The Jury Is Out on Christmas in July

I sit in my favorite chair snuggled under a blanket, coffee mug in hand and watch the closing credits of “Switched at Christmas.”

Which would all be completely normal if it wasn’t the middle of July. Or maybe this is our new normal, I can’t tell. Everything is topsy-turvy now.

Outside we were experiencing a massive heat wave with the heat index (which I think is wind chill in reverse) reaching 110 degrees. There was nothing left to do but see if the AC could keep pace and fool yourself into believing it was winter.

And nothing makes that easier than the phenomenon known as “Christmas in July.”

I spent the entire month in some psychedelic time warp complete with holiday baking shows, Hallmark Christmas movie  repeats and QVC specials and sales. I stopped short of yanking out the artificial spruce in the basement, but I certainly picked up a present or two. …

The origins of Christmas in July are more confusing than the appeal of the annual release of the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament. One theory states that the Southern Hemisphere actually experiences winter weather in July so Christmas  celebrations abound to mimic the Christmas we experience up here in the North.

OK, makes sense.

Another story details the start of the phenomenon in Philadelphia as a pastor asked for gifts in July in order to have ample time to ship to missions all over the world in time for Christmas. This all happened way before Amazon, so it is logical as well.

There was also a movie called “Christmas in July” but ironically, it was the only Christmas movie not aired the entire month.

Speaking of Amazon, they were not buying into this whole holiday nonsense. No sireee. There was not one Christmas in July banner anywhere on their website. That’s because they renamed it Amazon Prime.

That’s right people, nothing says “Christmas” more than the mad scramble of Prime Days.

The Today Show dedicated a segment to shopping for the best deals, worker productivity plummeted as folks sat at their desks and trolled the website waiting for prices to drop, wish lists abounded, moms were hiding boxes as they arrived on the doorstep and the Amazon delivery guy was Santa without the sleigh to slow him down.

Somewhere in the middle of all this holiday kerfuffle, I realized something: As I watched Duff Goldman critique a gingerbread truffle with candy cane crunch, it was so clear—I want my Christmas in December.

This is a pretty shocking revelation for someone who possesses not only a Hallmark Christmas Movie mug but has an emblazoned viewing shirt as well—and who may or may not have the Hallmark Christmas app on her phone.

Yet, even for a diehard like me, the thing that makes Christmas so special is that it only comes around once a year. The schmaltzy movies, the buying and wrapping, the decorations and general abundance of good cheer don’t feel authentic in July.

July is for swimming and sunning, fireworks and people complaining about the heat. Each season has its appeal and when you start mashing them together, we are messing with tradition and that’s a slippery slope.

So, I stepped away from the remote (OK, truth is I still watched “A Shoe Addict’s Christmas” because you know, shoes, and it is so good) and deleted the items in my cart waiting for Amazon Prime adjustments and went to the pool. I was going to do my part to restore some balance in the universe.

And if that doesn’t work, I can just wait a few weeks for when Hallmark airs their Summer Nights series and all will be right with the world.

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