It’s that time of year when our seasonal campground does some really fun July activities including hosting a “Christmas in July” celebration. What a better way to get the kids into the holiday season then by bringing in some Christmas cheer right in the middle of the summer.
Our resident camp “craft lady” Dolly, is the one who started this tradition. I’ve seen how creative Dolly can be while helping with her weekly kids craft projects and I’ve seen her site decorations from last year, and I can’t wait to see what she does this year!
Everyone knows me as the “Halloween Lady” because I host the campground’s Halloween celebration every year. But, I am ready to take on the world of Christmas and get into the Christmas spirit!
To get everyone in the holiday spirit, the Christmas in July celebration consists of a site decorating contest to see who makes the most creative Christmas campsite. It’s so fun to see the Christmas in July ideas and all the fun way people put together their July decorations.
A great way to get more participation is to offer some fun things for incentives. This year the owner is obtaining an outside judge so everyone who participates has an opportunity to win a prize. This year for the best decorated site is a $50 restaurant gift certificate! Sweet!
You could even send out Christmas invitations, or Christmas in July invitations, play Christmas movies at the activity center, have a Christmas party for the kids, coordinate a gift exchange, or even have a pool party with party games that would be so much fun.
Update! Guess who won 1st prize? 🙂
saving money on Christmas decorations
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create some July party ideas. Some great ideas for saving money while decorating would be to use old Christmas decorations. Go thru your stash and see if there is anything you can borrow for your theme. There are also lots of Christmas crafts online that will help you to find creative ways to save some money.
The Christmas in July theme
So, our theme, I always have a theme, is “Larger then life Christmas”. My plan is to make all of my decorations huge so that they feel “Larger then life!” And I also wanted to incorporate some summer-themed decorations because it is a camping celebration after all.
Making the Christmas Ornaments
The first thing we started with was our Christmas ornaments. Because it was Christmas in July we tried to think of summer items we could use to make Christmas decorations. My Granddaughter and I went to Walmart and purchased a bunch of the largest bouncy balls we could find. We were lucky to find some that already had designs we could use. Score! Another great option would be to use beach balls too!
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To make the balls into ornaments we spray painted some clear plastic snack cups silver. Then we glued them onto the top of the balls with Beacon Quick Grip. When they dried, we drilled two holes in the cups then ran fishing wire thru them to hang them from the trees. Update: A couple of the cups didn’t hold. So, we added a second fishing wire around the ball and above the cup for added support. The fishing wire is invisible so it didn’t change the decoration at all and this was any easy way to add a little stability to the ornament.
The Candy Canes
It just wouldn’t be a fun Christmas without Candy Canes. We made large candy canes out of pool noodles to line the entryway and draw in the crowd. This was so easy. First, I coiled some decorative duct tape around the noodles. Then, we bent the ends over and secured them with clear fishing string. That’s my youngest grandson in his Olaf costume 🙂
To stand them up we took small wooden dowels and pushed them into the ground. Then just slid the noodles over them. Easy-Peasy! This is a great Christmas craft to use for your own Christmas decorating and would look great lining your walkway to your front porch or along your driveway.
For the final touch my granddaughter made some paper chains out of classic red construction paper we got at the craft store. Then she strung them from candy candy cane to candy cane.
Santa’s Toy Bag
The big focal point of the decorating was our Santa’s bag. I wanted to make a huge bag with presents so I could see the kid’s faces when they walked in.
I made this using part of a frame from my plastic greenhouse. It was basically two rectangle sections that I put together to form a large rectangle. To make it look like it was full of toys, I used whatever I could find from around the campsite and taped and tucked it around the frame. I literally had life jackets, crumpled up paper, packing material from Amazon and a deflated pool float. LOL
Then I wrapped the whole thing with red plastic tablecloths. I topped it off with a large present sticking out of the top. For the finishing touch I wrapped a white tablecloth around the bottom of the present. I added another one that I tied into a bow. People said they thought it was a chimney! LOL I never thought of that. HA HA
Very Large Christmas Presents
Another idea for the larger than life theme for Christmas in July was to make very large Christmas gifts. All we did was wrap large boxes with Christmas paper and placed them around the site. To save wrapping paper we made sure to only wrap parts of the boxes that people would see. Luckily, I had lots of Christmas paper that wasn’t my favorite so it was perfect for this project.
We decided to give out gifts, so the grandchildren and I made snowmen smore’s. This was a fun…and messy project but they came out sooo cute.
I love this idea because not only is it Christmas themed, but also camping themed! 🙂 Win-win. We thought about a hot chocolate bar but seeing as it was July, we decided that not too many children would want to drink a hot drink. But another good idea would be to pass out ice cream bars. You would need a freezer handy though.
We made them from marshmallows, graham crackers, Hershey’s chocolate bars, marshmallow fluff, licorice, edible pens, and orange fish candy. Then we wrapped them in plastic treat bags and tied them with green yarn. They came out so adorable.
If you’d like to know how to make the snowmen, you can get the directions on my resources page here.
The Christmas Wreaths
We decorated the snack table with a Christmas pool float wreath. This was an easy craft! All we did was blow up a pool float. Then we added a bow which we made from scraps left over from making the paper chains. This would make a cute front door wreath decoration too!
Don’t forget about your costumes
Don’t forget to create some costumes to go with your Christmas in July theme. Because this is in the summer months you probably don’t want to wear an ugly Christmas sweater, even though it would be a lot of fun. So instead the easiest way to dress up would be to wear a Christmas t-shirt that you made yourself. Whatever July outfit ideas you come up with don’t forget about the heat.
My granddaughter wanted to be Cindy-Lou-Who. It was the easiest costume to make. We put her in a cute pink bathrobe and slippers and put her hair up, wayyyy up, by using a red solo cup. All I did was put her hair in a high pony then put the cup on her head and brought her pony up over it and attached another elastic. We kept a little hair down on each side to braid and put cute ribbons at the bottom. It was so cute! Everyone was asking how we got her hair to stand up like that.
The Finishing Touches
Finally, for some other fun ideas we decked out the rest of the site with traditional Christmas decorations like Christmas lights, paper chains, and a light show. We used one of those inexpensive projectors you see at the dollar store. You could also use palm trees or an artificial Christmas tree, water balloons, and a Santa Claus.
Don’t forget about setting the mood. Boil some cinnamon sticks for the aroma, play a Christmas movie marathon on the big screen, play Christmas music in the background, use fairy lights and/or Christmas lights all over for the perfect Christmas atmosphere.
Christmas in July From Around the Campground
In conclusion, here are some other great moments from our Christmas in July Celebration from around the campground. You’ll see some Christmas classics as well as some very unique summer Christmas ideas!
Don’t you just love the camper inflatable? So cute.
We has such a really great time this year! The best part about doing a Christmas in July celebration at your campground is getting every family member to pitch in and help. It’s such a good time working on a project together and feeling all the festive vibes it gives you. It really is the best Christmas ever. It’s a wonderful life! I can’t wait to see what everyone brings for next year! 🙂
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