Christmas in July?

Alexandria of Grand Haven asked, "I'm just wondering what the origin of Christmas in July is. Why isn't it Christmas in June?"
Mark Brooky
Jan 9, 2013

 

ANSWER:

You have to be careful using Wikipedia as a source, but in this case it has the best explanation. It's a detailed one that I will try to summarize for you, Alexandria.

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter falls in July, so countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have Christmas events at that time in order to have a winter feel to them. Yes, they also celebrate Christmas there in December, despite it being summer.

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, stores and nightclubs sometimes throw "Christmas in July" sales and promotions in a way to bring the atmosphere of Christmas but with warmer temperatures.

But its origins go back much further.

In the English translation of an 1892 opera called "Werther," a group of children rehearses a Christmas song in July — to which a character responds, "When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season."

The earliest known occasion that the phrase was used literally was in July 1933 at a girls' summer camp in North Carolina. They celebrated with a Christmas tree, gifts and a visit by Santa Claus.

Two years later, it got some national press when the National Recreation Association's journal "Recreation" described what a Christmas in July was like at a girls' camp. In 1940, a Hollywood movie called "Christmas in July" was released. In the story, a man (Dick Powell) is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends and neighbors, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend (Ellen Drew).

U.S. Army, Navy and Postal Service officials, in conjunction with American advertising and greeting card industries, threw a "Christmas in July" luncheon in New York in 1944 to promote an Early Christmas Mailing Campaign for service men and women overseas during World War II. It was repeated in 1945.

I couldn't find anything about Christmas in June, but in the 1950s, Yellowstone National Park hosted a Christmas in August celebration to accommodate an annual performance of Handel's Messiah.

To read more about it and links to more information, click here.

Comments

christopher

Next time you will save a lot of time by simply posting a link to Wikipedia.

LessThanAmused

In the age of Google, Alexandria of Grand Haven, you could've saved yourself, the Tribune folks and their readership, a fair amount of time if you had just typed "Origin of Christmas in July" in the Google search bar. I guarantee you there's enough info garnered doing it that way to give you hours of uninterrupted reading enjoyment.

jackassery

give her a break! I'm less than amused by your crusty comments!Maybe its a big deal to someone to get a question answered by the TRIBUNE!either way,there's a reason this forum is here...to answer questions.I guess you wouldn't have anything to complain about if there was no tribune mailbag.Get a hobby and shut up

LessThanAmused

Jackassery indeed! I've always said self awareness is a good thing. Glad to see you're happy with who you are and willing to share it with all of us. Thanks for the laugh.

 

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.