This isn’t your traditional “Christmas in July” party. My friends, this is the next great party your friends will beg you to throw year after year. It’s the Half-Christmas Party! Whether you celebrate Christmas every year or are simply looking for an excuse to throw a party this summer, Half-Christmas is where it’s at.

Hold up. Wait a minute. How is this different from a Christmas in July party?

Like Christmas, Half Christmas comes once a year – every June, or the half-way point until Christmas. It’s important to note that Christmas is a federally recognized holiday and Half-Christmas is not. This means that you can’t mandate what day of the week Half-Christmas falls on, but you can do your best to plan the party on the weekend that falls closest to the 25th of June. If you’re feeling gutsy, you could throw a Half-Christmas Eve party (I’ve never seen it done – if you throw one, take photos!).

Here’s how to throw a totally fun (and quite possibly totally unexpected) theme party this summer. These are the must-haves for your Half-Christmas party.

Organize a pollyanna

  • Christmas is the holiday of gift-giving, so no Half-Christmas party would be complete without gifts! There are really no rules when it comes to a gift exchange. You can assign each guest a partner that they have to buy gifts for; you could have everyone purchase a gift and choose them at random during a designated time during the party; you could purchase gifts for all of your guests if you’re feeling super generous. Keep your spending minimal – after all, this isn’t the real Christmas deal. Save your pennies for December!

Serve some festive beverages

  • Eggnog and rum, anyone? The options are limitless when it comes to Christmas-themed drinks. Eggnog and rum is a timeless classic; serve it up in your Griswold Family Punch Bowl (make sure to keep it in the fridge or an air-conditioned space – hot eggnog doesn’t sound enjoyable).
  • For a classier option, Peppermint Martinis are perfect. Combine your favorite vodka (our favorite is Kiki Vodka), creme de menthe, and peppermint schnapps and shake well. Serve in a candy cane rimmed martini glass for an added touch of festive. Cranberry Sparklers are a lighter (and more summery!) option – combine champagne and cranberry juice in a punch bowl or champagne and serve. If you’re going to have non-drinkers or children at your Half-Christmas party, serve holiday classics like eggnog and cranberry juice minus the alcohol.

Have plenty of food

  • No party is complete without food. Every Half-Christmas party needs appetizers. To make the work easier on yourself, have each of your guests contribute to the spread. When it comes to the actual meal, it is summer time, so grilling is absolutely acceptable. If you consider yourself a traditionalist, a Christmas turkey or ham works, too! Don’t forget the Gingerbread cookies for dessert.

Decorate!

  • Break out the string lights and wreaths. You don’t have to decorate your entire space; instead, limit decorating to the areas you’re hosting your event in. If you have festive tableware or glasses, you can get more than one use out of them this year. For those of you who use fake trees, set it up outside and have the pollyanna gifts set up under it.

Create a playlist

  • Music makes the party, so take some time before your guests show up to put the perfect playlist together. You don’t want the entire playlist to be back-to-back Christmas tunes, so instead, scatter holiday songs in between tried-and-true classics and today’s top hits. If you feel so inclined, you can put a 15-20 minute section of strictly holiday songs together for the pollyanna portion of your party.

These party tips will have everyone in the Christmas spirit. Tis’ half the season – throw a Half-Christmas party this summer!

Written By

Lauren Ray is a passionate writer on a mission to create insightful and imaginative content. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Entertainment and Arts Management from Drexel University and loves writing and creating. In her free time, Lauren also enjoys travelling, binge-watching Netflix series, and quoting "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."