Create a new family tradition or honour an old one and celebrate Christmas in July in Cochrane.
Why July 25?
The origins of Christmas in July date back to a time when French Canadian families were unable to get together on December 25th for meteorological or geographical reasons. July turned out to be a whole lot easier for family travelling. Workers used their two weeks of summer holidays to gather on large fields in the countryside. A hearty meal, lots of gifts and memorable parties were the order of the day.
Christmas in July is also a time for savvy shoppers. If you are the plan-ahead kind of person (like buying wrapping paper on sale in January – best prices), then you probably start writing your Christmas gift list in the early months of the year. And you’ve likely finished your shopping by September (you know who you are, and I salute you). Many shops are now on board with Christmas in July sales. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Either way you choose to look at it, Christmas in July is a fun time, and reason enough to celebrate (like we ever really need a good reason to celebrate, but particularly in these turbulent times). So here’s our best advice on how to host a successful Christmas in July celebration (with your social distancing and safety protocols in place, of course).
Let your imagination run wild and start by getting out some holiday decorations. Surprise your neighbours and string up some outdoor lights. Reinvent a Christmas menu with a barbecued turkey. Then visit The Cochrane Farmers’ Market where you can swap those traditional winter root veggies for bountiful summer produce. Don’t forget to pick up your favourite wine and/or festive bubbles at Vinestone.
Give a welcome gift
While visiting the market, you’re bound to come across some gift ideas for your guests. Think in terms of stocking stuffers – Goat Milk Caramel Sauce from Early Dawn Farm or a sample of carbonated Session meads from Fallentimber Meadery could do nicely.
Shop Historic Downtown
Still searching for the perfect present? Head to Historic Downtown Cochrane, because when we support local businesses, we are supporting our neighbours and because they have some pretty cool stuff. Two of my go-to shops, Poor David’s and Heavenly Outhouse are right beside each other on the main drag. You are bound to find something out of the ordinary to suit even the most particular guest. For more ideas, pop into Evexia Travel, currently hosting Mini Pop-up Markets every Saturday at their downtown location, featuring new vendors every week.
Create a Christmas atmosphere
A successful event begins above all with ambiance. Be sure to dig out the pine scented candles and your favourite Christmas music. After your feast, stroll around the neighbourhood without the hassle of bundling up in winter gear. And if you really want to surprise your neighbours, try a little Christmas caroling!
Afterward, it’s time for traditional activities. Break out the board games and puzzles you were able to borrow from the Cochrane Public Library, while grandma and grandpa snooze in their recliners, just like on December 25.
Guest Journalist – Jane Usher