Christmas in July
Well first off, Merry Christmas (in July) everyone! So just how did this non-holiday come to be? And why July and not June, the true half-mark of the year?
Legend has it that the first Christmas in July event began in 1933 at a girls’ camp in North Carolina, where a creative camp co-founder conjured the idea to add holiday-themed festivities, including carolers, a decorated tree, Santa and a handcrafted gifts exchange. A1940’s movie by the same name brought the concept of Christmas in July to pop culture, and in the 1950’s, retailers begame using the event as a sales promotion.
Today, many Jersey coastal towns observe the quasi-holiday by creating holiday-themed events. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the winter holidays at the shore, head to Stone Harbor for Santa and Mrs. Claus’ annual Holiday at the Shore. They’ll start their summer vacation today at the Reeds at Shelter Haven at noon. The couple will be spending the week and making appearances at shops, restaurants, and of course, the beach! A full schedule of events is available at the Welcome Center. Or you can visit with Santa and get pictures taken at Excursion Park in Sea Isle from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. For the older crowd, MudHen Brewing Company in Wildwood is featuring a night of festivities including giveaways, pictures with Santa & Mrs. Clause, live music, cocktails & great food. The Ludlam Bar and Grill is also getting in the holiday spirit with a party tonight from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, featuring Dueling Pianos outside and a Celtic Band and Irish Dancers inside.
To make your own fun, consider hosting a festive dinner, do a gift exchange or decorate your beach house. One year my family did a secret Santa exchange but, instead of actual gifts, we gave experiences such as a sunset happy hour spread, a free ice cream cone or an offer to set up someone’s beach chair, umbrella and cooler and bring it all back for them. It’s a great way to get creative and show your family members how much they mean to you.
So while the temps soar at the shore, bring a little holiday magic in to cool things down. Enjoy your summer holiday!