Merry Old Santa ClausCredit: Thomas Nast -wikimedia commons

Every summer before July happens, I think of the Carbondale Mountain Fair. That makes me think of all the fairs coming up and unusual, unique purchases that can be made in the spirit of no pressure holiday gift giving. Of course that thinking leads me to the big huge holiday of Christmas, so Christmas in July is on my mind.

Since the weather is usually agreeable (hot, sunny, lovely, even if it rains), I am willing to travel to summer fairs, and even explore little towns for their gift offerings. Certainly I am less willing to do so during cold, snowy, icy winter weather, so looking at Christmas stores and fairs in July is becoming more appealing every summer. There is such a happy feeling at thee find of decorations for Christmas, and usually discount Christmas ornaments are available, too.

Just traveling to a fair or a Christmas clearance store in July is comfortable because the heat feels great, but the cool Christmas thoughts upon arrival are even better. It might be part of a global mindset that the world is so small - a global village- that to imagine Christmas at the opposite time of the year from when one has traditionally experienced it is getting easier to do. People from the Northern Hemisphere usually celebrate Christmas during a cold, wintry weather time. People from the Southern Hemisphere celebrate it during a hot, summer, outdoor barbecue time. Many of us have buddies or loved ones in different hemispheres so we are well aware of the weather differences. That might be one good reason for Christmas in July shopping.

Christmas in July Origins
Origin suggestion 1
Europeans were missing Christmas holiday traditions in the sweltering summer heat, so they started throwing Christmas parties and celebrating with gift giving and Santa stuff. Supposedly the Christmas party ideas celebrated in July would ensure a strong, happy winter Christmas.

Origin Suggestion 2
Some Irish tourists enjoying the Blue Mountains in Australia in the summer decided to celebrate. They were delighted to experience the snow at the resort, so a “Yulefest” was pitched to a hotel proprietor. It went over smashingly, and became a tradition to this day in Australia. July merchants (hotels, restaurants, gift stores, and resort events) are geared for Christmas in July hoop-la at the height of Aussie ski business.

Origin Suggestion 3
July, 1971 found some New Zealand flatmates looking to hold a mid-winter celebration. The Auckland friends celebrated a “White Christmas” party. The successful celebration spread and the theme was celebrated throughout the 1970’s in New Zealand, and the Southern Hemisphere.

Origin Suggestion 4
Western retailers dreamed up the idea to increase sales during the slow month. Sure this is a realistic origin possibility, but not very fun like the others mentioned so far. They might have copied the idea from the 1940 film, Christmas in July.  

Origin Suggestion 5
The true Christmas happened on July 25th, and the human cellular memories won’t let that holiday go by the wayside, or be forgotten to December 25th. Of course, this suggestion is as believable as an alien descended upon our midst in July and announced that this was the day of all holidays because the truth is yet to be decoded from a set of old wooden Christmas ornaments hidden deep below the lost city of Atlantis.

As you can see, Christmas in July is a mindset of no for-sure origins. One could easily add on to the origin suggestion list, and create the most fabulous new stories for young and old alike.  

Sources: History of Christmas in July
              Christmas in July

Image: “Merry Old Santa Claus” by Thomas Nast -wikimedia commons