When we first moved to Canada one question I was asked all the time that shocked me was, ‘What’s it like to celebrate Christmas in July?”
If you think about the logic of why we celebrate Christmas you will know why I was shocked. That’s like saying we should celebrate Easter in September, just because it’s spring.
Obviously, the answer to the question is that we don’t celebrate Christmas in July.
Having said that, over the last few years, mid-winter Christmas parties have become a thing here.
Let’s be clear, we don’t all celebrate Christmas in July. In fact, for most, July comes and goes as mid-winter and we don’t even think about Christmas. However, it just seems like a really good excuse to have a party when it’s cold outside.
If you look at our roots, like a lot of other parts of the World, we have fairly deep roots in British society. A large number of our traditions come from Britain, for example, for some reason, we still celebrate Guy Fawkes Day in November. Why we should care about someone trying to blow up the House of Lords back in 1605 should concern us today, I have no idea.
Because of these British roots, we tend to celebrate holidays like Christmas in the way Britain does.
For my family, food is a huge part of Christmas. It’s usually around 20-25 degrees (Celsius) where I live during the Christmas break but we sit down to a hot dinner of a leg of ham, roast vegetables and gravy, followed by an indecent number of desserts, including of course pavlova, steamed pudding and custard.
Does that sound like a mid-summer meal to you?
Having said all of that, I should also say that while we are not alone, a fairly large number of Kiwis will celebrate Christmas with a barbecue. We are not that family – we love the traditions of Christmas and the food.
OK, that felt a bit like a tangent to get to why we might think to celebrate Christmas in July – it’s because it’s the right time to eat all that wonderful food. It’s mid-winter, everyone is feeling cold and there's long stretch between public holidays (none between June and October), so we have a party and call it Mid-Winter Christmas.
It’s rare for a mid-winter Christmas party to be celebrated with a tree and all the Christmas trimmings but if you are in the mood for a mid-winter (or summer if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere) Christmas, I thought I’d share some Christmas ideas with you.
Or maybe, you’re just really well organised and thinking that it’s time to start preparing for Christmas. Whatever the reason, I hope you enjoy the projects.
This Christmas Wreath is one of my all-time favourite projects for Christmas. It wasn’t quick (maybe you should start now – just kidding), but it was worth the time it took to make.
It’s never too early to start making Christmas cushions. I made these gnome cushions last year and they were a real hit.
Oh, and by the way, I don't think this gorgeous gnome needs to be saved for Christmas. I think he would be happy in your home at any time of the year.
No Christmas dinner party is complete without Christmas inspired napkin rings. I made these ones from a shampoo bottle. Check this out.
Treat your guests to a little gift of a personalized wine glass charm so they will always know which glass is theirs.
Now you can’t have a mid-winter Christmas party without Christmas food.
As I said, here in NZ, we are very British traditional when it comes to food but of course, you can’t have Christmas without the great Kiwi tradition of pavlova. Whether you celebrate with a summer barbecue or a winter meal of roasted ham and vegetables, you must make pavlova.
If you’ve never tried to make pavlova then you are really missing out. It’s not hard but there are a few tips and tricks which I share with you in this post.
Oh, and pavlova is best eaten on a hot summery day so if you're somewhere warm - have a try at making this one.
Traditional steamed pudding is usually made with mixed fruit and can be very heavy. This recipe is one of my favourites. It’s light and airy and, of course, gluten free. Serve it with custard, ice cream, or whipped cream. It’s so yummy, you won’t be able to pass it up.
Like other steamed puddings, this recipe does take a few hours to cook but you can pop it on and walk away and do other things while it boils away. You won’t regret making this one, I promise.
We may as well go all the way – if you’re having a party, you’ll want jewellery to wear. Why not make up some of these super cute, quick Christmas bauble earrings.
So, whether you live somewhere it's hot right now and want to celebrate the summer, or you live where it's freezing cold, it doesn't really matter. Now is always the best time to have a party, especially after the last year. Why not invite a few friends and surprise them with some mid-year Christmas fun.
Even if you decide not to go all out with the Christmas theme, you can always try out the food - pavlova is amazing served on a hot summer day, especially after a barbecue.
Let me know in the comments section below whether you're having a mid-winter Christmas.
Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Did you make this recipe or do you want to?
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July 22, 2021