There is one main reason Australians love Christmas in July — we finally get to experience a ‘winter’ Christmas. Think hot roast vegetables and gravy, warm woollen jumpers and a fireplace… Just like in our favourite American, British and European movies.
But before you pick up decorations and groceries, read our guide on how to host the perfect Christmas in July party.
It’s not Christmas without presents, but your friends may not want to buy everyone a gift. Stealing Santa (also known as Bad Santa, White Elephant Gift Exchange or Dirty Santa) is the perfect way to feel the present-giving spirit, but with a twist.
When you send out the invites for your party, let people know you’ll be playing Stealing Santa. Give them a minimum present price (say, $20) and tell them to wrap them present but leave it unmarked. Write numbers 1-10 (or up to however many guests there are) on bits of paper, shuffle in a bowl or hat and get people to pick them out. Whoever has the number one goes first by choosing a present to unwrap. Then, number 2 goes next — and can choose to keep the present they’ve chosen or steal the first person’s present. This goes on until you reach the last number.
The table setting
If you’re worried about spending money on unnecessary decorations which won’t see much use until December, there is one thing you can make stand-out and no one will notice the lack of tinsel and fairy lights — the table setting.
Start with a neutral base, like this elegant tablecloth from Spotlight. Add candles for ambient lighting, making sure to mix tall tapers with short and stout candles for a layered effect. Pick up a Christmas wreath and place a tabletop Christmas tree within the circle to create your own personalised centrepiece. Finish the look with these beautiful bon bons, or make your own.
The food menu
For entrees, pick up antipasto meats and cheeses and create nibble platters. Pick up a turkey from Woolies (check out the serving guideline here) and get roasting. We love this recipe for a maple glazed turkey because it’s easy yet delicious. This would pair well with Brussels sprouts, parsnips and other root vegetables which you can just chop and throw in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprig of rosemary.
The drinks menu
Christmas in July wouldn’t be complete without a rich and varied drinks menu full of traditional Christmas cocktails.
Start off with mulled wine to sip while guests arrive before moving on to crisp white wines at dinner time. Try an unoaked Chardonnay as this will keep the palate fresh while you and your friends and family feast on turkey. For dessert, try Jamie Oliver’s to-die-for eggnog recipe.
Now that you’ve set everything up, and your guests will be arriving soon, all you need to do is pop on some Christmas playlists to get in the mood. Try golden oldies like Michael Buble’s Christmas album or check out Spotify for playlists featuring favourites like Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’.
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