You may have heard of the cheery, midsummer tradition ‘Christmas in July’ – or perhaps you haven’t. For the latter, ‘Christmas in July’ is a southern-born tradition that’s exactly what it sounds like: throwing a classic Christmas style celebration, minus the snow. Participants enjoy the familiar comfort of holiday foods, gift-giving, jolly décor, and gathering with loved ones, without the stress and pressures of the typical holiday season. It’s commonly recognized that the very first Christmas party in July was conceived all the way back in 1933, at the all-girls Keystone Camp in North Carolina. The girls completely decked out in holiday cheer, from carolers to a gift exchange, even cotton ‘snow’ and Santa Claus. Now don’t let that deter you from the idea: you can make your own ‘Christmas in July’ as laid-back or all-out as you desire. So if you’re getting ready to run downstairs and break out that box of string lights from storage, hold on just a couple more minutes! First, check out this helpful list of Christmas in July party ideas.
Before you start getting down to business in the kitchen, you’ll want to sprinkle at least a couple Christmas Decorations around the party space to make sure everyone feels the holiday spirit. Figurines and knick-knacks, wreaths, Christmas candles, festive lights, you name it! Anything you can use to spruce up the space will make it feel more like a holiday. If the weather permits, and you have a good space for it, you may choose to hold an outdoor Christmas in July party. Lands’ End even carries Christmas bandanas for dogs to get your pup in on the fun!
You can’t have a Christmas without classic holiday food and beverages. However, Christmas in July is the perfect chance to get creative and put a fun summer spin on old favorites. You’ll still want to whip up a couple of tried and true family recipes but don’t be afraid to go off script. Southern Living’s article Refreshing and Festive Foods for Your Christmas in July Party is a great place to start looking if you need inspiration. From hot chocolate icebox pie to cranberry brie bites, you’re sure to find a couple dishes that’ll wow your guests. Set everything out over a Christmas table runner and you’ll be ready to get festive.
When it comes to attire for a Christmas in July party, the possibilities are endless. If you live in a cool climate year round, or plan on staying inside and cranking the A/C, Christmas pajamas and sweaters are still on the table. However, you may also want to lean into a more summer feel. For a Christmas in July party at the lake or pool, swimwear is a must. Otherwise, a classic summer dress, skirt, or shorts and blouse combo will do the trick. If you plan on making this party an annual tradition, it may be worthwhile to invest in a Christmas themed tank top, swim suit, or t-shirt.