Christmas in July: fun facts and history!

Australia’s “Christmas in July” celebration is somewhat unusual and some even suggest a slightly eccentric festival that now draws international travelers to the land of Australia. Christmas in July’ or Yulefest as it is also known, is believed to have been born by accident one snowy night in July 1980 at an award-winning ‘Mountain Heritage’ boutique hotel in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. A group of Irish guests noted the irony of the winter weather in July and, wanting to recreate the feelings associated with winter at home, asked the hotel owner if he could organize some Christmas meals and festivities for them that evening. Thus Christmas was born in July sporting Christmas decorations, snowmen, mulled wine, carols, roast dinners, mince pies, plum pudding, eggnog, candy, Christmas cookies, log fires and the occasional snow amongst a magical Winter Yuletide Wonderland festivities.

The idea spread quickly and now in July, the peak season for Australian snowfields, Christmas decorations and special events are meticulously planned to attract visitors to the snow-themed Yulefest celebrations. Many families now enjoy winter vacations in the snowfields where they build snowmen while watching Santa Claus in the distance zigzagging through the snow slides. HoHOho-ing!

Interestingly, the earliest reference for the phrase ‘Christmas in July’ was in July 1933 at a girls’ summer camp in North Carolina, USA. The term later gained momentum with the release of the comedy film of Hollywood ‘Christmas in July’ in 1940. Later in 1942, Calvary Baptist Church in the US celebrated ‘Christmas in July’ with a ‘Christmas in July Gifts’ sermon which also included the erection of a tree Christmas, which at the end of the sermon would be covered with donations and gifts from the congregation. The donations and gifts are then distributed to missions around the world. In 1946 this annual service began to be broadcast on local radio. It wasn’t until the 1950s that American advertisers led the way for “Christmas in July” themes for sales.

While Yulefest has become an incredibly popular annual Australian unofficial Christmas season, Christmas in July in Copenhagen, Denmark in Bakken is quite unique, with the annual World Congress of Santa Claus. Bakken is a popular amusement park where hundreds of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and elves from all over the world gather to have fun at this festival every year. They put on parades and love to go to the beach for beach paddle boarding every year. It is known to be quite funny to see all these Santas on the beach. The King of Santas for the year is named during this ‘Christmas in July festival’ and many challenging topics are discussed such as what is Santa’s true homeland and what size of gifts to give. There are even shaky giggle contests as part of the festivities at this fun event.

Here are some universal thoughts on some of the symbols associated with Christmas in July:

– Red is the main color of Christmas in July – it represents the magical flow of life, the blood that flows within us all – so remember to let your love, passion and energy flow. Commit to showing your love a little more each day and to doing what you do, however small you consider it, with a little more love and enthusiasm each day and you will discover a new passion for life within you and a new flow of energy.

– The second color of Christmas in July is green: greenery reminds us to honor the eternal transformative element of nature. Everything is radiating energy. Energy doesn’t die, it just transforms. Green eases our heart knowing that we are part of an endless cycle that is disbursed and reborn again.

– The combination of red and green on the color wheel: red and green are opposites and opposites create balance. These two prominent colors of Christmas in July draw us into a deep unconscious connection to the harmony and peace that we all seek within. The Christmas wreath has red and green and is tied with a ribbon to remind us that we are all tied up; We are for each other!