By Stephanie Duscher
It may be consistently reaching temperatures of eighty degrees and higher, but somehow it seems like the perfect time to celebrate Christmas (in July!). Recently, my family and I put together a small Christmas in July party with decorations, a movie marathon, and lots of yummy, festive food! If you’re interested in throwing a Christmas in July celebration, we have many ideas to get you started (including a recipe using fresh raspberries from the farmers’ market!).
Decorations are one of the most important elements of a Christmas in July celebration. To make our living room temporarily feel like Christmas, we put up an artificial tree, which we decorated with pairs of sunglasses, shells, starfish lights, and topped with a sand bucket. We also strung some garland and lights around the room.
A Christmas tree doesn’t look quite complete without gifts underneath. A gift exchange game (like the White Elephant Game) is perfect for a party. Christmas trivia is another fun activity; the addition of prizes can make the game even more fun (and add a competitive edge). However, no party is complete without Christmas movies. We set up a projector and played a few of our favorite festive films. To ensure maximum coziness, turn off all lights when playing the movie except for the lights on your Christmas tree!
Food is an essential part of any party. Christmas in July is extra special because it allows you to use all the fresh ingredients that summer offers without any of the restrictions of a traditional Christmas in December.
In making our Christmas cookies, I knew I wanted to use a fresh, in-season ingredient, and what better place to find that than at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market. I found some absolutely delicious raspberries from Scotch Ridge Berry Farm, so I decided to make raspberry tassies from Kate Dean’s recipe at I Heart Eating. However, I made Sugar and Soul’s fresh raspberry filling rather than using canned raspberry pie filling. It was a delicious, festive treat that also incorporated all the goodness of summer!
Other ideas for holiday foods made with local in-season ingredients are festive tossed salads with local cheese, savory tarts with beef or mushrooms, roasted chicken, and baked or mashed potatoes.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park in downtown Saratoga Springs. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.