Christmas in July is gaining support in Australia, with more people participating every year. Some, however, feel that it’s just another fake celebration (see also: advertising opportunity) sold to us by American television. Before you dismiss Christmas in July entirely, though, I’d like to make my case in favour of this weird event.
The traditional Christmas lunches we see from the UK and USA are perfect for a chilly winter Christmas, but that hot roast is a bit harder to swallow when you’re sweltering through an Australian summer. Christmas in July is the perfect excuse to do a big, hearty cook up of all your favourite northern hemisphere dishes, in the climate for which they were intended (although, to be fair, this is more relevant in the southern states). It also means you can have a more climate-appropriate meal in December, without worrying that you’ll miss your chance to enjoy those crispy potatoes and gravy.
Christmas can come with a range of pressures, many centred around family. Who is hosting; which event you should attend with which relatives; will Aunty Chris get drunk before the presents have been handed out; will Jason’s parenting style drive you up the wall (children need boundaries!) … on and on it goes. Christmas in July can have all the joy of Christmas, without the pressure to spend it with anyone in particular. It’s not specifically a family event, so you can feel free to enjoy the time with ‘chosen family’, blood-related or not.
Which brings me to my third argument in favour of Christmas in July … the people. In our increasingly busy, social-media focused world, sometimes an excuse to slow down and spend time with the people you love face-to-face can be a real blessing. Christmas in July lacks the tradition of a December Christmas, so it can be whatever works best for you. It’s really just an excuse to spend time with friends and family – or to cook yourself a beautiful meal, turn off your phone, lock the doors and binge-watch your favourite TV show with your feet up all by yourself. Whatever works for you.
Finally, in the spirit of ‘any excuse to sell you something’, Christmas in July has swept the nation. There are events in every state and territory, from sound and light displays in Sovereign Hill in Victoria to a terrible Christmas sweater competition in Perth. Many businesses will put on a special Christmas dinner, so celebrating Christmas in July can mean nothing more strenuous than booking a night out to eat a hearty meal, which brings us back to where it all started – the food.
What do you think? Is Christmas in July a winter wonderland for food and friends, or is it just another blatant attempt to convince you to part with your hard-earned dollars (and sense)?