G’day party people. Who says Christmas only comes once a year? Break the rules, grab your ugliest jumper and get ready to celebrate the holiday season in July. As I gear up to host our chosen family Christmas in July Celebration, I figured it's the perfect chance to spill the ideas I've been brewing since December. Consider them an open invitation to join the festivities and feel free to borrow my ideas—I won't mind one bit! Let's make this Christmas in July one to remember.
Deck the Halls
To set the festive mood, transform your party space into a down-under winter wonderland.
- While decking out an actual Christmas tree might be a big ask for this time of year, don’t let that stop you from going all out with tinsel, fairy lights and other decorations to turn your space into a proper Xmas wonderland
- Get your craft on with some DIY bunting. Chose a fun theme (Xmas Kanye is always a hit – who doesn’t love a little Yeezy with their holiday cheer?), find some images online, cut ‘em out, string ‘em together and voila – your very own custom Christmas decorations
- Take it up a notch with inflatable kangaroos or koalas dressed as Santa to keep things truly antipodean
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Playlist
No holiday gathering is complete without some tunes to set the mood. We've curated a playlist of lesser-known holiday bangers that'll have everyone grooving in their ugly jumpers. Start a Spotify playlist, kick off with these absolute classics and let the algorithm do its work:
- Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto (James Brown)
- All I Want for Christmas is You (Mariah Carey) – obv
- Christmas in Hollis (Run DMC)
- Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (Elmo & Patsy)
- I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (Gayla Peevey)
- Fairytale of New York (The Pogues)
Ugly Jumper Costume Contest
No Christmas in July party is complete without fully embracing the joy of ugly jumpers. Challenge your mates to raid their closets or hit up the local op shop for the most outrageously festive and tacky jumpers they can find. And don't forget to award a prize for the best dressed!
Festive Games that Sleigh
Ice Cube Treasure Hunt: hide small Christmas-themed trinkets in ice cubes, and guests can race to melt the ice cube and retrieve their treasure. This is a great way to… break the ice ;)
Santa Sack Race:organise a sack race where participants hop their way to the finish line in Santa Sacks. Add an extra twist by filling the sacks with "gifts" (festively wrapped empty boxes do the trick) that they need to carry to the finish line
Gingerbread Decorating:provide gingerbread cookies and an assortment of decorations and let guests unleash their creativity in a gingerbread decorating showdown. Offer prizes for the most impressive, funny or creative designs. Let the icing fly!
Festive Food & Drinks
No Christmas in July bash is complete without scrumptious treats and refreshing beverages to keep everyone jolly. Here are some ideas to satisfy those festive cravings:
- Sausage Sizzle with Festive Flavours: Channel your inner Bunnings car park and serve up grilled snags with a twist. Think cranberry sauce or caramelised onion with a hint of rosemary. It's an Aussie classic with a Christmas twist that'll have your taste buds doing a happy dance
- Pavlova Snowballs: no Aussie Christmas would be complete without a pav, but if gourmet baking is outside your wheelhouse, pick up some pav nests from Woolies, fill them with whipped cream and throw on some fresh berries (or crushed Peppermint Crisp for a true Aussie 80s throwback)
- Spiced Mulled Wine:If you're craving a touch of European Christmas flair, simmer some red wine with spices like cloves, cinnamon, and orange zest. The result? A cosy and warming beverage that captures the essence of the season. Serve it in your tackiest Christmas-themed mugs, garnished with a cinnamon stick for that extra touch of winter magic
Keep the Party Going
And the mark of any truly great bash? No one wants to go home! Turn your day or night into a kick-on slumber party or a movie night filled with your favourite Christmas flicks. Need some movie recommendations? We've got you covered:
- Elf (2003):It's an absolute no-brainer and a Christmas classic that will have you laughing your socks off. And if you're up for it, there are a million or more Googleable drinking games to go along with it
- Bad Santa (2003):For those who prefer their holiday movies with a little more edge, this dark comedy is a hilarious antidote to the traditional saccharine tales
- Gremlins (1984):Unleash some mischievous fun with this OG badass Christmas movie that still holds up four decades later. It's the perfect blend of holiday cheer and chaos
- Die Hard (1988): Get ready for the great debate: Is it a Christmas movie or not? You'll be arguing over this one until December 25th rolls around, but in the meantime, enjoy the thrills and spills of Bruce Willis taking on bad guys during the holidays
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg, but I hope they've sparked your creative imagination for planning your own ultimate Christmas in July bash. In the end, it’s all about embracing the joy, fun, and irreverence of the holiday season. So, gather your friends, deck the halls, and let the winter cheer fill the air. It’s time to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year (twice)!