Christmas in July is a fun and funky little Southern tradition that mixes cool winter decorations with the hottest temperatures of the year. Well we've all had a tough year and we could all use an extra dose of Christmas cheer, so let's talk about what we can do to end this July on a positive note.
Get ready to spread a little Santa Claus-level happiness and make 2020 a little bit better for each of us. Here are 20 neat ways you can throw a really fun 2020 Christmas in July party. All you gotta do is trade your ugly Christmas sweater for a Christmas tank top.
1. Go Christmas Caroling Zoom Parties:
It's really hard to go caroling if you have a face mask on and who wants to stand out in the streets when the sun is baking down on you. BUT we all have a friend who really loves Christmas. Maybe they also have a birthday in summer. Well, get your friends together and surprise them with a Christmas Carol Zoom Party. Just rehearse beforehand so the sound doesn't overlap and you'll have a very a cappella Christmas
2. Get started on you Christmas shopping.
Look, the dark side of Christmas for most people is the financial impact that the season has on all of us. I don't know about you all, but I definitely wind up eating a lot of mac and cheese in the weeks before the Christmas so I can afford gifts for everyone.
Well, why don't you start now?
These days everyone has an Amazon wishlist or a hobby/interest that you can exploit. Or you can find the perfect unique gift on Etsy. Either way, get it now and sock it away for the season of sharing.
3. Christmas In July Beach Day/Thirst Trap Photo Sesh
You proud of your beach body? Like your days in the sun? Well, get out there and do a Christmas in July beach shoot.
Get your cutest red and white swimsuit and your Santa hat. Make snow angels out of sand. Make your own little Frosty the Sandman. Take a cute photo of yourself nibbling on a Christmas Cookie. Get them likes!
(obviously, respect the rules of social distancing and don't be a fool. Them pandemics are real)
4. Hallmark Christmas Movie drinking game
Many people list Hallmark Christmas movies as a guilty pleasure, and why not? They're simple, fun stories with cheesy production values, cliches galore, and happy endings aplenty. No how much of a savvy, sophisticated viewer you are, the saccharine sweetness of the average Hallmark Christmas movie is gonna catch you every time.
Well why not get online with some friends and make a drinking game of it? Here are some rules below. Stay safe and happy drinking.
5. Instead of Christmas cookies, make Christmas Watermelon shapes
Cookies are great and they work a treat no matter what time of year it is, but the best treats are the ones that keep you cool. So dust off the seasonal cookie cutters, hollow out a watermelon, and stamp out some fun Christmas shapes out of the watermelon insides?
Naturally, these will fall apart quickly, but they're really cute and worth a few photographs.
6. Just get some Christmas cheer with seasonal spirits.
A lot of Christmas cocktails are made with cinnamon and heavy cream, which is great when you are cold and need something fortifying, but it's not so hot when the temperature is in the hateful 90s. So I found a recipe for a concoction from Inspire by Charm and it looks really tasty.
Here's the recipe: whipped vodka, pink champagne (or sparkling Rosé), and a 2-liter bottle of Cherry 7-up. Just stir it up and start spreading cheer.
7. TikTok dances in Santa Costumes.
If you're young enough to know what a TikTok is, you know that the kids are all dancing and making songs and doing the cosplay and whatever else the young people do.
Well, why don't you get on the trend?
Look, it's all going to be a long time before we can hit the clubs again safely but that doesn't mean we can't dance. And there's a ton of cool Christmas themed performers out there, so why don't you strut your stuff in Santa hats. So shake that bowlful of jelly and make this a summer to remember.
8. Secret Santa Surprises
Inspired by the wine fairies, a group of people on the internet who are making surprise presents of wine and candies to their friends and neighbors, why not make a little secret santa drop to your friends. Get some friends together, pick out some names of people who can use some cheering up, and make them a nice little surprise basket. Christmas cheer can come more than once a year!
9. Christmas Luau
Luaus are a favorite beach party tradition. Get some surf rock going, get some tiki torches lit, carve some watermelons and fill them with very powerful punch, chuck a pig on a spit and get roasting, get dressed up in sexy swimwear and Hawaiian shirt.
And then stick some Christmas lights up and a little plastic tree dead center in the middle of everything.
The two work very well as a kitsch party theme. Just chuck some 1950s Elvis rock and get the party rocking!
But be sure everyone wears masks though.
10. Stuff some beach "stockings" with sunscreen, beach snacks, water toys
One of my favorite little traditions are Christmas stockings. They're a great way to share little treats and candies and whatnot, but they don't only have to be a winter thing. The summer sun is a killer and give that sunscreen a little loving care by popping it in a Christmas stocking. Maybe throw in a little water toy or some snacks for the day and you've brought a little Christmas cheer to healthy skincare.
11. Decorate a potted fern with shells gathered from your most recent beach adventure
As we wander through this vale of tears in the year of our Lord 2020, we have plenty of time to reflect on who we are. As you stroll through the beaches and meadows of your season, why not keep an eye out for beautiful trinkets? Pick up a seashell there, maybe find a cool rock, take some petals off a flower you pass by, and start a collection of small, pretty things.
Then, when your little magpie collection has really become something special, pick up a decorative fern and make a seasonally appropriate summer Christmas tree. You can make something truly unique and special with this.
12. Speaking of elves, dust off your Elf on a Shelf.
Even the Elf of the Shelf needs a break from all that snitching. Just pop a tiny little mask and get some screen shots of the little creep hanging out and enjoying the summer sun.
13. Time to design those holiday cards!
Like my previous suggestion about Christmas shopping, making holiday cards can be a stressful. Photographers are always booked, your idiot kids make every photoshoot a chore, and you always forget someone on the list who sends you a really nice, really thoughtful card.
Well, as RuPaul says (I think) "if you are ready, you don't have to GET ready."
Take some fun snaps in a beach setting. Take selfies wearing your ugly Christmas sweater at the barbecue while everyone else is in cargo shorts. Get a pile of toys and plop them down in the sand. Have fun, get goofy, and get those photos out of the way very early on. It takes one thing off your plate and it's a fun activity to partake in while your brain cells die in quarantine.
14. Visit a year-round Christmas shop.
Strangely enough, there are year-round Christmas stores where the season lasts year-round. They're mostly in tourist-y places but they exist and they're probably a perfect respite from the heat and general crappiness of 2020.
It's so hot here that I can barely think straight. I would prefer winter to this miserable steamy season. I would visit one of these places in a heartbeat.
Anyway, if you don't have a year-round Christmas store in your home prefecture then you can easily do some online shopping. Freshen up your decorations, find a new treasure, and pick a new ornament for your tree. Get at it and have a great time stimulating this troubled economy.
15. Research holiday traditions of your ancestry.
When we think of Christmas, we think of modern traditions. But the roots of the holiday go back a very long time and they've been interpreted differently in each culture that they touch. So why don't you check out the traditions of your ancestral culture. If you have Irish roots, celebrate Nollaig na mBan (women’s Christmas) where the men got to do all the work and prepare a meal for the ladies of the house. If your family hails from Japan, enjoy a strawberry and cream Christmas cake. Try the traditional South African desert called Malva Pudding or attend midnight mass on Nochebuena and come home to a meal of bacalao, ham, turkey, and mole, with ponche to drink.
The world is a big place full of cool things. Discover a few and bring them into your family's traditions.
16. Give generously.
Charity isn't a once a year thing. While many of us are struggling right now, if you have a little extra money handy or a little bit of time to give then you can help make this world a little bit better.
2020 has been gnarly. There a lot of people suffering and struggling out there. If you can give, please do. If there's a charity or organization that will help the people of your town, join them. Make a change and make sure you stay on Santa's nice list.
17. Give the gift of friendship.
Christmas isn't just about going broke and getting fatter. It's also about showing people what you mean to them. This Christmas in July, surprise them with a keepsake of your time together.
My friends and I, sentimental types that we are, have been known to get photo albums made of our adventures. They help remember the love that we have in our lives when the days get a little too stressful.
18. Invite people of your neighborhood to a Social Distance Christmas.
We are all ordered to quarantine, but we're also human beings who need to connect from time to time. My neighborhood in New York has thrown social distance street parties. Well, there's nothing to say that you can't do a neighborhood social distance Christmas! Encourage everyone to bring a small gift of food and treats to share and start whipping up a feast. Keep the liquor merry and bright and you'll have everything you need to rock-rock on!
19. Christmas Movie Marathon
Well, if all else fails, just shut the curtains, crank up the air conditioning, and give yourself a day off to celebrate Christmas in July the American Way: veg out in front of the TV and ignore your relatives.
Here's how I'd do it. Three movies, two television Christmas episodes in between (I favor the Simpsons and Bob Burgers but there's pretty much a Christmas episode for every show out there.) Bake some chocolate chip cookies with peppermints crushed into the dough. Get into your comfiest, flimsiest pajamas, and get cozy.
20. Just put on a Santa hat and eat a bunch of chocolate.
If none of these inspire you, then just strip it down to the basics.
Get a pile of the best quality chocolate. Nothing made in Hershey Pennsylvania and nothing with little white m's on the individual pieces. German and Belgian chocolates are acceptable, either dark or milk chocolate (I favor milk, which mystifies my family, but they also drink their coffee black) and get cracking.
I'm doing that right now. I'm in a tank top and boxer shorts, there is a santa hat on my head, and there's a big pile of empty Neuhaus wrappers at my feet.
Merry friggin' Christmas.