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What is Christmas in July?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Have you ever wondered why people say “It’s like Christmas in July”? We have, and with summer upon us we figured it’s about time we take a dive and find out exactly what Christmas in July is… is it just a silly phrase, a Christmas comedy classic, or a more-than-welcome chance to get into the Christmas spirit mid-year? Join us as we take a look at the origins of Christmas in July and how you can celebrate this whimsical phenomenon no matter where in the world you find yourself!

The History of Christmas in July

Christmas in July as a practice has its roots in the Southern hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand…), as their winter season takes place during this time of year – while we’re all sunbathing and drinking cocktails! Since the weather is a little bit colder in July than in December down under, many people take this opportunity to celebrate Christmas the way that we do in the Northern hemisphere – cozied up inside round the nearest heat source, wrapped in blankets and watching festive films with a hot drink. We think this is a fantastic way of capturing the traditionally wintery feel of the Christmas season, and of course they still celebrate on December 25th too; usually with a trip to the beach or a barbecue in the sun, since the average temperature across Australia ranges between 25°C and 30°C in December.

Santa enjoying Christmas in July

We would love to experience a Christmas in the sun, and even the thought of celebrating two Christmases has us too excited to handle… but thankfully, Christmas in July has a place in the Northern parts of the world too! It goes without saying that July is very different in the northern hemisphere than the south – while Scottish weather is unpredictable at best, July finds itself nestled right in the middle of the summer months, usually filled with heatwaves and trips to the seaside (maybe even ‘taps aff’ weather if we’re lucky!). So what would a Christmas in July look like in the height of summer?

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where this tradition comes from in the UK and US, with pop culture references cropping up from the mid-20th century such as the 1940 comedy film ‘Christmas in July’ starring Dick Powell, but the mystery of the tradition’s origins in the north certainly won’t stop us celebrating! While our December Christmas perfectly scratches the itch for the idyllic winter festive season, some of us just love Christmas so much that we’d gladly have two celebrations in the year. Christmas in July usually falls around the beginning of the Christmas retail season, with decoration and gift stock beginning to arrive in our favourite stores as well as a treasure trove of seasonal bargains that make it the perfect time to consolidate the Christmas list and get your shopping done early. It’s also the best excuse to party away and celebrate the year so far, with festive decorations and treats for all. Maybe try a festive-themed barbecue – pigs-in-blankets anyone? – and cuddle up on the cooler nights as all of your favourite Hallmark-esque Christmas movies tend to be showing or streaming online during the month, including the 2021 ‘Christmas in July’ which, unlike its 1940 predecessor, is actually a Christmas movie with all the heart-warming moments we expect! There are so many ways to make this summer a little more festive and get in the Christmas mindset, and we at The Olde Christmas Shoppe are excited to try them all with you in 2023!

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