Whenever anyone mentions “Christmas”, the month of December, the date 25, the decorations, Santa Clause, gifts, snowman, Christmas puddings, cookies or hot chocolates are some of the things that we always think of.
However, in the south, Christmas comes with a different kind of affair. When the people of the northern hemisphere enjoys snowball fight or sleigh ride at 0.75⁰c outside, people of the southern hemisphere prefer spending their time at the pool or beach with above 30⁰c temperature. As a result, many from the southern part often wonder what it would be like to have Christmas in winter.
Here’s where the very idea of “Christmas in July” comes into play for those who want to get those “winter Christmas vibes” despite living in places where December is the peak of summer!
If you already live in the southern part of the world, you might already have come across this interesting phenomenon of Celebrating Christmas in July. But why was this tradition started?
No one is actually sure of its origin. According to some sources, it was first mentioned in a French opera back in 1892. Some say, in 1933, Christmas in July was first celebrated at the keystone camp for girls in Brevard, including a decked-out Christmas tree, Santa, gifts and snow made of cotton. However, the concept of Christmas in July hit pop culture in 1940 with the arrival of the movie Christmas in July in theatre, starring Dick Powell and Ellen Drew. Later, retailers used this concept in promotional campaigns to encourage people to buy and send early Christmas gifts.
And then gradually, Christmas in July seems to be popping up everywhere.
In Australia, like many other southern hemisphere countries, Christmas in July is enjoyed as an additional celebration of Christmas with mid-year cheer. However, it is by no means a substitute for the real Christmas celebrated on 25th December, but an excuse to catch up with friends and family to enjoy the warm and cozy weather together.
Since July is the middle of winter in Australia and December comes with intense heat in several parts of Australia, many Aussies attempt a wintery Christmas in July. After all, there is something about celebrating Christmas in winter, layering up in warm gear, and enjoying traditional Christmas puddings and hot drinks in front of a fireplace.
Also, Australia has a strong attachment to the tradition of celebrating Christmas during winter as it has British and European heritage. Also, for Aussies with British or European heritage or immigrants from the northern hemisphere, a summer Christmas is not something they are used to. Getting gifts from the white-bearded Santa who wears a white fur-trimmed red coat, crafting one giant snowman, building a roaring fire in the fireplace to unwrap presents, styling the cute Christmas sweaters and hats, and making hot cocoa from scratch are some of the Christmas activities they all are familiar with. Or at least, these are what we all used to see in Christmas movies all the time, right?
But while celebrating Christmas in December, Aussies need to keep all these activities off the table, replacing those with pool parties, BBQ meats, fresh seafood, sandcastles, Christmas themed swimwear and outdoor games. Hence to get the wintery Christmas feel, many Aussies seek to celebrate this unofficial holiday in July, imitating the Christmas feast, traditions and family gatherings.
Neither it is a public holiday, nor does every Aussies celebrate it. Also, there is no particular set date. Eventually, all are open to celebrating Christmas in July anytime in the month of July.
But most of the people who celebrate it like to keep the celebration for 25th July, keeping the same date in December. And in case it doesn’t fall on the weekend, people also tend to celebrate on any prior or after the weekend around 25th July.
If you ever dreamt of a wintery Christmas, Christmas in July could be your perfect excuse to dig out your bright Christmas jumper, light the fire, have a few drinks and decorate your backyard with string lights. Living in Australia, there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and breweries where you can enjoy a range of events in July each year, taking full advantage of the season. From Adelaide’s Christmas in July celebration at Mawson Lakes Hotel to Brisbane’s dedicated Xmas pop-up at Tinseltown, you have tons of options open to enjoy the Christmas meals, drinks, games or jingle all the way with live entertainers.
Even celebrating Christmas in July, you can happily escape and switch the regular BBQs, oysters, and ice-cold beers with mouthwatering turkey roast, traditional Christmas puddings and mulled wine. Also, you can just enjoy the frosty days and gloomy skies while staying indoors, as at least there would be no need to head to the beach in July, right?
Now, if you have decided to celebrate Christmas in July to evoke a more realistic wintery Christmas feel, here’s some best way to start your Christmas in July tradition.
In winter, the way your city streets transform by shinny and glittery lights is definitely one-of-a-kind to enjoy. You can get the spirit of Christmas while shopping from those well designed Christmas displays, which can leave you in awe. It’s also fine to do window shopping; at least you can come up with some gifting ideas for the upcoming Christmas season in December.
When you finally get the chance to light the fire, do it. Decorate your place with string lights, craft one-of-an ornaments, trim your Christmas tree, hang the stockings, make ice lanterns, and display them indoors. Include the kids in your family to decorate your home, inside and out, and introduce them to some winter Christmas feels.
Warm up the cozy seasons with a festive gathering of friends and family that will put you in the Christmas spirit. You can invite your loved ones and arrange an ugly sweater party to enjoy costumes as well as ridiculousness! Or just make some popcorn and watch any of your favourite heartwarming Christmas classics or sing Christmas carols together.
Get your Christmas dinner covered with all the traditional ones that you might think of skipping during your summer Christmas feast in December. Try out all classic recipes from turkey, cookies, puddings, and brie cheese to mulled wine, traditional wassail or eggnog. Or, if you just don’t feel like cooking or baking, order takeout food, like you can just order some of the best sugar cookies or Christmas puddings online from any nearby shops to fill the dessert plate.
Spent your Christmas morning making snow angels by plopping yourself right into the snow and waving your legs and arms. Or build a snowman by crafting it with a carrot nose, hat and stick arm. And if you feel like getting more adventures, put on a pair of blades and do ice skating near your neighbourhood.
So, in addition to the hot December Christmas that you celebrate every year, add this additional celebration to your plan to experience the mid-year cheer with loved ones.
Also, with presents to buy, meals to cook, work to be done or events to attend, if you think the celebration of Christmas in July is overwhelming, here at Pud For All Seasons, we love to be part of your mid-year occasion offering our contemporary and traditional Christmas puddings in Melbourne. At the minimum, you can escape the dessert making task.
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Tel 03 5470 6128
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