Come July, and there is an air of festivity all over. Everywhere we
find people making a mad rush to nearby stores, shops and malls to
buy gift items, apparels and all other articles traditionally linked
to festal occasions. Those out of the loop may wonder at the reason
for this sudden shopping though such people are a rarity. It is hard
to come by anyone who has not heard about or celebrated the much
talked about occasion - "Christmas In July".
But how did this festival originate?
The precise beginnings of the Christmas in July tradition is not
very clear, although it is commonly believed that it actually
started in Europe, as a way to celebrate Christmas in summer. During
the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes
increasingly warm and many people crave the coolness of winter. Amid
the scorching summer months, people miss the gift giving, and
holiday spirit of the Christmastime. Though it is not known when it
started exactly, it is probably from the 80s that the festival began
to be celebrated. The earliest Christmas celebrations in July saw
people throwing parties that imitate the actual Christmas
festivities in December. The celebrations also included other
Christmas traditions like Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold
foods, and gifts. It was held that celebrating in the warm season
would ensure a strong, happy winter Christmas season.
This untimely Christmas festival is also often ascribed to a group
of Irish tourists who went for a vacation in Sydney's Blue Mountains
in the summer months of July in 1980. Away from the summer
temperatures in their country, they were overjoyed at the sight of
snow there. It is believed that they
convinced the proprietor of a local hotel in the Blue Mountains in
New South Wales to hold a party called "Yulefest". The idea was an
instant hit and caught on the imagination of everyone present there.
The proprietor saw a golden opportunity in this and henceforth held
a Christmas Party each year in July. The local businessmen too
jumped in to cash in on this unique festival and it continues to
this day. Today, the tradition is so well entrenched in Australia
that most restaurants, clubs and dining halls, have an official
advertised annual catered menu for Christmas in July, and are often
booked in advance. Most hotels, restaurants, bars, apparel stores,
gift shops offer special discounts for the occasion. During this
time, you can find the local gift shops brimming with figurines of
Santa and Snowmen. Resorts have special events connected with their
Christmas in July celebrations. The whole occasion has come to be
utilized as a marketing gimmick as much elsewhere in Australia as in
its snowfields where the month of July coincides with the high
season in the Australian skiing resorts.
But the market opportunity is, undoubtedly, the most plausible
reason behind "Christmas in July" celebrations. it is commonly said
that the occasion was dreamed up by retail merchants in the western
countries who wanted to benefit from a holiday in July, which is
otherwise a dull season for business and has few marketing
opportunities. That makes a lot of sense, specially when we see how
so many “holidays” are emerging these days ranging from Boss’ Day to
Grandparent’s Day. Many people embrace these special days as they
emerge which surely spells a fortune for retail merchants as well as
greeting card companies.
These days, Christmas in July seems to be mainly a time for retail
sales. In the United States, like all other festivals, this event
too has become highly commercialized. is more often used as a
marketing tool than as an actual holiday celebrated by ordinary
people. But these days, many American families have started
celebrating Christmas in July. An unofficial holiday, the event is
especially popular among the young people. Restaurants offer special
discounts on this time. Many nightclubs host on this time Christmas
parties open to the public. Drinks are guzzled and food items eaten
up like crazy. Television stations show the recent blockbuster
flicks on this occasion or re-run Christmas specials, and many
stores throw special "Christmas in July" sales. Many however, choose
to spend the time all by themselves or with their families.
Some families love the concept of Christmas in July, especially if
their family members are scattered across the states, because it is
easier for them to have a get-together in July, which is a summer
month and when the weather is favourable for a vacation, rather than
in the freezing winter months when long distance journeys are really
And then there are others who does not celebrate during this time.
They are reluctant to acknowledge the event in July are opposed to
having such an occasion. They argue that this untimely celebration
of Christmas makes a mockery of the actual festival that is held on
December 25th and commemorates Lord Jesus Christ's birth.
However, the precise date of Christ’s birth is subject to a lot of
date. No one really knows when the messiah was really born. Hence,
celebrating Christmas in July shouldn’t be a huge issue so long as
the holiday doesn’t lose its meaning.
Despite it's rampant commercialization, Christmas in July remains
primarily an occasion to remember the nothern hemisphere's snow
blanketed Christmas nights. It is a fun way to satisfy the craving
for cooler weather and holiday cheer that many people experience
during the hottest month of the year.