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What is Christmas in July? How to Celebrate Properly

What is Christmas in July - Open for Christmas

Celebrating Christmas in July

What is Christmas in July all about? We’ve just had Half-Christmas on the 25th of June, and now Christmas in July.

No, we haven’t gone mad. And I can confirm there is no such thing as ‘Quarter-Christmas’. For now, anyway. So let’s find out what this celebration is all about.

Christmas in July is a wonderful time of year to enjoy and celebrate with food, fun and festivities. This year, why not celebrate the holiday too? 

It’s a good reminder that Christmas is all about fun and spending time with our loved ones. So, whether you decide to celebrate Christmas in July, or not, we can guarantee that it’ll be a lot of fun!

If You Love Christmas in July, Check out our Christmas in July Ultimate Party Guide!

What is Christmas in July?

Christmas, or the holidays, is a celebration which usually takes place between November and January. Christmas Day, the day we celebrate the birth of Christ, is on the 25th of December. However, it is worth noting that Christ was not actually born on this date. You can read more on that here.

So, what is Christmas in July? 

Christmas in July is an unofficial holiday. Starting as a tradition in North Carolina in the USA, this holiday is now widely celebrated across the globe. The main countries to celebrate this new tradition are the USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. 

Even though it started in the USA in the northern hemisphere, it’s now widely popular in countries in the Southern Hemisphere such as Australia, New Zealand. 

We know it as Christmas in July, however in Australia this second celebration is called Yuletide or Yulefest. Christmas Day in December is still a national celebration, and Christmas in July does not replace this. Christmas in July is not celebrated by everyone, however it is still relatively popular in Australia. 

When is Christmas in July?

The holiday is celebrated on the 25th of December each year, but it’s also sometimes celebrated on the 12th of July. The date is not celebrated by everyone but it is getting more and more popular each year. Much to our delight – we love any excuse to celebrate Christmas! 

Nowadays, Christmas in Australia is all about the Christmassy colder, cosy feeling. And taking part in those traditions from the northern hemisphere in their winter. This is the same for South Africa and is a huge event. People head to the snowy mountains, such as the Blue Mountains in Australia and attend Christmas markets.

Snow on Blue Mountains in Australia - Christmas in July

In New Zealand this celebration hasn’t caught on quite so much, but it’s still growing in popularity each year. 

Christmas in the UK and Canada are starting to celebrate this holiday more however it is generally retailers promoting this celebration. 

In the USA this holiday is much more popular and seems more set on shopping and promotions from retailers and large parties, as opposed to taking part in traditions as they do in the Southern Hemisphere. 

But of course, this makes sense. Roasting a turkey and drinking eggnog is not so fun in the blistering heat of summer. 

Why Christmas in July?

There are a few reasons why people celebrate Christmas in July. One is that, in the USA, there are actually no holidays between 4th of July and labour day on the 2nd of September. People love a holiday and an excuse for a celebration so welcome to Christmas in July.

It’s also a time when people may start shopping for festive decor, especially out of season when prices are not so high. Some stores are even taking it one step further with their ‘Black Friday in July’ promotions. 

A big part of Christmas in July is serving the Southern Hemisphere. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand are in their summer months in December. Have you ever spent Christmas in a hot country before? It’s just not the same as a cold, frosty Christmas. 

Beach with Santa's Hat on Deck Chair - Christmas in July

Therefore, celebrating Christmas in July, during their winter, means people can enjoy the festive, cosy treats and traditions such as eggnog, Christmas jumpers and hot chocolate whilst sitting next to a roaring fire. 

So, why July, and not June when it is six months until Christmas? 

The 25th of July is the middle of winter for Australia and the Southern Hemisphere and therefore the coldest time of year, making it feel extra Christmassy – as it does in the Northern hemisphere. 

And it’s not just Australia. Christmas in July is getting more or more popular in the USA too, with huge events taking place annually. 

The Hallmark Channel is also a huge part of this more recent celebration, and screen the most popular festive films for 2 weeks in July. This movie list is long-awaited by many fans every year. There are even Hallmark ornaments you can buy as a keepsake. 

Also, take a look at our list of the 24 best Christmas movies.

When did Christmas in July start?

So, who came up with this cheery, yet a little crazy, holiday? 

Well it all started in 1933 on the 24th and the 25th of July at a girls’ camp called Keystone Camp in Bernard, North Carolina.

The first Christmas at the camp was celebrated with Christmas trees, Santa Claus, gifts carolling and artificial snow made from cotton. 

This tradition evolved and continued, and even today, Christmas is July is an event celebrated in the heat of midsummer. But, that doesn’t put anyone off. 

What is a Christmas in July party?

What better way to celebrate Christmas in July than throwing a party?! Decorate your home, put on your best seasonal playlist, prepare lots of delicious dishes, put on a Christmassy outfit (preferably red or green) and organise some festive games! With a little planning, it won’t take much to host a fantastic Christmas in July party!

Christmas Party - What is Christmas in July

How to Celebrate Christmas in July

Celebrating in July does not necessarily mean gifts. It is about fun and celebrations with friends and family. However of course, if you love to give gifts, then of course you can! Why not try a secret Santa as a better budget friendly option for everyone? 

Stick to traditions such as decorating, baking, carolling or start your own traditions. There are no rules here. Depending on where you live in the world, and the weather, adapt your Christmas in July. 

If it is your summer, you could have a BBQ, a water balloon fight to replace the snowball fight and drink summer cocktails. If it is your winter, lap up the delicious eggnog, wear lots of layers, go ice skating and attend some Christmas markets. 

There are so many things to do and ways to celebrate. However you decide to celebrate, have fun!

Ideas and Activities

There are so many ideas to celebrate Christmas in July. Keep an eye out for local events which you can attend or get involved in. Celebrating with other people is the greatest part!

Or, take advantage of the promotions and do some shopping in the sales which could save you a lot of money in the long run. Take a look at our Open for Christmas best money saving hacks for Christmas.

Buy our ultimate Christmas organiser which you can immediately download and print. We have thought of everything, and based it on our own Christmas planning – with 76 pages and 10 categories – designed to be printed duplex (double-sided). We may be biased, but this is the only organiser you’ll ever need! Read more about our holiday planner here.
Ultimate Christmas Organiser - Open for Christmas

Christmas in July is all about having fun. So, what better way to celebrate than with some festive activities

Our Top Activities

Also, take a look at our post on exciting Christmas activities for kids and keep them entertained for hours!


There are no rules when it comes to decorating for Christmas in July. Christmas isn’t Christmas without some decorations.

Some people go all out and decorate as they would for Christmas time. However, you can do things a little more subtle. 

How about decorating with some pretty fairy lights in your home? A simple wreath on your door, or a few ornaments placed in your living room and dining table? For a fun but easy Christmas touch, add a Christmas inflatable for your outdoor garden. There are so many ways to make your house look festive without going OTT. 

If you have a pool, how about buying some fun inflatables to have floating around. Or, as a fun activity, make homemade crafts and decorations such as a wreath or stocking to hang and place around your home.

Food and Drink

What is a Christmas celebration without amazing food? And going to bed feeling like you’re about to pop?

Christmas means good food, and lots of it. Make your favourite recipes, a roast dinner, a buffet, have a BBQ, or even a takeaway if cooking is not your forte. 

Burgers decorated as Reindeer's - Christmas in July

We love to all pitch in at Christmas, so you could always split who cooks the starter, main and dessert. If there’s a few of you, split into teams to make it fun and keep everyone busy. You could even have someone on Christmas cocktail duty, making eggnog, mulled wine and other festive tipples. 

There are so many great ideas to celebrate and enjoy with your loved ones.

What is Christmas in July – Our Final Thoughts

Christmas in July is really not so crazy. And, with less than 6 months until the big day, it gives you a head start on your festive planning and organisation to give yourself a stress-free Christmas.

If you would like to learn more about having a stress free Christmas, take a look at our post to get you feeling organised and prepared for the festive season in December. 

So our recommendation is to celebrate Christmas in July if you wish to, have fun with it, and take advantage of all the promotions and deals to save some money in the long run. 

Merry Christmas in July!

Related Christmas Activity Articles:

What is Christmas in July? How to Celebrate Properly

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