Christmas in July, like nearly everything else in 2020, is going to be different.
Traditionally Christmas in July has been a laid back affair. Merchants would drag beat up and shop-worn merchandise on to sidewalks and put them on sale.
Amazon, with almost nothing else to do, created Prime Day, an event that in their eyes (an in some in the world), rivaled Black Friday.
Hallmark, who for years has tried cornering Christmas markets, recently used July to re-run their Christmas movies. But honestly July was more about Hallmark’s collectible ornaments than their movies.
The shopping channels have long made hay during Christmas in July.
And the world has little noticed these things. In fact, the Christmas-in-July previous to 2020 was such a non-event that the media got laughed at for complaining about the “first sign” of Christmas in the stores in August, even though all the stuff we mentioned above was going on.
But this year is different when it comes to Christmas in July. There’s no Amazon Prime day in July this year (and we don’t know yet if there will be one at all).
The stores? Well, there might be a few stores who chance a sale – but be prepared to wear a mask and find the deals not so appealing.
Hallmark? Well, they are doing Christmas in July on steroids this year. Christmas in July started in June on the Hallmark channel and in July they are nothing but wall-to-wall Christmas.
Christmas, you see, is chicken soup for the soul during a pandemic, it seems. Hallmark was made for this and they are serving it up. So too are radio stations all over the country who have played Christmas music after flipping it back on in March. Many are pushing at-home Christmas in July activities.
But that Hallmark ornament debut event that causes a rush to Hallmark stores nationwide every July. Nope, not this year. Mail order and e-commerce are the channels for getting that Hallmark collectible.
Well, most Hallmark collectibles. Hallmark quickly nixed their Gone with the Wind ornament series after nearly 40 years of selling them. They are too politically incorrect for these times.
They are no longer available which mean, ironically, they are more collectible than ever.
Signs are popping up all over the country of creative ways Christmas-in-July can be celebrated.
For example, drive-in theaters are making a comeback and some are featuring Christmas movie marathons. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a clever social-distancing replay of It’s a Wonderful Life seen inside the car?
A lot of small business rescue events are happening with Christmas themes in July. Restaurants who haven’t been able to serve food are offering up Christmas staples by delivery to improve demand.
Other businesses are enhancing new services such as Christmas gift wrapping, yes, in July, in order to spur sales.
Some are embracing sales events that can be held outside, such as Christmas in July themed car shows or even Christmas concerts.
We have to. We noticed early on in late February that 2020 would be a different year. We operate this site, a couple of Internet radio streams, a few podcasts and several social media channels. They all stayed busy from March forward.
We have, in fact, just completed a pre-planned redesign and upgrade of our site – and traffic in June has been off the charts. Record breaking. We know it isn’t because of a pretty new website.
Our Santa venues are all seeing record traffic too. There are more letters to Santa. What the kids are writing to Santa has changed too.
Of course, much of it is because there is more time on our hands. Folks are in isolation. They can’t go out. There are no sports to watch, no concerts to attend, and even seasonal recreation has been canceled – everything from swimming to boating to fireworks.
That’s why our Christmas in July will be bigger and more diverse than ever. We have guest Christmas experts coming to speak to us about everything from Christmas lighting to the history of Rankin Bass Christmas television specials. We have book authors, podcasters, and Christmas creators from all over.
Our goal with Christmas in July this year is simple: put as much Christmas in front of people as we can. We want to show them Christmas resources they maybe don’t know about. We want to engage them in Christmas activities the likes of which they have never seen online before.
We want people to feel the Spirit of Christmas during times so challenging most of us lack the ability to explain it. We do not and will not have the politics, division and bleakness of 2020 here for Christmas in July.
Instead we will have joy. We will embrace peace. We will include all in everything Christmas. There will be:
- Chats with visiting Christmas experts
- Free Kringle Radio, commercial-free Christmas music
- Christmas watch parties
- Christmas activities including the opening of the card and ornament exchanges
- Radio Replay of Tracking Santa Around the World
- The launch of Operation Christmas Cheer, which will be huge this year
We hope to make Christmas in July a good start to your great Christmas coming in 2020. Just because Christmas this year will be different is no reason to think it can’t be great.
We know it can be.