Start a fun tradition by celebrating Christmas in July! Bring the magic of Christmas time to your house this summer!
Celebrate Christmas in July
It’s no secret I am a huge fan of Christmas. Every year, my Christmas tree has been making its appearance earlier and earlier in the season. Last year, my tree was up in September because I needed a Halloween themed tree.
At this point, I’ve decided to just dive on in and celebrate Christmas in July. It’s added a layer of excitement and fun to our summer and we are excited to continue this tradition for years to come.
My kids have enjoyed every step of planning our Christmas in July celebration. There has been constant chatter about Santa Clause, presents, and cookies. Since they are 3, 4, and 9 years old, their Christmas magic is something that fills my heart.
I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, no, I am NOT rigging up the lights, bringing the Christmas tree up from the basement, and definitely not dealing with all those glittery ornaments. “
This is not what we’re aiming for! We want this to be a stress-free little glimpse of Christmas time, with a summer twist! There is nothing like actual Christmas time! This little pit stop holiday is just a fun little way to bring a smile to your face- without the holiday pressure and stress!
Without further adieu, here are my best tips to create a stress-free Christmas in July!
Plan your activities
The holidays are filled with a few different components. Decor, activities, food, and gifts make Christmas time so much fun!
Planning your activities with your family will ensure everyone involved has fun and knows what to expect, so they’ll be excited!
Ask your children for their input to get them hyped up for the holiday. Make a list and hang it on the fridge for everyone to see and contribute to.
Plan what decor you will unpack, what games will be played, what meals will be cooked, and if you are in a gift-giving mood, what gifts will be exchanged!
Christmas in July decor
Ask your kids what Christmas decor is their favorite. They’ll likely say the best part is the Christmas tree! Setting up a small Christmas tree (or your regular sized one) with a few strings of lights and a handful of decorations can be a fun afternoon project.
When I think of Christmas, I think about the warm ambiance of the glowing Christmas lights. Adding Christmas lights to your summertime decor is a perfect way to blend both seasons.
I added white lights to my Christmas tree, then hung sea glass ornaments and little white starfish. The coastal theme incorporated summer and it fits right in!
Blast some Michael Buble over the speakers, make some hot chocolate, and enjoy the excitement of decorating. You don’t have to go all out (or maybe you do!), but make it easier by focusing on decorating one room. This makes it stress-free and easier to clean up after.
Pro tip: Make this process easier by stringing some fairy lights on your tree and making your own ornaments. The kids will love this fun, festive activity and it’s great bonding time!
Christmas in July activities
Decorating the Christmas tree is an activity in itself, but there are plenty of fun things to do on the day you celebrate. Since it’s summertime, enjoy your holiday outdoors if you can!
Have an ugly t shirt contest
We’ve all heard of the ugly Christmas sweater parties, but when it’s summertime, it’s time to break out the ugly t-shirts!
Hit up your local thrift store and grab the ugliest t-shirt you can find! You know the kind, the 80’s t-shirts with the balloon sleeves? Perfect. The winner can pick the Christmas movie of the night!
You can vary this activity with other articles of clothing, like bathing suits, socks, pajamas, or even ugly hairstyles!
Not everything needs to be Christmas themed! Grab a game board and play a few games with your family for some fun times and good memories!
Places like Dollar General, Five Below, Target, and Walmart all have new games that are fun and cheaply priced.
Have a dance party
Alexa, play “rocking around the Christmas tree!”
Blast some fun music and get your groove on! Christmas music literally never stops playing in my house, it’s not a seasonal idea. We. love. Christmas!!
This is such an easy, free, and fun activity and it can get silly real quick! Challenge your kids to show you their silliest Christmas dances- the house will be filled with laughter!
Spread Christmas cheer
My all-time favorite part of Christmas time is the holiday cheer. People donate their time, money, and gifts for the greater good, and it just warms my heart.
Spread some Christmas cheer and bake some cookies for your local fire department, police department, military base (the gate guards are always hungry!), homeless shelter, or anywhere that you would like!
Donate dog or cat food to the local animal shelter. They usually take donations of toys and leashes, too!
Pick a charity to donate to. It can be a donation of time, money, or products!
Gift exchange ideas
Parent tip: Since we are celebrating Christmas in July, we reassure our children that Santa returns every December, but parents buy little presents for the July celebration.
Exchanging gifts for this midyear celebration is fun, festive, and really embraces the Christmas time feel!
Set a budget per person and stick to it! If you have older kids, allow them to be part of the process of shopping or crafting.
Here are a few of my favorite things to buy that make great gifts.
- Books– A good book and a snuggly blanket never go out of season! The smell of new pages is something that really gets my serotonin going, ha! If you have young kids that will eventually rip the pages (looking at you, Cortland and Evelyn), look at second-hand books from your local library, thrift store, or even the free libraries that are placed in neighborhoods.
- Candy- This is an obvious choice, but I like to look for uncommon candies. Five Below is a great place for little candies that you won’t find at just an old convenience store. Take this opportunity to visit your local chocolatier or order that foreign candy that you really love!
- Trinkets- My favorite word is “trinkets.” They will eventually meet the fate of the black garbage bag after I’ve stepped on one of the broken bits, but in the meantime, they are fun and keep the kiddies occupied for all of 5 minutes. I limit the number of trinkets I buy, but I grab one or two!
- Stationary- Coloring books, notepads, writing utensils, and any other stationery related products are great to give to kids and adults.
- Hand made goods– Whether you make these handcrafted gifts or buy them from a local, there is always something special and sentimental about gifts that are made with you in mind!
Food is the glue for any celebration. If I show up at your party, just know that I am hitting the food table first. Food has a way of bringing everyone from all walks of life to the table to gather and enjoy.
When I was growing up, Christmas was made extra special because we celebrated with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It’s an Italian tradition that is filled with all sorts of seafood dishes. You never left Aunty Teresa’s house without smelling like fried fish!
Here are a few hearty, delicious, and easy meals to throw together for your perfect July Christmas.
- Olive and herb focaccia is made quicker than the traditional recipe with a few easy adjustments. This Italian bread is full of fresh herbs, cured olives, and tons of flavor!
- Potato Latkes are a classic Jewish recipe that involves frying shredded potato patties to crisped perfection. Top them with sour cream for an extra delicious treat!
- Every good dinner starts with these Rosemary Garlic Dinner Rolls. The smell of fresh rosemary and warm bread will be so enticing, it’s hard to wait for them to cool!
- Parmesan Creamed corn is a tasty and easy twist on your holiday favorite! This 10-minute stovetop recipe is an effortless side dish with unbeatable flavor!
- Cheesy Potato Au Gratin is made with scalloped russet potatoes and a mixture of creamy mozzarella cheese and nutty parmesan cheese. This is a dish the holidays calls for!
- This herb and lemon whole chicken is oven roasted with fresh lemons, garlic, and garden picked herbs like rosemary and thyme. The skin is crispy and the meat is juicy!
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts is easily made in one pan in under thirty minutes. Crispy, crunchy, and juicy!
- Penne au Gratin made easy! This saucy meal is the soul food of all American- Italian food! Spicy Italian sausage is pan-seared with peppers and mushrooms and baked in alla vodka sauce with loads of cheese and penne pasta. This is a fabulous meal to feed a large hungry family!
- One-Pan Creamy Lemon Chicken is a simple and satisfying meal that comes together in a half-hour or less. With butter and creamy lemon sauce, this seared chicken recipe is satisfying for the whole family!
- This easy penne alla vodka with prosciutto is made with al dente penne pasta that is tossed in a delicious tomato, vodka, and cream sauce. Top this easy and classic Italian pasta dish with some parmesan cheese for a delicious dinner!
End the night with a movie
Netflix has put Elf back on its menu, and it’s been playing nonstop in my house. Since you’ll be making a delicious dinner and probably be super stuffed, end the night on an easy note.
We decided to exchange gifts after dinner and close the night with a fun Christmas movie and a hot chocolate bar. We broke out all the fun fixings like sprinkles, candy canes, marshmallows, and chocolate spoons to make our hot chocolate bar even more fun.
Prepare your living room with tons of pillows and soft blankets, then pig pile on your couch and decide which movie to put on (unless the winner of the ugly t-shirt contest has already decided!)
Remember, you don’t have to go all out to have a great time celebrating! Since this is the mid-year point, we did 50% of the effort. The Christmas tree was decorated with (less than half) of our ornaments, there were only a few gifts exchanged, and yet everyone had as much fun as they do on Christmas day.
This holiday is all about making special memories and enjoying togetherness, so make this as easy as possible! Hearing Christmastime chatter from your kids will make this worth it!