It may come as a surprise that “Christmas in July” was not invented by retailers since its sounds like just another clever marketing idea to juice up slow summer business. This whimsical theme for a sale has become quite popular in recent years, but if it wasn’t invented by Hallmark, big box stores or Santa’s agent – how did it get started?
From the Mouths of Babes
The first mention of “Christmas in July” was in an 1892 opera based on a story by Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther. In the French opera, a group of children were rehearsing a Christmas song in July, when a character responded: “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.” The seed was planted…
Christmas in July: The Summer of 1933
The actual phrase, “Christmas in July”, was coined at a girls summer camp in North Carolina in 1933. Having been a camper from age 6-22, I can imagine how it came about as they searched for a unique theme for an original play. There was a tree, gifts and even a visit from Santa Claus. Word of the charming production spread when it was mentioned in the National Recreation Association Journal in 1935 and was praised for its wonder and mystery around the holiday.
Next came a Hollywood movie in 1940 called Christmas in July. It should have been named, April Fools Day because a man was fooled into believing he won $25K in a contest. This comedy gave the phrase the national attention that was needed for the concept to take hold.
And so it went!
A church in Washington DC, in 1942 celebrated Christmas in July with carols, a tree full of donations and a sermon extolling the virtues of gifting early to missions around the world. The service was broadcast over the local radio in 1946 and went viral.
In 1944 and 1945 the U.S. Post Office and officials from the Army and Navy, collaborated with the advertising and greeting card industry to create a NY Christmas in July luncheon to promote a summer care-package campaign for WWII overseas servicemen.
It didn’t take long for Christmas in July themes to show up in advertising. Print materials for summer Christmas sales can be traced to 1950.
More Fun Facts about Christmas in July
- It is usually celebrated on July 25th.
- Australians love celebrating Christmas in July, their coldest month. Also known as Yulefest, festivities are held on beaches with songs, costumes and beer or at traditional family dinners with all the trimmings.
- The colors red and green are often used in July Christmas celebrations. Red – to show the flow of life, love, passion and energy and green – to connect to the transformative element of nature, radiating energy and rebirth.
- A popular amusement park in Denmark crowns a King of Santas during the July Congress of Santa festival where hundreds of Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and elves parade down to the beach.
The Spirit of the Sale
There are lots of fun ways you can get into the spirit of celebrating the holiday in the summer. We love any excuse for decorating, dressing-up and gift giving and so we are having our own Christmas in July Sale.
It may only be the end of July but there are just 5 months left until Christmas; why not seize the moment? Many people do prefer to leave their holiday shopping to the last minute; waiting for that under the wire intensity to spur them into making a purchase, but a recently published statistic stated that about one-third of holiday shoppers actually start purchasing gifts in September. You could be part of the super early bird shoppers and get some very special gifts this year.
Our Christmas in July Sale features a beautiful collection of quality, one of a kind, handmade jewelry in a variety of styles to suit every woman, in every season. From beachy baubles, to earthy boho pendants; glamorous fall statement necklaces to romantic winter collars.
Snap up some goodies for yourself or for others and enjoy early holiday savings of 20% off everything – NOW through Sunday, July 31, 2016.
No coupon is needed and items are sent in a special gift box upon request. Spread the holiday cheer and kindly share our Sale with friends.
Shop Now and Enjoy!
That history is fascinating!! I had no idea of the origin. Thanks for explaining that. I love all the knowledge and tips you provide in your newsletters.
Thank you, Julie Latz for appreciating tips, history and our blogs.
Loved reading the history behind “Christmas in July”, Roslyn, and here I thought it was just another way to create sales during the summer. Everyone loves a sale, so why not a holiday sale in the summer. Although I haven’t seen any sales being advertised yet, I like your idea of thinking ahead, especially when you see a one-of-a-kind necklace or pair of earrings that you know someone in your life will love! Great idea to extend this sale to everyone now, even though Christmas may not be top of mind for some people who are out and about enjoying summer. All the best and hope some of your beautiful pieces are bought up for either personal use or as gifts!
Beverley Golden,cChristmas shopping is probably the very last thing on people’s minds in this heat wave, but if the power of suggestion holds, thinking of winter holidays, can be cooling. Time does pass so quickly that taking advantage, not only of the sale price, but of the uniqueness of each necklace, makes sense to me. So often, women returned to our booth or site to discover what they were thinking of for a gift, was sold and couldn’t be recreated.
Ahhh, and I thought it was just an advertising ploy Roslyn. Glad to see this tradition is actually historical and not just another way of creating a sale. Interesting statement about how Australians celebrate it. You do know that most of us do not go anywhere near the beach in winter, at least in the southern part of the country, as it is way too cold! Still, I did like seeing how we got this event and especially why it was originally created. Cheers, Ian.
Ian Campbell, I read a lot about Australia Christmas celebrations & it could have been its own post. I did think it was an advertising ploy. Seems everything starts somewhere and evolves.Glad you enjoyed the history leson.
I admit I have heard of Christmas in July but never quite understood the background. Thank you for sharing the history. Sadly with all the sales and marketing hype that takes place nowadays, the depth of a traditional sale is lost on a lot of us. July is monsoon season in India and right now every retailer worth their salt, online or offline is focused on Monsoon Madness. What fun if they were to talk of Christmas in July? There would be more takers because India is a secular country who loves tradition AND we celebrate Christmas too!
Vatsula Shukla, wish I shipped to India. I have come across many fabulous beaders in India and they might do well to create a Christmas in July campaign. Thanks for your comment & contribution.
I absolutely love this post! I am an avid history lover and love anything to do with history. I had always thought that Christmas in July was a Hallmark marketing invention. Now, I have the facts. Thank you!
You have done such a fantastic job with sharing a story that works perfectly to introduce your Christmas in July sale on your one-of-a-kind necklace and earring sets. I know that they will make the perfect gifts for upcoming holidays.
Enjoy your week, my friend. Thank you for sharing this fabulous post with us!
Welcome, Robin Strohmaier to our blog and group. Our blogs these past few months do focus on history where there is one, and weaving our jewelry into a story. So glad you like it and appreciate the direction we have taken.
Who knew there was so much history around Christmas in July? Love all of the history you bring to your posts – and a celebratory sale to go along with it!!
Of all my readers Deb Nelson, every time I weave our jewelry thru history or as a story, I think of you.
Well, I learned something very interesting today! I didn’t know that is started that far back and I honestly thought it was started by retailers.
Thanks teacher Roz for sharing!!!
Gisele, I didn’t know either. When we decided t run a Christmas in July sale, I thought I’d look for ideas for posts, copy, etc. My surprise to discover a history. So glad my readers seem to be enjoying the forays into history as we weave our designs into the content.
Loved this! I am headed to go touch base with my history buff husband and test his knowledge. i may finally WIN!!!!!!!
Please let us know if you did come up a winner. Welcome to our blog. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your comment.
Since reading this I have noticed a very few other people offer Christmas in July sales, mostly in the online world. Your jewelry should be incentive enough for people to choose something they love for themselves. And as far as gifts, whenever I see something I know someone will love, I generally buy it and keep it until the occasion I plan to give it for. I think it is a fun idea and yes, it is crazy hot and humid here in Toronto, however, wherever I go, I go with bracelets and necklaces on. I don’t leave home without my jewelry!
This year Beverley, very few people offered Christmas in July sales. Recently the big box stores had a major discount showdown but on twitter & Facebook, very few hashtags. It is kinda unusual to start buying this early, but we only offer sales a few times a year, so if I was interested to stash something away, I’d get it now.
Thank you for the history of this. I never realized it was not a retailers scheme!
Lori Ann, seems most of us thought it was a clever marketing idea.
I never knew the history of Christmas in July and it’s fascinating. Thanks for sharing it. And I want one of everything.
Carol Rundle, the history was new information for many. Thanks for wanting everything.
I love the history. I’m afraid I was one of those that thought Hallmark made up Christmas in July. I love knowing the meaning of the colors… Red- to show the flow of life, love, passion and energy and green- to connect to the transformative element of nature, radiating energy and rebirth.
Ginny, thanks for your comment and appreciating information about the meaning of colors.
I’ve never heard of Christmas in July, but that could be because I’m from the UK. It may not have been dreamt up by marketers but I bet a few smart marketers are cashing in on it. Good luck with your sales Roslyn.
Clive Maloney, it might be a good idea for marketers around the world to join in on this unique sale idea.
Great presentation of the history of “Christmas in July of the Summer Sale” in different countries. Nice to know that your very own “Earth and Moon Design” is having a “Christmas in July” sale. A promo which makes a difference. Amazing designs have been prepared to suit your accessory needs. I wish you success in disposing your bountifully beautiful and original pieces. Necklaces and sets will be bought up for the users’ personal use or as gifts in Summer.
Thanks Lori Abela for your comment.
I had no idea! I do think it’s a great idea to take advantage of summer sales for holiday shopping. BTW, I surely love that aquamarine necklace. Gorgeous! You do fantastic work.
Thanks, Jackie Harder, for your comment and compliment. The aquamarine necklace is one of my favorites too, made by my daughter.
I’m with everyone here on the surprise about such history connected with Christmas in July.
You do such amazing research –and I know how much time it takes.
Are you creating an entire campaign for yourself, Roz, with some of this wonderful information?
I especially like the prep for Christmas nudge that could go along with bits of history to all your media.
You could start a habit for a lot of people!
Thanks, Sharon for your comment and idea. We do have an entire campaign for the Christmas in July Sale. Can add bits of history as well. Appreciate your creative marketing ideas and support.
Way to go, Roz. I look forward to hearing about your campaign results.
Well Sharon, seems very few marketers did a Christmas in July Sale this year. It might not be such a good marketing step.
I have to say.. I thought it was a ploy also, by marketing genius’.. but it worked anyways, right?! LOL
Kristen Wilson, nice to know where ideas originate from but it was clever marketers who built upon it.
I love reading your blogs! They’re very fun to read and always make me happy 🙂 I love festivals and cerebrations, so I didn’t know about “Christmas in July”. It didn’t come to Japan unfortunately…. Here is more reason to have fun and share joy with other people! And more importantly, to buy more things on sale! Thanks Roslyn!
Thanks, Kaz for your comment and compliment.
I remember hearing some version of the history of Christmas in July but didn’t realize it went back to the 1800s. I think it is great if you can capture the attention of consumers during anytime of the year other than the traditional holidays. May your registers ring with lots of good tidings and cheer 🙂
Thanks Beth Blacker. Love your wish for our “registers to ring with lots of good tidings and cheer”.
I love the fact that you always have the coolest research facts. What can I say, I’m an English major. Love your pieces, and I am a big fan of Christmas in July, because I love the air of celebration it brings. Thank you for sharing this information, and your beautiful jewelry. 🙂
Thanks, Liz Benoit Cozby for your comment and compliment. We all love celebrations.
What a great idea to have a “Christmas in July” sale on products! Sounds like you have tons of great buys!! Thanks for sharing the fun facts 🙂
Thanks, Joan Harrington for your comment.
Great article, Roslyn! I’m one of those people that would leave the tree up all year if I could get away with it, so I love it when I see the Christmas in July sales! I never thought to look up the history of it, tho! Thanks for sharing all this interesting info!
You are welcome Cynthia and thanks for your comment.
I LOVE the delightful history lesson about Christmas in July. And I love the beautiful jewelry you are offering for your sale.
Thanks, Debbie Takara Shelor for your comment and compliment. Welcome to our blog.
I love this history of “Christmas in July” – like many others I did think it was invented by big box stores or Hallmark. It’s interesting that it truly originated in a camp – lots of great ideas come from those camps; I was a camper into my teens of daycamps and overnight camps, having to be creative for “talent nights” – though we never came up with something like this. I think it’s a great idea to get back to this idea of giving early, because it should truly be “Christmas” every day of the year; a spirit of giving freely to others.
Thank you for the great post!
Tamara MacDuff, seems you really resonated with this post. Appreciate it. I loved camp and truly enjoyed finding this fact out.
I have never heard of Christmas in July! Great idea, although personally I don’t even want to start thinking about Christmas. I do however love the necklace you’ve showcased in your post. It has a “beachy” look with that add accent of Christmas red! Very nice!
Lisa Swanson, I had not heard of Christmas in July until I ventured into the online world of shopping and social media. Last year i received more emails about it than I have this year. I enjoyed researching about it and some of the facts were fun. It seemed timely to update the post as we have new jewelry to offer. Thanks for the compliment.
And I really always thought it was an advertising ploy. I love learning interesting history facts. Thanks for sharing.
Christy Soukhamneut, I tend to think most of us thought it originated as a clever marketing idea. Another myth busted.
Wow, I never knew that Christmas in July wasn’t created by the retail industry. I am curious to know if it does bumps the sale in the summertime. Thanks for sharing.
Sabrina Quairoli, I think we are all surprised by the history and ultimately retail picked it up. I haven’t seen too much advertising using this strategy this year. Summer is generally a slow month for most retail so anything that encourages sales, gets the product in front of potential customers makes sense. Honestly, I don’t see why someone wouldn’t want to get something they admire now at a discount or start making inroads on holiday lists.
This was so interesting Roz. I assumed it started here as it makes sense to celebrate the traditional way when the weather is cold. There is a big festival for Christmas in July every year at Katoomba (about 40 minutes drive from us) and it often snows there for the celebrations.
I hope your sale goes well, it’s a great deal and I wish I could take advantage of it. I usually start looking for Christmas presents from about now – such a Virgo! 😊
Tamuria, I too wish we shipped to you. It is cool to see how other countries celebrate Christmas. Thanks for your support and compliments.
How interesting! I did think it was created by retailers to imitate their largest month of the year! Or by children who couldn’t get enough Christmas! I will share your sale… I love your jewelry!
Thanks Kimberly for being a great customer sand advocate. The myth is destroyed.
Holy cow, Roz, do I ever feel stupid. I honestly (I am not making this up) believed that my sister came up with the phrase “Christmas in July.” For decades, my family has actually celebrated Christmas in July after my sister organized the 1st annual event. It was just too difficult for all of us to get together in December, so … you get the idea. My sister, a commercial artist, would send out flyers to everyone every year headed with the words “Christmas in July.” Little did I know that she wasn’t entirely clever, she was a copy-cat! Anyway, hope your sale goes well!
Joan Potter, don’t tell your sister you found out the scoop on Xmas inJuly. I think it was so creative of her to use it as a themev for a family gathering.
Whoooo knew? Wow.. that is pretty interesting. I always thought it was just another way for retail to make more money and drive people crazy sooner… kidding! lol
Kristen Wilson, even though it is a myth & current marketing practice, it does help some folk who like to start shopping very early.
What a fun romp down a little-known path. I am in favor of any excuse to celebrate, have fun, dress up and feel festive!
Nice approach to the facts, Reba Linker.
Another great teaching, thank you! I don’t think I ever saw that movie, although when you mentioned it I immediately thought of the Barbara Stanwyck “Christmas in Connecticut” which has nothing to do with your topic, but any time I can remember S.Z. Sakall, I smile, so that’s good. Sorry. I’m very tangent-y right now. 🤷
Sue Kearney, I agree, any triggered memory is good. Glad you liked the info.
I had never even heard of “Christmas in July” never mind knowing the history, and I found it a fascinating read. Thank you ♡
You are so welcome Julia. So glad you enjoyed learning about Xmas in July.
Thank goodness someone keeps track of history. I would have guessed it originated as an advertising campaign. You are really developing great tie in between your blog post and your marketing offers. I really like how you created a need to buy early for the holidays.
Appreciate your comment, Joyce Hansen. It looks to me that most purchases were gifts for themselves. A good thing anytime. As much as we like displaying our jewelry, we really aim to provide interesting content.
I did not know the history behind Christmas in July. I personally don’t like the decorations going on sale in the stores in July, but haveing a fun sale at this time for customers is a great idea. I love how you put this post together.
Karen Grosz, I agree about early holiday decorations. A short term sale is really intended to support the customer and seller. Imagine getting started on your list now? Or knowing you will be going to some holiday parties you bought the necklace that will enhance your outfit and make you feel special? Thanks for your comment and I’m happy you enjoyed the post.
Thanks for sharing the history behind ‘Christmas in July”. Like many other people, I have always thought that it was all about marketing.
Rachel Lavern, we thought it a good idea to dispel the myth.
Thinking about Christmas in July makes me happy, but it does not make me cooler! It does, however, make me feel like shopping, lol. I love your history lesson within your wonderful artwork. As always, your posts make me smile as I appreciate the effort and the mixing of history and art. Thank you!
Thank you, Liz Benoit Cozby for your lovely comment. No surprise you appreciate the history lesson. And thank you for the compliments. Hoppe we got you in the mood for jewelry shopping too.
Christmas in July is always so much fun! I enjoyed reading about the history of the term! I had no idea it began so long ago.
Thanks Jennifer for your comment. I think many readers were surprised by the history.
Thank you for sharing this amazing post. Hope readers will like it. I really appreciate for putting such efforts.
I am amazed that such post are still up to go. Great .
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