June 24, 2014

We all know it’s not really Christmastime, but in July it’s the ideal weather to get together with friends or family over a roast dinner. And it can be great fun to theme it around Christmas (without all the stress of buying gifts, queuing for prawns, or worrying about rain spoiling the al fresco meal plans).

If you’d like to host a Christmas in July lunch at home, here are a few tips:

  • Keep the Christmas spirit alive by playing the all-time cheesy musical favourites, and scattering a bit of tinsel around the house.
  • Ask your guests to help with the catering – if you cook the roast turkey, ask someone else to bring their favourite side dish or a dessert that’s easy to re-heat.
  • Turn up the heat by lighting a log fire, serving mulled wine and planning a feast of warming winter food.
  • Brighten the space and lighten the mood with flickering candlelight.
  • Make it fun with a Kris Kringle – set a theme and a budget, and get each guest to secretly buy for one other guest, keeping it simple.
  • Bring out the old-fashioned games after the feast – set up a game of charades or favourite board games.

Julie’s FAUX XMAS menu

Julie Sullivan from Julies Kitchen says Christmas in July is becoming popular in the area, at local clubs and restaurants and, of course, right through the Blue Mountains. She suggests cooking a crackling pork roast with a pistachio and apricot stuffing, and a pudding with cream and brandied cumquats.

Celebrate a cool July yule in the region

If you’re not keen on cooking up a Christmas feast but you’d like to get into the festive spirit, check out these events in the region.

  • Cruise up the Hawkesbury on the Hawkesbury Paddlewheeler with a traditional Christmas dinner feast and carols. For bookings phone 0401 798 088.
  • Hawkesbury River Rover Crew is holding a Christmas in July for venturers and rovers on Saturday 5 July at 7pm, at the 2nd Richmond Scout Hall in Bourke Street, Richmond. There will be a DJ and dancing. Phone 9639 2488 for details.
  • Santa will make an appearance at the Hawkesbury Race Club Christmas in July Charity Race Day on Sunday 20 July. It’s a great day out for the kids with entertainment,  jumping castles, face painting and a barbecue. Phone 4577 2263 for more information.
  • The biggest event of them all is Yulefest in the Blue Mountains, with magic created all through winter. It’s all about warm hospitality, log fires, Christmas fare, singalongs and perhaps even Santa. And it’s right on our doorstep. Contact the Blue Mountains Visitor information centre for details 1300 653 408

For more winter activity ideas, check out our Vermont in Winter post for plenty of fun activities, and coming up next week we have our post on Winter DIY projects your family can do together.

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