What? Christmas? In July?
How many times lately, if you are a Facebook user, have you seen the posts of a dancing Santa or a twinkling Christmas tree that say "Christmas is in 6 months"? How many times have you walked in to a store and they already have their Christmas stock on display? And everywhere you turn you are hearing about "Christmas in July". What's this all about?
For some people they just shake their heads saying it's way too early. But for others it means the start of their Christmas shopping. These people like to get a head start to find that perfect gift (hopefully at a great price) for the people on the list. But how did all this "Christmas in July" get started?
Werther, an 1892 French opera had an English translation published in 1894. In the story, 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."
In 1935, the National Recreation Association's journal Recreation described what a Christmas in July was like at a girl's camp, writing that "all mystery and wonder surround this annual event".
The term, if not the exact concept, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in July in 1940. In the story, a man 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.
The U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army and Navy officials, in conjunction with the 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 overseas during World War II. The luncheon was repeated in 1945.
American advertisers began using Christmas in July for summertime sales as early as 1950. In the United States, it is more often used as a marketing tool than an actual holiday. Television stations may choose to re-run Christmas specials, and many stores have Christmas in July sales.
In keeping up with the Christmas in July tradition, Quiltsy will be celebrating too. Check out our Quiltsy Team Pages for unique handmade gifts. If you are someone who likes to make your own gifts, check out the Destash Fabric, Destash Patterns and Kits, Destash Quilt Books, and New Fabrics Patterns and Tools. And don't forget to browse the Christmas and Hanukkah Decor if you are thinking to add to your own Christmas decor.
Written by Pat Young of PatsPassionQuilteds, Quiltsy Team member since May 2011.