Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and many people celebrate it twice. For those who want to experience this merry season early, there’s Christmas in July. Learn how this tradition began and spread throughout the world in this guide.

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS IN JULY?

Christmas stockings hanging from a mantel

Christmas in July happens in Australia and other parts of the Southern hemisphere during the middle of winter. It is a way to experience the festivities in cold weather as the real Christmas season falls in summer. This celebration involves decorations, gatherings with family and friends, and retail sales. Some countries in the northern hemisphere also celebrate this tradition to feel the wonders of the Yuletide season earlier in the year.

HOW DID CHRISTMAS IN JULY START?

A pre-lit Christmas tree in a white room

While the exact origin of Christmas in July is unclear, there are several stories that brought mainstream attention to this mid-year event. Read on to learn the history of Christmas in July across the world.

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS IN JULY IN AUSTRALIA

Christmas in July is often traced back to a group of Irish tourists that went to Sydney’s Blue Mountains in 1980. Delighted to see snow during their summer vacation, they convinced a local hotel owner to hold a “Yulefest” party. The event’s success encouraged other businesses in the area to create their own Christmas-themed events and special offers in July. Today, the custom continues across different parts of the country through midwinter events held every year.

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS IN JULY ABROAD

In the United States, one of the earliest accounts of Christmas in July is found in the 100th anniversary book of Keystone Camp in North Carolina. The campers had a two-day celebration in the summer of 1933, complete with carollers, presents, faux snow, and even the appearance of Santa Claus. Years later, a 1940s Hollywood movie titled Christmas in July introduced the term to a wider audience.

Meanwhile, in Europe, many believe that Christmas in July parties began out of people’s longing for cool weather amid the summer heat. These festivities often involve Christmas traditions and cold treats such as ice cream.

WHERE IS CHRISTMAS IN JULY CELEBRATED?

No matter how it started, it’s clear that Christmas in July has become a staple event. It even has its own set of traditions here and abroad.

Map of Australia highlighted in red

AUSTRALIA

In the BLUE MOUNTAINS, Yulefest events pop up every winter. Restaurants celebrate with special menus and Christmas decorations. Other cities put up winter night markets where people can enjoy specialty drinks and treats. One such attraction is the WINTER WONDERLIGHTS in Sovereign Hill. This street market in Ballarat, Victoria, offers beautiful light displays, faux snow falls, live plays, and more.

Map of North America with the United States highlighted in red

UNITED STATES

Different U.S. cities celebrate Christmas in July in unique ways. An annual Christmas in July festival in West Jefferson, North Carolina, brings together traditional mountain music, delicious food, talent shows, and a pageant where growers showcase their best Christmas trees. Meanwhile, some cities hold fun runs like FRESNO, CALIFORNIA, where runners get a gift from Santa when they cross the finish line.

Map of Europe highlighted in red

EUROPE

Parts of Denmark celebrate Jul-i-juli, a play on words that translates to “Christmas in July”. In Copenhagen, the WORLD SANTA CLAUS CONGRESS is held every July so that Santas from around the world can meet, exchange experiences, and share different ways to spread joy. In the U.K., some shops and nightclubs hold Christmas-themed events in the summer for a little mid-year cheer.

WHY SHOULD YOU CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN JULY?

Two kids playing with ornaments on a decorated Christmas tree

PHOTO COURTESY OF LOVED BY EMILY

Whether you’re traveling with family or staying home, there are many ways to experience the joys of Christmas in July. Here are some reasons to embrace this tradition:

1. THERE ARE FUN ACTIVITIES TO TRY

Gather the family and visit the nearest winter night market to bask in delightful lights and sounds. For a chance to witness a white Christmas, plan a trip to the Blue Mountains or the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. Staying in? Cuddle up and watch Christmas movies while you sip on hot chocolate and revel in the spirit of the season.

2. YOU’LL GET A HEAD START ON CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS

Take advantage of Christmas in July sales to beat the rush of the actual Christmas season. You’ll find a wider range of Christmas decorations at lower prices when you shop early. Once December comes, you can sit back, relax, and spend more time with family and friends.

Now that you know the history and traditions of Christmas in July, it’s time to celebrate it your own way. Join the fun with Balsam Hill’s great deals on premium Christmas trees and decorations.

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LEARN MORE

Start preparing for Christmas by reading our expert tips and tricks. Visit the links below.

BEST TIMES TO BUY AN ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE: A GUIDE TO BALSAM HILL SALES

CHRISTMAS DECORATING 101: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW