If you believe everything you see, hear or read in the media, the UK is set to sizzle with a summer heat wave any day now. So, it may seem a little odd that while the mercury sky-rockets on our thermometers and weather forecasters warn of things hotting up, we’re actually celebrating the festive season in the middle of the (potentially blazing hot) summer.
It’s crazy, right? Well… actually it’s not! Did you know that Christmas in July is genuinely a real thing? Yup! People really do celebrate the festive season during the middle of the year – or as our friends in the States call it, Half Way to the Holidays. And while this may seem like a new craze, actually, this celebration has been around for quite some time.
You see, celebrating the festivities in the summer is thought to have been first referenced in an 1892 French Opera, called Werther, where in one scene a group of young children rehearse the performance of a Christmas song during the month of July. The actual term Christmas in July then became popular centuries later across the US in the 1940s, due to a comedy film of the same name. Others argue the term came to be not because of art in some form or another but for purely practical reasons – it was a way for people in the Southern Hemisphere to celebrate the typical ‘White Christmas’ they’d been dreaming of, as December is actually when they experience their summer season, and July sees some of their colder climates. Makes sense, we guess?!
Whatever the true origins of Christmas in July, there’s no denying that over time, the novel ideas have started to gain traction across the UK and the rest of Europe, but rather than being for practical reasons, it’s simply a fun way for people to do some early Christmas shopping in the sales, grab a couple of bargains, and help Santa to start preparing his sleigh slightly ahead of schedule. As well as the practical sales and fun advertising campaign stuff, in some areas of Italy, the idea of Christmas in July has taken on a deeper meaning, with the event becoming a celebration of love, peace and friendship, with family get-togethers, town-wide events and lots of lovely decorations.
So, to harness the spirit of Christmas in July, if you’re wanting to bring a festive flavour to your home or just to make a start on your yuletide shopping, here at Department 56, we have a selection of lovely pieces that will make your home look festivities-ready in no time at all!
Take a look at this fun and frivolous piece from our own collection – named the Candy Striper Model Building. If you’ve ever wondered how candy canes get their stripes, then this whimsical factory at the North Pole reveals all of their trade secrets! The tiny stools and buckets of brightly coloured paint offers industrious elves the chance to add creative stripes to a freshly made rotating candy stick. A totally adorable piece and the perfect addition to your collection of festive ornaments that is sure to be loved this Christmas in July and the whole year through.
If villages and scenescapes aren’t quite your thing, and figurines make you feel a little more festive, then check out these adorable Christmas Snow Gnomes. With stock due in at the start of September, you can get your hands on this super sweet Snow Gnome Family, sharing a special time together. Carrying their mini Christmas trees and each topped with a real tassel on their hats, they’re wrapped up warm against the cold and have their little dear friend with them. This item is the perfect figurine to help being a little Christmas cheer to your home, and works well as either a standalone piece or can be displayed with other Gnomie pals, like Snow Gnome with Bear, or the hanging festive ornament, Hangin’ with my Gnomies.
With lots of stock due in soon, if there’s something on the site that takes your fancy, don’t forget you can register your email address and we’ll notify you as soon as that piece is available to buy. And who cares if it’s a little later than Christmas in July?