Ugly jumpers and Gluhwein: How to celebrate Christmas in July

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If you love all things Christmas, then you won't need convincing to celebrate twice a year; at Christmas time, and again in the middle of the year for Christmas in July. It's believed the Christmas in July tradition started in the 1980s when some Irish tourists visited the Blue Mountains in NSW. When they saw the snow, it reminded them of Christmas in Ireland, and they convinced the owner of a local hotel to hold a 'Yulefest' event to celebrate in the cold weather. It was so successful that other locals started joining in, and it became an annual event.

But you don't have to travel to the Blue Mountains to celebrate Christmas in July. We've rounded up some of the best Christmassy items and activities for you so you can feel as festive as possible. 

Clothing

It wouldn't be Christmas without a Christmas jumper! And now is the perfect time to wear something warm. 

Here are our favourites:

Vegemite Christmas jumper
Vegemite 'Ugly Christmas Sweater', $79.95, available from Vegemite.com.au. Credit: Vegemite
Monki Nana organic cotton blend Christmas fair isle print sweater in green from ASOS.
Brave Soul dog christmas jumper from ASOS,
Elf Christmas Sweater, $25, from ASOS.

Table settings

Set the table right and you'll feel like it's properly Christmas. In our opinion, there's nothing wrong with a bit of Kitsch at this time of year. Here's how to adorn your Christmas in July feast...

Gnome Santa Chip & Dip Platter Set, $29.99 from Fun.com.au
Gnome Santa Chip & Dip Platter Set, $29.99 from Fun.com.au. Credit: Fun.com.au
Star Wars Santa Yoda in Chimney Tablepiece, $44.99 from Fun.com.au
Star Wars Santa Yoda in Chimney Tablepiece, $44.99 from Fun.com.au. Credit: Fun.com.au
Santa Fabric Table Runner, $26.99 from Fun.com.au
Santa Fabric Table Runner, $26.99 from Fun.com.au. Credit: Fun.com.au

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Food and drink

Traditional European Christmas foods can be too heavy to eat in December, so now is the time to take advantage of some hearty warming dishes and drinks. It's Christmas after all....

Spiced Mince Pie Loose Leaf Feature Tin, $15 from T2. Credit: T2
2kg Christmas pudding from the Pudding People
2kg Christmas pudding from the Pudding People, $49. Credit: The Pudding People
Zenzen Glühwein 1L from Dan Murphy's, $9.99
Zenzen Glühwein 1L from Dan Murphy's, $9.99. Credit: Dan Murphy's

Activities

You can't have a Christmas lunch without board games around the table afterwards. Tap in to some good old fashioned family fun, and get everyone joining in, whatever their age. We love these:

Avocado Smash Card Game
Avocado Smash Card Game is fast paced and fun. From Gifts Australia, $15.
5 Second Rule Mini Game
5 Second Rule Mini Game is harder than you think. From Gifts Australia, $19.
Drawsome People Game
Drawsome People Game is a fun drawing family board game. $39 from Gifts Australia

Visit a winter wonderland

Many festivities are cancelled this year, due to Covid. However, if you are able to travel, there are some great spots to celebrate, eat well and cosy up.

The Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill in Victoria runs until 18 July. It's a street of vibrant projections and music. Walk along the streets to see decorations, faux snowfall, and sweet-making demonstrations. It's essential to pre-book tickets

Melbourne Zoo is offering a 3-course Christmas in July lunch, including soup, roast turkey, plum pudding, and a glass of wine. Break up your visit to the animals with a warming lunch. Pre-bookings are essential. 

When Sydneysiders are able to travel again, take a trip to the home of Yulefest, the Mountain Heritage Hotel in the Blue Mountains. They're offering Christmas entertainment, a 3-course dinner, and live music until 7 August. Plus, there will be other activities taking place in Katoomba, Covid-permitting.

Mountain Heritage Hotel in the Blue Mountains
The Mountain Heritage Hotel in the Blue Mountains is the birthplace of Yulefest. Credit: Mountain Heritage Hotel

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