The earliest reference for the phrase 'Christmas in July' was in July 1933 at a girl's summer camp in North Carolina USA. The term later gained momentum with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy 'Christmas in July' in 1940.
Then in 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in the USA celebrated 'Christmas in July' featuring a sermon 'Christmas Presents in July' and a Christmas tree. By the end of the sermon, the tree was covered with donations and gifts from the congregation. The donations and gifts were then distributed to missions worldwide. By 1946 this annual service began to be broadcast over local radio.
Today many Churches across the world celebrate Christmas in July with services, fund raising and activities.
The Lakewood United Methodist Church hosted a Christmas in July public festival. They gave away snowcones, treated everyone to a free concert, gathered donations for the Gardner Food Pantry and helped Central Arkansas Rescue Effort (CARE).
"Christmas in July" festivities are said to have started here in Australia in July, 1980 when a group of Irish tourists asked the proprietor of a hotel in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales to hold a party called "Yulefest". Scandinavian languages translate the word "Christmas" as Jul (literally, Yule), which happens to be the abbreviation for July in English.
My Christmas in July party usually includes a few Christmas decorations (I don't put up my tree!), Christmas candles, bonbons, Christmas hats and small toys for the kids.
Images from BHG
I have had no problem finding yummy recipes to try, as one of my favourite Australian recipe sites has got a whole section devoted to Christmas in July! Have a look at some of these yummy recipes!
Despite the fact that Christmas in July has become very commercialized in many places, I think that it is an occasion to remember the spirit of Christmas, which, according to Washington Irving, is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. It is also a fun way for people in the northern Hemisphere to satisfy a craving for cooler weather (I hear it is terribly hot over there at the moment!) and it is a fun way for us in the South to experience what a Northern Hemisphere Christmas would be like.
Best wishes for a wonderful weekend,
Natasha In Oz