joy in your hearts all year, and why there even is a Christmas holiday to celebrate.  Jesus is the reason!

Pinterest has many ideas for random acts of kindness to do during an advent countdown you can incorporate into your own.  Pay it forward at the drive-thru, weed a neighbor's flower bed, do a chore for a grandparent, or write a nice letter to a friend or relative far away.

Although Christmas gives us warm fuzzies, it shouldn't be overly self-serving.  See what good deeds your family can do to be a blessing to others.

2.  Food Brings People Together

You can recapture the smells and tastes of Christmas, even in July!  Pull out your favorite cookie and candy recipes and do some holiday baking.  Share your creations with your neighbors and co-workers and let them know you are bringing Christmas cheer into their summers.  Sure, they might think you're a little crazy, but they will recognize that it's the good and fun kind of crazy. Don't forget to make Chex Party Mix!

Many families try to connect with each other over the July 4th holiday, but with vacation schedules, that's not always possible.  What would it look like if you planned a Christmas in July family meal?  You might have a chance to squeeze in an extra visit that normally comes only once each year.  If you have the type of family you'd rather avoid, just keep it small and include only your immediate family.

Every July 25, we cover our dining room table with our vinyl Christmas tablecloth and cook a traditional holiday meal with all the trimmings and invite our family to join us.  

If you don't have time for that much cooking, cover your outdoor picnic table with a Christmas cloth and fire up the grill.  The key is planning ahead.  We always buy plenty of Christmas paper plates and napkins in December and stash them until July.  You might even consider wrapping Christmas lights around your patio or deck railing.

3.  Should You Decorate?

Some people actually decorate their homes for Christmas in July, complete with the tree.  Decorating is a huge and time-consuming task, especially when you consider you'll have to do it again in another 4-5 months.  

We don't bother and have just as much fun.  A tabletop tree is easily do-able, but decorating for Christmas in July is completely optional.

4.  Visit Attractions That Celebrate Christmas in July

If you don't know anyone else celebrating Christmas in July, you might feel like an odd ball.  Check out whether any businesses in your area have latched on to this event.  Visiting these attractions with your family will help you feel more normal.

Kentucky's Newport Aquarium is near us, and they feature Santa swimming in the tanks with the ocean life for Christmas in July. A short drive from us is EnterTRAINment Junction, the world's largest indoor railroad display, and they feature special Christmas rooms, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, elves, cookies in Mrs. Claus's kitchen, and chance to have your photo taken with Santa.

A display at EnterTRAINment Junction

Many car dealerships are unloading inventory in July to make room for the next year's models, so maybe you can find a great deal on a new vehicle for your family during one of their Christmas in July sales.  Merry Christmas to you, from you!

5.  Music, Movies, Books, & Social Media

It's okay to listen to Christmas music in July no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary.  When you're playing it at home or in the car though, just make sure your windows are tightly closed and the air conditioner is on.  If a summer breeze sends Jingle Bells or Frosty the Snowman wafting to your neighbors, they might question your sanity.

What are your favorite Christmas movies? Hopefully, you own them on DVD or saved them on your DVR from last December.  Plan a family movie night and enjoy a Christmas flick.

Hallmark Channel understands the need for doses of holiday cheer all year.  Not only do they play Christmas movies once per week year-round, they celebrate Merry Movie Week in June on the Movies & Mysteries channel, and brings us a full month of holiday movies for their Christmas in July extravaganza.  

Great American Family is a newer network with a smaller catalog of Christmas movies, but they, too, are offering Christmas movies all month long in July.

Hallmark's Candance Cameron Bure with "Santa."  Getty Images

When Hallmark or Great American Family airs A Very Happy Yule Log, I record a few hours of it to save on the DVR.  This show plays classic Christmas music, showcases a beautiful Christmas tree and fireplace, and adorable animals meander in and out of the scene.  During our Christmas in July family meal, we replay this in the background, and it creates super cozy ambiance.  

Image:  Crown Media 

No matter how hot the July day is, you can let your mind travel to colder places through books celebrating the Christmas season!

Facebook is loaded with Christmas groups that keep the spirit alive all year, so join a few.  Your daily feed will make you feel warm and cozy.

If you are a Hallmark Christmas fanatic, a fun Facebook group to join that has trivia, fun facts, polls, and giveaways is Hallmark Movies-Christmas Magic.  It's a thriving group with something for everyone.

6.  Reindeer Games

There are so many fun Christmas games you can play if you have kids still at home, especially if you already own Christmas-themed games like monopoly, memory, Old Santa, Christmas bingo, or Rudolph Operation.  Don't have any seasonal board games?  No worries!  Pinterest has great ideas for Christmas games you can create yourself:

  • Jingle Bell Toss:  line up cups and toss jingle bells into them.
  • Charades:  print cue cards and act out each Christmasy phrase.
  • Hide the Ornament:  play "hot" or "cold" to find an ornament you've hidden in the house.
  • Mystery Stocking:  place household items in a stocking and take turns touching one of the items to guess what it is.
  • Hot Present:  wrap a box and pass it in a circle until a time goes off, like "hot potato."
  • Pin the carrot nose on the snowman
The possibilities are endless!

Putting together a Christmas puzzle is also fun, especially on rainy days leading up to Christmas in July.

7.  Get Crafty

Do you make homemade Christmas gifts?  Are you a scrap booker who loves creating your own Christmas cards?  Rather than stress yourself out with tight holiday deadlines, start your projects during Christmas in July.  You'll have more time to enjoy the actual season when it rolls around.

Kids love crafts!  There are limitless Christmas crafts they can do in July.  Search Pinterest for Christmas crafts for kids, and you will find a ton of options.  Here are a few of our favorites:

For smaller children, it's also a blast to make your own Christmas play-doh, especially Snow Dough.  You can add food coloring and other scents to homemade play-doh for smells of the season:  pumpkin, peppermint, and cinnamon.

We always stock up on pre-packaged Christmas crafts from stores like Michael's and Hobby Lobby, especially when they are on clearance, and pull them out during our Christmas in July celebration.  For older kids, the Makit & Bakit ornaments are really fun, though a bit challenging.

8.  Time for Presents

By July 25, school is just around the corner, vacations are mostly over, and kids have done everything they can think to do during summer break.  It's the perfect time for something new to occupy them a little longer.

To make things a little more magical at our house, the "elves" leave little trinkets by our Melissa & Doug Advent tree sporadically between July 1-24.  The ages of your kids dictate the type of small tokens you select.  Again, once you're in the groove of having a summer celebration, you will start eyeing those Christmas clearance items a little closer to find small treasures for this occasion. 

On Christmas in July morning, our kids run to our little advent calendar tree for their final gift--something bigger than the previous trinkets, but under $30.  

We avoid gifts that are screen related, like video and computer games, DVDs, or anything gadgetry.  We choose gifts that inspire creativity or help them be active.

Considering it's summer, here are some fun gift ideas to keep your kids busy outdoors:

Gifts that spark creativity or engage their minds include:

Mindware.com is an excellent site for brainy toys for kids of all ages.  

How Did Christmas in July Get Started?

Christmas in July originated in 1933 at a girls' camp in North Carolina called Keystone Camp.  It was a whimsical idea created by camp co-founder, Fannie Holt.  It became a tradition that carries on to the present day at the camp. The concept continues to spread.  We're just glad someone thought of it!

Plan Ahead for Christmas in July

When you're caught up in the merriment of December, July feels light years away.  Remember to snag extra supplies when the stores are loaded and hold them until summer to make Christmas in July more festive.

Remember to leave a few holiday favorites on your DVR, too.

If you plan to use any of your decorations for your July plans, be sure to leave them in an easy-to-reach place.

Christmas in July isn't a real holiday.  Reflecting on the reason we celebrate, spreading extra cheer and goodwill, and creating fun summer memories with your family are good reasons to include it in your July plans anyway.

Merry Christmas in July!


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