Tis the season: Our best Christmas in July ideas and projects
Here in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas usually means prawns and watermelon and Santa in boardshorts. Maybe sweating over a Christmas pudding if you're really dedicated. It's not the ideal season for a lot of traditional Christmas-sy things like egg nog and silly jumpers and snow-topped fir trees. Which is probably why some bright spark invented Christmas in July. A fabulous excuse for mid-year celebrations with family and friends. And, finally, our chance for a traditional Christmas party with all the fun (winter-specific) trimmings.
So pop on your best Christmas jumper, snuggle up with a mug of hot cocoa and get inspired with our jolliest ever Christmas in July ideas. Whether it's a traditional roast dinner, a festive party with friends, or a staff cocktail evening, it's time to spread some Christmas in July joy.
Deck the halls with Christmas in July decorations
Here's a chance to get another run out of your Christmas decor stash. Haul out the tree and trim it with all your favourite baubles and tinsel and sparkly things. Plug in some fairy lights and let their warm glow get you in the festive mood. Non-seasonal decorations work well, too. Think foil curtains, paper lanterns, pretty streamers and balloons.
Or get crafty with coloured paper and tape and whip up some fun DIY garlands. If you've got kids around, they'll love helping out on this - you could even recycle some old Christmas cards with glitter and glue.
Christmas in July Project: Whether you're planning a sit-down dinner or a party snack table, get inspired with our Table Setting project, which brings together two of our favourite things: food and shiny decorations.
Setting the yuletide mood in the middle of the year
Whether your Christmas in July celebrations are happening at home or in the office, a jolly soundtrack will help your guests get in a festive mood. Artists from Bing Crosby to Mariah Carey and Sia have put out Christmas albums, so you've got lots of tracks to choose from for your party playlist.
Scents are also great for setting a Santa-time scene. Look for scented candles or diffusers charged with perfumes like cinnamon, peppermint, orange or cloves for an instant Christmas vibe.
Don't forget to encourage dress-ups, too! Ask guests to come in their finest Christmas attire, whether that's Santa hats and reindeer earrings or a whole lot of red and green, metallics and faux fur.
Christmas in July Project: Stuck for something to wear? Try our DIY Christmas Jumper project for a look that's cute and festive, and just a bit silly too. All it takes is a bit of tinsel and some pom poms for a classic Christmas look.
Christmas in July feasts, sweets and treats
Some of us manage to cook a traditional Christmas lunch every December, but there's no denying the cool weather makes it a bit easier in July! Embrace all the tasty Northern Hemisphere customs with a sit-down roast with all the trimmings: glazed ham, stuffed turkey, nut roast, cranberry sauce, yummy vegetables and Yorkshire pud.
Or maybe just skip to dessert? How about a Christmas in July high tea with pudding, fruit mince pies and yummy seasonal biscuits?
Mulled wine, hot toddies and brandy and rum-based cocktails are perfect for boozy get-togethers. And for those who'd rather not partake, think egg nog, warm (non-alcoholic) punch and hot cocoa with lashings of marshmallow.
Christmas in July Project: These lovely Ginger Bread cookies are great for baking solo or with kids, and they taste (and smell!) exactly like Christmas. Serve as party treats for guests, or pop some in a tote bag for cute Christmas in July gift-giving.
Fun and festive things to do
Cracking games and activities will give your Christmas in July do an extra festive feel. Throwing a staff party? Why not include some Christmas-themed pub trivia with prizes, or karaoke singalongs with plenty of seasonal tunes?
If you're at home with family and friends, you could try a Christmas movie marathon - everything from Frozen to Die Hard is acceptable, depending on your guest list! A game or two of charades is great fun for all ages, or just go on a family stroll after your big Christmas in July lunch. It's a lovely moment for togetherness (and a nice pause before dessert).
Party prep is a great time to start getting festive with Christmas crafts for you and your household - especially any children who want to get involved. Get busy making decorations and small presents for the whole family.
Christmas in July Project: Our handmade bon bons project will keep your hands busy in the run-up to your Christmas in July event (and maybe your kids' hands, too), plus it makes for a great activity for guests on the day. Personalised treats and skilly jokes are just a bonus.