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Unwrapping the Tradition: Exploring Christmas in July and Its Whimsical Origins

I adore Christmas, as it’s my favorite time of the year. The shimmering lights, the sparkling glitter, and those heartwarming movies make it truly special. However, thinking about Christmas in July isn’t on my radar. I’m still soaking in all that summer has to offer, wishing it could last longer.

But have you wondered why some people celebrate Christmas in July? Well, the tradition of Christmas in July, also known as Half Christmas, originated in Brevard, North Carolina. It all began on July 24 and 25 back in 1933 at a girls’ camp called Keystone Camp. Miss Fannie Holt, one of the camp’s co-founders, had a creative and whimsical spirit and decided to dedicate two days to celebrating Christmas at the camp.

The first celebration was full of a decked-out tree, a gift exchange (usually hand-made crafts), carols, fake cotton snow, and Santa. As the years passed, elves, reindeer, and Mrs. Claus were added to the tradition. Campers would use laundry bags as a stocking and place them outside their cabin to be filled with candies overnight. This celebration was a way to mark the end of summer in an unconventional and fun way.

In 1940 a film titled “Christmas in July” introduced the phrase to people’s consciousness. Subsequently, in 1942, a church initiated a summer donation to collect holiday gifts for missions across the globe, ensuring their arrival by Christmas. This was followed by a similar initiative by the U.S. Post Office during WWII to send gifts to overseas soldiers. 

Eventually, retail stores and the Hallmark Channel embraced the trend. Hallmark has dedicated the whole month to Christmas in July, showing old movies and sneak peeks of the upcoming true season. These movies allow you to escape the heat and submerge yourself in snowy settings.

Miss Holt’s unique idea of Christmas in July resonates with people even today.

To celebrate Christmas in July, you can search Google for events near you. Or have fun at home by baking Christmas cookies, making an ornament, and decorating the tree for summer.

You can also plan a trip to a year-round Christmas store:

Are you someone who embraces the joy of Christmas in July? If you do, we would love to hear about the traditions you cherish during this festive time. Please share your favorites with us below, and let’s celebrate the spirit of summer Christmas together.

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