What is Christmas in July?

By Dan Taylor on June 25th, 2021
Christmas in July mc

Christmas in July is your once-a-year chance to celebrate all the things you love about Christmas: the fun, the family, the parties, the cozy fireplaces.

Now, think about all the things you love about summer: the fun, the family, the parties, the cozy firepits.

Replace the inside fires with outside fires and you have Christmas in July, a “Half Christmas” celebration that just makes July jolly.

Christmas in July mc

Who started Christmas in July?

How did this half-holiday festivity come to be? We’ve heard of multiple sources:

  • It can be hot on December 25th in Australia because of globe science. So those fun-loving Aussies started celebrating in their winter, or mid-July. When the Brits got to Australia, they brought the idea that Christmas is a cold-weather holiday. That means July when you’re down under. Or up above, as they call it.
  • In the early 1930s, a summer camp in North Carolina started the celebration and it just caught on. The kids loved the chance to decorate their cabins and sing carols. (And, of course, everybody got presents.) They were more arts and crafts than bicycles and baby dolls, but a gift is a gift.
  • It’s the title of a not very popular movie from 1940. The movie didn’t “make” the holiday, but by the time 1940 rolled around, people were already way into the idea of summer celebrating.

How Hallmark does (summer) Holidays

If you love Christmas because it gives you a chance to share the hope, the joy and the spirit of the holiday with the people you love, we’ve got you covered. Hope and joy and spirit are three of our best things.

We’ve got early ornaments!
Discover 250 new Keepsake Ornaments to make your tree feel even more magical—only at Ornament Premiere and only at your Hallmark Gold Crown Store.

We’ve got many merry movies!
Dream of the season ahead with new movies, greatest hits, a movie marathon and more during Christmas in July on the W Channel.

Why let the last few weeks of the year have all the fun?


When is Christmas in July?

There’s no official date for Christmas in July. It can be all month long or just a weekend or a happy hour on the day of your choosing.

You want to get it as far from last December 25th as you can without getting too close to next December 25th—but don’t overthink it.

If it’s July and someone’s eating their way through a half-dozen sugar cookies that look like snowmen and several someone else’s are working on harmonizing a holiday hymn, you’re doing it right.

QUIZ: Who celebrates Christmas in July?

Take this simple test to see if you should be celebrating Christmas in July.

  • Do you like to have fun?
  • Do you like to have holiday-themed fun?
  • Do you believe that any excuse to share the magic of the holidays is a good excuse to share the magic of the holidays, even if those holidays are six months away?

Answer Key:
If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, (and we’re pretty sure you did) then you should be celebrating.

If you answered “Ho, ho, ho!” and shook like a bowl of jelly, you are Santa Claus and you probably already knew about the half-holiday.


How to celebrate Christmas in July

You can celebrate by doing traditional summer things with a Christmas twist.
Or you can celebrate by doing traditional Christmas things with a summer twist.

The point is, there’s no “right way” or “wrong way” to celebrate this midsummer night’s dream of a holiday.

We’re going to give you some suggestions (but make them your own).

Watch Christmas movies from a kiddie pool

Hang a sheet on the shed, set up a projector and you’re halfway to a Hallmark Christmas Movie Night. (Don’t forget the bingo cards.)

  • Offer lawn chairs, lounge chairs and kiddie pools as your seating options.
  • Set up a popcorn buffet.
  • Serve Holiday Sparkler Cocktails or the alcohol and no-alcohol versions of Orange You Glad It’s Christmas.

Give the gift of giving gifts

Let’s just come right out and admit that we love presents.

  • So how about a Secret Santa gift exchange?
  • Or host a white elephant party.
  • Or fill stockings for the whole family—only instead of stockings, try something more summer appropriate, like footies.

Make it more meaningful and share the merry

Wouldn’t the people who appreciate a little recognition appreciate it even more if it’s unexpected?

  • Don’t wait for December to make some baked goods for a coach, stylist or mail carrier: sweeten their summer with snowflake sugar cookies.
  • Spread some cheer—but add your own warm-weather spin.
  • Teach kiddos the joy of giving and sprinkle a little kindness all around the neighbourhood.

Christmas Party in July Pro Tip

A quick note about the where and the who: While Christmas is often a family holiday, you might want to expand the invitation list to include neighbours—especially if you’re lighting up your yard and blasting the carols into the night.


More Christmas things to do on Half Christmas

  • The season isn’t freezin’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good ol’-fashioned “snowball” fight. You’ve got water, you’ve got balloons, get a six-month jump on the snow.
  • You can go caroling! It’s lots easier when you’re not shivering and slipping on the ice. Make your own seasonal versions of the classics, or just go old-school and sing ’em like they wrote ’em.
  • OK, one more thing to eat, and this one’s so cute there’s no way you’ll be able to wait ’til actual Christmas: Polar. Bear. Cupcakes. (Yes. We have a thing for baked goods.)
  • We didn’t invent the advent calendar but may have perfected it. You can count down to Christmas in July using the same technology.
  • Surprise your mailing list with a midyear holiday letter!

We can guess what you love about the Christmas season:

The way people are somehow a little nicer, a little closer to being the people they really want to be.

The way the holiday spirit builds bridges and mends fences.

And the chance to celebrate the people who mean so much to you in fun and creative ways.

That’s why one Christmas a year just isn’t enough. Christmas in July was made for people just like you.

Happy Half Holiday!


About Dan Taylor

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Artistic style: Humor
Inspiration: Anything that's funny, intentional or not
Happy place: Movie theatre
Favourite project or work of art: Maxine Christmas Carol!