Ready to start (or continue) the Christmas in July tradition? Here are fun ideas on how to do it.
Ever since my toddler became obsessed with Frosty the Snowman, our family has celebrated Christmas in July. Yes, even now that he’s a teen. I don’t know anyone who loves lights, carols and Christmas magic more than he does. We look forward to Christmas in July as a fun break from typical summer days. It also serves as a reminder to kickstart holiday planning. Whether you love the traditional feel of Christmas or want to add a summertime twist to your festivities, you’ll love these ideas.
Indulge in Holiday-Themed Foods
- Make snowman pancakes. Stack different sized pancakes on plates to resemble snowmen. Use chocolate chips for eyes and buttons, then decorate with whipped cream and powdered sugar “snow.”
- Work together in the kitchen to make a favorite meal or dessert usually reserved for the holidays.
- Use cookie cutters to cut watermelon and honeydew into Christmas tree shapes.
- Cool off with snow cones topped with red (cherry or strawberry) and green (lemon-lime or green apple) flavorings.
- Roast snowmen s’mores: Use a food-safe pen to draw faces and buttons on stacked marshmallows before roasting over an outdoor firepit. Don’t forget the red and green sprinkles!
Host a Gift Exchange
If you’re including friends or other family members in your celebration, host a white elephant gift exchange or draw names for Secret (Surfin’) Santa. Encourage guests to exchange favorite summer items such as beach balls, sand toys, lip balm, or cocktail mix for the adults. Set a price limit so everyone is on the same page.
Pay it Forward (aka Joy to the World)
Brighten the day of neighbors and friends by delivering treat bags filled with Christmas-themed items: crafts and stickers for young families, or a DVD, popcorn, and glow sticks for tweens.
Create an acts of kindness calendar after brainstorming ways to give back daily or weekly. Be sure to get the kids’ input to increase buy-in. Check our list of family-friendly ideas for inspiration: www.sandiegofamily.com/things-to-do/donations-volunteers-and-local-fundraisers/random-acts-of-kindness.
Ho-Ho Holiday Activities
- Make a playlist of family favorite holiday songs. In our household, Christmas music and movies get unlimited play time in July.
- Host a Christmas movie night complete with festive twinkle lights and a frozen hot chocolate or popcorn station with fun toppings to mix in.
- Have a “snowball” fight with white or red and green water balloons.
- Build a “snowman” at the beach or in a sandbox. When you do, be sure to post on IG, tag @sandiegofamilymagazine and use #ShareSanDiegoFamily.
- Sneak in some summer writing practice by writing a letter to Santa just to say hi and see how toy production is going. Be sure the kids tell him how good they’ve been so far this year.
- Get your Christmas card photo done by taking a perfect San Diego sunset family portrait at the shore. We recommend reaching out to Chris at All Colors Photography for family photos. How awesome to have something checked off your list early!
- Make a wreath adorned with tropical flowers, flamingos or cocktail umbrellas.
- Hold an ugly sun hat contest. Supply hats, silk flowers, pompoms, ribbon, and any other craft supplies in holiday colors that you have on hand. Let the decorating begin!
Be an Early Bird
- With Christmas already on the brain, it’s a great time to do some early shopping to prevent the stress of rushing around later. If nothing else, gather small, nonperishable gifts as stocking stuffers and put them away. You’ll thank yourself in December.
- Do your kids usually give handcrafted gifts to family members? A lazy summer day is the perfect time to visit a pottery shop or paint studio. Think of the long lines and last-minute runs to the craft store you’ll avoid.
- Our family enjoys reading a different holiday book each night in December. If you curate a collection of Christmas books, preview some from the library now (while they’re all available), then purchase a few favorites that will be ready for your holiday book basket reveal.
Cherie Gough is a local writer who finds joy in celebrating life’s everyday pleasures with her two children.