About Christmas in July
Christmas in July or Christmas in Summer is a second Christmas celebration held around the summer season, mainly during July. It is centered around Christmas-themed activities and entertainment, including small gatherings, seasonal music and specials, and shopping, with the goal of getting the public in the "Christmas spirit" during the summer season in the Northern hemisphere. Christmas in July is usually recognized as July 25th but also sometimes celebrated on July 12th.
The earliest reference to something Christmas in July comes from Yellowstone National Park. It is said that at some point in the first few decades of the 20th century, an unexpected blizzard stranded travelers at one of the park’s inns. Snowed in, the group decided to celebrate Christmas. The lack of available details about this supposed occurrence and the fact that there’s no record of a summer snowfall at Yellowstone large enough to trap people indoors in the early 20th century suggest strongly that it probably never happened.
Another claim to the holiday comes from Keystone Camp. A short item in the Washington Post in November 1933 titled “Summer Santa Fun, Says Camp Head” outlines how Fannie Holt presented Christmas in July to the girls at her camp. “There’s no reason for having Christmas in July except that it’s fun! And the girls loved it,” the article quotes Holt as saying.
Though it’s impossible to definitively say what the real origin of Christmas in July is, there were no major media mentions of the idea before 1933, which bolsters the claim of Keystone.
The term was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in July in 1940, written and directed by Preston Sturges. In the story, a man is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends, and neighbors, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.
The idea of Christmas in July was then used as a way of promoting the idea of sending Christmas gifts early to GIs serving overseas during world war two.
Every July, the television home shopping channel QVC has Christmas in July sales, mostly decor and early gift ideas for children.
Since 2012, the Hallmark Channel has piggy-backed on the massive success of its annual Countdown to Christmas programming event by launching Christmas in July, giving its devoted fanbase yet another month filled with holiday cheer and irresistibly cheesy movies.