Thursday, July 30, 2009

Christmas in July!

Where did this whole Christmas in July thing come from? This week at his summer program, my son's class made Christmas cookies, dressed in red and green and were visited by Santa Claus. Stores everywhere are hosting Christmas in July sales and Jessica at Life as Mom is hosting a Christmas themed Ultimate Recipe Swap.

From what I have read, it is often believed to be simply a retail established holiday - there aren't many shopping occasions in the summer, so retailers came up with the idea of Christmas in July to celebrate with special sales in the hopes of increased revenue. I have also read that it was attributed to a group of Irish tourists, who vacationing in Sydney and leaving behind the hot temperatures in their homeland, were overjoyed at the sight of snow. They convinced the hotel's owner to host a Yule fest, which was very well received and he decided to throw a Christmas party every July.

For me, Christmas is a time that is all about families. Growing up we would celebrate Christmas with Dad's family, Mom's family and our own family. Christmas with Dad's family floated, when I was a kid it would be held around Christmas, but as I got older and Grandma and Grandpa headed to Florida for the winter, it started to be held in the early part of December. Christmas with my Mom's family was always on Christmas Eve. Our Christmas was always Christmas morning. I can remember getting up around 3, so that I could be the first to see what Santa had brought. I would sneak out to the family room, scope out the gifts and head back to bed.

When it comes to Christmas, the other thing that marked the holiday was the food. Of course, there are always Christmas cookies and candies. And then, there are the family meals. Christmas morning at Mom and Dad's house was always (and still is) Breakfast Casserole (recipe here). Christmas with the family is done potluck style, with everyone bringing a dish to share. I love casseroles, but side dish casseroles just make too much to ever make them for just a meal at home, so I look forward to pot lucks and family dinners. Some of my favorites include Broccoli Rice Casserole and Potato Casserole.

Potato Casserole

1/2 c butter/margarine, melted
1 bag frozen hash browns
2 c cheddar cheese
1 diced onion
1 c sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use Cream of Onion, Celery or Chicken usually)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 c corn flake crumbs
1/3 c butter/margarine, melted

Put potatoes in a casserole and pour the melted 1/2c of butter over top. Combine other ingredients in a bowl and then stir into potatoes. Top with corn flake crumbs and 1/3c butter melted.

Bake 1 hour at 350.

For more Christmas in July recipes, check out the Ultimate Recipe Swap Christmas Must-HavesEdition at Life as Mom.


Unknown said...

GREAT!!! way to use potatoes. THANKS!!! for sharing a EASY!!! recipe. THANKS!!!