Christmas in July

Posted on July 28, 2010

Many countries such as Australia experience  hot weather on December 25 and July is their coldest month. In recent times in Australia the custom of celebrating “Christmas in July” has been adopted and is gaining momentum.  July offers an opportunity to capture the atmosphere of a traditional cold weather Christmas with logged fires, a hot roast and hot plum pudding.  For many people who yearn to experience a traditional Christmas feast, “Christmas in July” is the only way they can experience it, without having to spend lots of money to travel to another country in the northern hemisphere.  Not many people want to leave family and friends behind in December for the experience of a “white Christmas” so “Christmas in July” is the perfect alternative!

The earliest known occasion to make the phrase Christmas in July literal was in July 1933 at Camp Keystone, a girl’s summer camp in North Carolina, which celebrated with a Christmas tree, gifts, and a visit by Santa Clause.  The concept of Christmas in July was given a significant boost in 1940 with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy “Christmas in July”.  It is the story of a man fooled into believing he had won $25,000 in a slogan contest.  He buys presents for family, friends and neighbours, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.

The precise beginning of the “Christmas in July” tradition in Australia is not totally clear.  Although it is sometimes attributed to an Irish group who enjoyed the winter snow in Sydney’s Blue Mountains, and decided to party.  The “Christmas in July” tradition is now so well entrenched in Australia that most restaurants and clubs  have an official advertised annual catered menu for Christmas in July, and are often booked in advance.  It’s always a great excuse for work teams to get together and party, and at a time when they don’t have to battle to reserve a table and pay premium prices.

It is the Australian snowfields however, where Christmas in July traditions really come into their own.  July being the peak season for the snowfields they all have special events connected with their Christmas in July celebrations.  Of course all of the young revelers love to build a snowman when they are in the snowfields, Santa skiing on the slopes is quite a treat and, since everyone that is there is on holidays, the nights are full of dining and cheer and merriment, so it is a perfect scene for Christmas in July celebrations.  Many families make the brief excursion to the Australian snowfields just for the Christmas in July celebrations.

“Christmas in July” is a wonderful time for people to be reminded of the virtues associated with Christmas:   giving, forgiveness, love and gratitude.  Reflection mid-year offers a healing opportunity for people to start the process of transforming from the inside out by reviving and rekindling the spirit that belongs to Christmas!

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