Christmas in July Ideas for Celebrating During Winter

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If you’re looking for Christmas in July ideas for celebrating during the Australian winter, welcome! This guide includes all the best ways to embrace this tradition, from awesome Christmas in July party ideas and affordable Christmas in July gift ideas to Christmas in July food ideas for feeding a crowd.

The Christmas in July party is going on all over the land, with events in and around all major Australian cities. You can find out more about those in this post. But for everything from what-to-wear for Christmas in July outfit ideas to Christmas in July decorating ideas to brighten up your home or workplace, stay right here!

Why celebrate Christmas in July? Well, why not? Adding Christmas colour and a celebratory atmosphere can brighten up a dull winter. Much of the world celebrates Christmas during the colder months, so if you want a taster of what a European or North American Christmas might be like then this is a great way to find out for yourself.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate Christmas in July if you live in more northerly parts of Australia, however. There’s nothing to stop you pretending it’s cold outside. After all, seeing snow in Sydney, Melbourne or Hobart is pretty unlikely too. Even in July.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Christmas in July tradition began here in Australia so we could celebrate during our winter, but in fact it’s said to have started in the US. At a North Carolina summer camp for children in 1933.

The story goes that some Irish tourists who visiting the Blue Mountains during the early 1980s brought the tradition over here. Apparently they gave a local hotelier the idea of hosting a Christmas in July party, which was so successful that the concept soon spread.

Whether you want to discover simple Christmas in July party food ideas, Christmas in July costume ideas for adults and kids or some ideas regarding what Christmas in July gifts you could give, stay right here for the full lowdown.

This is Christmas in July, ideas to celebrate Australian style.

10 Christmas in July ideas to kick-start your celebrations

Play Christmas songs

Nothing signals that Christmas is coming quite like hearing your favourite festive hit. So number one on the list of Christmas in July party supplies is to get hold of some Christmas music!

The best Christmas albums around come from the ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ series. These began back in 1983, when the very first LP was released. Today there are various ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas’ albums to pick from.

Containing all the top Christmas hits, these compilations provide you with a complete playlist for any Christmas in July celebration. Whether that’s a family gathering in the backyard or a fully-themed party with fancy dress and a long guest list.

Click here to view ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas’ albums

Make some Christmas bakes

Detail of delicious Christmas cookies with candles in golden tone

Whether you’re planning a party or not, getting creative in the kitchen is one of the top ways to get into the festive spirit. In fact the Australian winter is the ideal time to start baking, as having a warm, cosy home can really help to beat those cold season blues.

You can make some simple cookies, or go all-out by baking, icing and decorating a stunning Christmas cake. This makes the ideal centrepiece for a party or special meal. Especially, perhaps, for a Christmas in July birthday party.

If you want easy Christmas in July ideas for party catering or something to do with the kids at home, why not take your cue from Christmas cookbooks to see what Christmas in July cake ideas you can come up with? Don’t forget to wear your Christmas apron while you’re cooking up a storm!

Click here to check out some Christmas baking books

Count down for ‘advent’

If you can have Christmas in July, why not advent? All you need to do is count down throughout July instead of December, or for a set period of time before your planned Christmas in July event.

Get hold of a regular advent calendar if you like, or grab a make-your-own advent calendar kit to put together a winter version. You could pop lollies, chocolates or small toys into the slots – there’s no need to fork out a lot of money.

Another way to approach it is to make a list of good deeds to carry out during December. These could be shared between family members and don’t have to be a big deal. Just resolve to take the dog to the beach because he loves it do much, take cookies to your elderly neighbour who lives on her own or help out at a local charity.

It could even be used as the reason to have a winter clear-out. Get the kids to round up the toys they don’t play with any more while you sort through your unwanted clothing. You can then donate the spoils to your local op shop.

Click here to take a look at make-your-own advent calendar kits

Host a Christmas movie screening

A low-key yet lovely way to celebrate Christmas in July is to watch a series of festive films. As most of these are set during winter, it suits the season here in Australia so much better than a summer screening of Love Actually, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Elf.

Don’t forget to don your Christmas sweaters – after all, it’s the perfect season for wearing them. Hot chocolate topped with cream, marshmallows and a dusting of cocoa is of course de rigueur. As is a bowl of popcorn, a box of chocolates or a pack of your favourite savoury snacks. (Such as the mega-popular Arnotts Shapes range.)

For 40 family-friendly Christmas movie ideas to suit all age groups, check out this post.

Click here to see a range of Christmas movies

Get Christmas crafting

Making some Christmas in July crafts with the children is also a great way to spend a chilly or wet July weekend. Once you’re done, you can use these to decorate your home for winter or as Christmas in July party decorations.

Find fantastic Christmas in July craft ideas by investing in a Christmas craft book or some kits, or try searching for Christmas in July ideas on Pinterest. There are just as many things to make for a winter Christmas as there are for the real thing in December.

If you like, you can really go all out in embracing the wintry theme fully. Think snowflakes, cool colours like silver or ice blue, or even making decorations to put on a white Christmas tree.

Find some awesome Christmas craft ideas in this piece.

Click here to explore Christmas craft kits and books

christmas in july party

Consider Christmas party themes

If you’re not sure whether you want to host a Christmas in July theme party, why not take a look at the ideas in this post for inspiration? The concepts covered include a Christmas in July pool party theme that’s ideal for those living in the tropical north.

There are plenty of wintry ideas for those living in the southern states too. You could host a Harry Potter party, plan a winter wonderland or Blue Christmas party. Other possible Christmas in July themes include throwing a festive pyjama party where you all wear onesies or Christmas PJs.

Whether you want to find Christmas in July pool party ideas or are wondering what Christmas in July party favours you could give away, picking a theme is the perfect place to start. You can then think of Christmas in July party games ideas to complement that theme.

Christmas in July party food ideas can include anything, really. Just throw in a pile of Christmas napkins and everyone should be happy, whether you opt for a barbie, a buffet or a roast dinner.

If you know someone who adores Christmas but has a winter birthday, you could think about Christmas in July birthday party ideas too!

Click here to shop for Christmas in July party favours

Click here to find Christmas themed napkins for the table

Exchange Christmas gifts

What better way to enjoy the excitement of Christmas more than once a year than to swap festive gifts with neighbours, family, colleagues or friends?

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to take part. Set a small limit per person, or do as you do in summer and arrange a Secret Santa swap so everyone only has to buy one gift. Again, it’s a good idea to set a spending limit here so everyone feels equal.

Even a little gift like some of their favourite chocolates or lollies, a new novel to read by the fireplace or perhaps a small garment like a pair of Christmas socks will bring a smile to the recipient’s face.

You can find endless Christmas in July gift exchange ideas in the gifts category on this site, where we have present ideas to suit everyone you know.

Share some winter cheer with a lonely neighbour by getting the kids to make a card or baking a cake. Many of the best Christmas in July ideas for seniors are thoughtful ones like that which cost very little.

Wear a Christmas jumper

Christmas-jumpers for kids

Again, the fact that it’s winter here in Australia can be used to your advantage when celebrating Christmas in July. No one wants to wear a jumper when it’s hot and sunny outside, but when it really is winter here it’s the ideal garment.

A Christmas sweater is thus top of our list of Christmas in July dress up ideas. You can find lots of different types of Christmas jumper in this post, or take a look when shopping online to see what you can come up with.

Ugly, rude, funny, sequinned, matching or even one with lights – there are lots of sweaters out there that will leave no one in doubt about the fact that you’re celebrating Christmas in July.

Click here to see an assortment of Christmas jumpers

Tuck into a traditional Christmas roast

Roast turkey with stuffing, pigs in blankets, vegetable side dishes, cranberry sauce and lashings of gravy – it’s how many of our European and American cousins celebrate Christmas during their winter season.

If you do live in New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, SA or Tasmania, then tucking into a warming roast dinner is ideal during wintry weather. What if you live in northern Queensland, the Northern Territory or along the top of WA? Then just crank up the air-con and join in the fun! Just make sure you add some great Christmas in July table decorations to get everyone in the mood.

When your typical Christmas lunch consists of a beach barbecue or backyard gathering, sitting down to a traditional, British-style Christmas roast makes a great change. Get inspired by taking a look at Pinterest or a roast dinner cookbook.

Christmas in July menu ideas you might like to include may be savoury, such as sausagemeat stuffing or Yorkshire pudding. Sweet options, meanwhile, may include Christmas pudding, trifle or a chocolate yule log.

Click here for an assortment of roast cookbooks

Think about Christmas clothing

Look around for Christmas in July clothing ideas and you cannot help but be inspired by the range of options out there. Even for those in the sun-drenched northern states who can’t bear to wear a Christmas jumper.

In fact we have posts on all sorts of Christmas clothing on this site. Did you know there are Christmas scrubs to wear on the wards, for instance? Or about the existence of Christmas leggings and tights, aprons, shirts, socks, earrings, jumpers, dresses and more?

You can even dress up your dog for Christmas in July if you want to – or find the cutest outfit imaginable for a newborn baby. As for those in the north, how about Christmas shorts and swimwear? Or a hat to wear as a simple accessory?

Christmas in July FAQs

Is Christmas in July a real thing?

Christmas in July is indeed a real thing! For some – such as those based in North America or Europe – the now-established tradition means celebrating Christmas during summer as well as winter. In Australia Christmas in July is popular, and events all held all over the country. This way those from the southern hemisphere can also experience a more wintry Christmas.

Who celebrates Christmas in July?

Anyone who wants to can celebrate Christmas in July. In Australia it’s a big thing, and often referred to as Yuletide or Yulefest. This has probably taken off because many Australians have European heritage, and are used to members of their extended families celebrating Christmas during the winter season.

Who started Christmas in July?

Though Christmas in July is a thing throughout Australia, the tradition is said to have its roots in the US. A North Carolina summer camp held festive celebrations on the 24th and 25th July in 1933. These included wintry decor, a Christmas tree and gift-giving. Since then the concept has really taken off, and spread way beyond the USA.

Which Christmas in July ideas do you like best?

From Christmas in July meal ideas for a winter celebration or Christmas in July party ideas for adults and kids to the best Christmas in July gifts for those on a budget, we hope this post – and indeed the entire Christmas in Australia site – provides you with some inspiring ideas!

If you’re seeking decorations for Christmas in July, don’t miss the dedicated decor category, covering everything from where to buy all colours of tree to stockings, crockery, snow globes, cushions, tinsel, crackers, bed linen, flowers and much more.

Join our Facebook group to jumpstart your Christmas planning all year long!

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Regina Gleeson

Regina is a fan of all things Christmas! As the Listings Editor of the popular Families Magazine she was instrumental in putting together the Christmas content in the print publication and on their website since its inception in 2013. She is extremely community-minded and makes it her personal mission to contribute content that is low cost (or free!) and suitable for families. This thirst for knowledge and desire to experience the things she writes about makes her an irreplaceable member of the team.

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