Connecting Readers and Writers to the Word: Christmas in July

As reported in an article, “How a North Carolina Summer Camp Started Christmas in July” written by Maria Carter (7/13/17), the legend of “Christmas in July” began in 1933 at the Keystone Summer Camp for girls, located at Brevard, N. C. Two days, July 24 and 25, were dedicated to this special celebration. Original decorations included fake snow, ornamented trees, gift exchanges, carolers, and Santa, of course.

The origins of the phrase commenced with an 1892 French opera based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther.”

In addition, Christmas in July is observed in the southern hemisphere, where people in places like Australia and New Zealand choose to celebrate the holiday in the months when weather is more like December.

Festivities for Christmas in July was not intended as a ploy to boost retailer and/or greeting card manufacturers. Christmas in July doesn’t have to be extravagant gift-wise. Last year, my daughter and I celebrated Christmas in July by exchanging a small homemade, inexpensive gift, and watching a Christmas movie.

Of course, the prospects of inside/outdoor family gatherings are uncertain as we weather the storm of this pandemic, however, we could all use something special to commemorate. Consider giving your loved ones some trendy items that will make their summer more fun—pool floats, colorful beach towels, a new pair of sunglasses, or pretty shades of nail polish for a summer pedicure. The item could simply be a love note, something from your closet, or shelf that one of your family members have been eyeing for years. And since its best we continue to shelter in place and not in anyone else’s place, leave the selected item(s) on the front porch of that special person you’d like to recognize.

While I realize everyone is not a baker like me, baked goods is another alternative to add to the celebration. Store bought or homemade cookies, cakes, or pies would do the trick. Other ideas are card games, playing your favorite Christmas carols, watching your favorite Christmas movie, reading a good book, or even writing your own Christmas in July story.

To add, the Atlanta Journal Constitution has provided a list of weekend activities in the metro Atlanta and surrounding cities. If you live elsewhere, Google Christmas in July celebration in your city or state.

Whatever you do this weekend, add a little joy to your life! You deserve it.

Stay safe, stay well, and stay blessed.

Vanessa Fortenberry,
Teacher-Librarian, M.Ed., Media, Ed.S., Media, Reading Endorsement

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