I’m not sure why, but the hot summer days of July usually inspire people to start thinking about Christmas. Over the decades, we have all heard the saying “Christmas in July” and many people take it to heart with large celebrations. Christmas in July has been popular since it’s origin in 1935 when Santa made an appearance at a girl’s summer camp in South Carolina. The jolly old guy entertained the campers with Christmas songs, gift giving and filling camper laundry bags with candy. Shortly after that in 1940, Hollywood popularized the concept with a movie comedy called Christmas in July. This year, thanks to the pandemic and a scaled back version of Christmas 2020, kids and adults alike could use a bit of Christmas magic.
Hickory Hollow Campground will be honoring the tradition of Christmas in July with some fun festivities on July 17 and 18th. Campers are encouraged to decorate their camp sites with holiday décor, shop at the camp store for some seasonal bargains, and arrange special gift delivery from Santa and his elf.
Pulling off a July Christmas party can be fun and easy when you put a summer spin on it. The first thing to consider is how you will “deck the campsite.” Maybe your site is close to a small tree that can be decorated with fun summer items like flipflops, sunglasses, or Frisbee’s. That small artificial tree just sitting in the spare room would also work decorated with some popcorn garland, painted seashells or glitter pinecones. Lights are always great, so go ahead and string up some inside and outside the RV for that festive glow that is sure to get other campers in the spirit. Decorated camp sites will be judged at 9pm on Saturday, July 17 at Hickory Hollow, so you have plenty of time to get the site festive and join in on the fun. Let your campers decide how festive they want to get, but even the smallest decorations can add that little bit of magic to the weekend.
Christmas is certainly more than the exchange of gifts but organizing a secret Santa gift exchange with some fellow campers, or prearranging a special surprise to be delivered from the campground Santa might be fun. Prewrapped gifts can be dropped off at the office to be delivered during the afternoon on Saturday, July 17th when Santa will be riding his golf cart through the campground posing for photos and entertaining with the kids.
Putting a Christmas spin on some outdoor games, like sack races or treasure hunts, could be a fun way to liven up a Christmas in July outdoor party. Abby, Hickory Hollow’s Activity Director, has some organized crafts and fun activities planned for the children during the weekend, so please check out the schedule in the camp office when you arrive.
An ugly Christmas sweater might not be the coolest idea for a hot July afternoon, but think about making a statement with a Christmas themed t-shirt or an ugly tropical shirt. Holiday parties usually involve some shimmer and glitter, so ladies, go ahead and wear those rhinestone earrings or fancy tops with your jean shorts or keep it simple by just wearing red, white and green and adding a few accessories to show off your Christmas style. A Santa hat, holiday socks, Christmas LED bulb necklace or sunglasses would certainly do the trick.
We might be celebrating Christmas in July, but after spending time in the hot summer sun, you’ll want to cool off with some beverages. If you’re trying to bribe Santa, eggnog might not be the best beverage to serve on a hot day, but a nice cold Miller Lite might do the trick. Remember to keep lots of thirst-quenching non-alcoholic drinks on hand as well, to keep everyone hydrated on those hot summer days. For a refreshing holiday twist, try adding some fresh berries, mint leaves, or cranberries to an ice cube tray and toss into drinks for a festive splash. You can even put small sticks in them and give to the kids for small popsicle like treats. Frozen hot chocolate is another cooler version of a winter favorite that is yummy for the kids and can easily be turned into an adult cocktail by adding a shot of liqueur to enjoy while sitting around the campfire. Let the kids try a new smore activity around the campfire this weekend too; just put some marshmallows on a skewer and give them an icing pen to decorate them like snowmen. Fun, and it keeps the dirty hands out of the marshmallow bag. Try adding some food coloring to your popcorn and make it red and green for a festive treat or serving cut out gingerbread cookies decorated in a summer pattern to add a little fun to your camp snacks.
If you are camping at Hickory Hollow this weekend, we encourage you to join in on the Christmas in July festivities. But whether you participate or not, remember the idea of Christmas is simple; loving others and sharing the gift of time and good cheer are the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas, no matter what time of year you celebrate.