Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays- like to the point that growing up, I could never sleep the night before and I was up all night, waiting in anticipation. And by 7am (our family’s designated Christmas morning wake-up time), I was completely ready with hair, make-up, and nails done, having already read a book or two while waiting to get ready. So, it should come as no surprise that I love the Christmas season and want to enjoy it throughout the year.
A few years ago we started celebrating “Christmas in July” at our house, partly as something to look forward to as the summer dragged on, and partly because I love celebrating Christmas! We’ve incorporated some our favorite Christmas traditions into a celebration that we look forward to all year long.
We always make Christmas cookies and listen to Christmas music (and there’s usually some Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers playing since that transports me to my childhood!). In December, we always make multiple kinds of cookies (we love cookies!) including cut-out sugar cookies, but for Christmas in July, we keep it super easy and just do sugar cookies. I typically buy unfrosted, round sugar cookies from the grocery store but we always make homemade frosting and pull out all of the sprinkles and toppings.
Of course, the kids snack while they’re decorating. In Ellie’s case, it’s usually one sprinkle on the cookie, and then one in her mouth. And they ask repeatedly if they can eat the cookies as they frost, but we save them for the end.
The kids love putting their personal touches on the cookies and it’s fun seeing their personalities come out in their decorating. I have one specific child whose goal is to get on as much frosting/sprinkles as possible which makes the cookies absolutely disgusting to everyone but him… so he gets to eat everything he decorates (smart kid!). And a couple kids are very particular with their decorating and sprinkle placement is a precision-task.
After the cookies are decorated, it’s time for dinner and a movie. Growing up, our Christmas Eve tradition was to go see a Christmas movie at the movie theater and then come home and have pizza for dinner. We’ve continued that tradition with our kids but adapted it a bit depending on the year. If there’s not a Christmas movie in theaters or the years that our kids weren’t old enough/cooperative enough to sit through a movie, we watch classic Christmas cartoons at home while we have our pizza, so that’s what we do for Christmas in July, too.
And it wouldn’t be Christmas in July without some presents! Now, while we may go all out on Christmas, we absolutely do not go all out for Christmas in July. Typically I just wrap up things that I found on clearance at Target and have sitting in my closet, but I make sure to use Christmas paper or bags so that it’s extra special.
Every once in awhile their gifts will have more value, but they’re technically things that we were already going to pay for so it’s not like it’s costing us additional money. One year, the kids got tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party as their Christmas gift– we were already planning on going, but Christmas in July gave us the opportunity to surprise them with the trip in a fun way!
I think my absolute favorite part of Christmas in July is the chance to do something together as a family. As the kids get older, I know they’ll want to spend more and more time with friends or they’ll be busy with jobs and activities, but at least for now, they look forward to this day in July and it’s a can’t-miss event for them. And I get to spend time surrounded by those that I love, eating cookies and listening to Christmas carols– what could be better?
Does your family celebrate Christmas in July?? What’s your favorite Christmas tradition??