Summer is always a slammin' time of the year in the industry, but these days it’s important to have something in addition to a patio to entice potential guests.

Throwing an over-the-top Christmas in July celebration could be a fun and unexpected way to switch up the scene and excite the public with unique specials, LTOs, and of course… gifts!

Go Big or Go Back to the North Pole

If you're going to throw a Christmas party in July, going big is the only way to keep it from being cheesy and ineffective. The more ridiculous and kitschy, the more fun your guests will have. Think of traditional decor, then flip it for summer; instead of a classic spruce, opt for decorating a bright pastel-colored version or a palm tree. Instead of twinkly white lights, string flamingos or chili pepper bulbs, whatever fits your theme.

Greet guests with leis as they walk through the door and offer coupons or giveaways for dressing the part in a Hawaiian shirt, trunks, or beach hat. If you can find a local company to make snow for your patio or parking lot, even better — nobody will want to cool off anywhere else!

Cool Off with a Christmas Cocktail

While a hot buttered rum may sound perfect in chilly December, you're going to want to give a refreshing twist to those winter holiday favorites. Turn eggnog into a frosty milkshake by blending with ice cream and cinnamon. Add a piney gin to cranberry juice instead of bourbon and freeze for a more seasonal take on a slush. Scoop the Christmasy concoction into a glass and top with bubbly ginger ale, a slice of fresh orange, and a sprig of rosemary to spruce it up for the holidays.

Kids and adults alike will also love sipping on a frozen hot chocolate — just add powdered cocoa mix and chocolate milk to some ice and blend… just don't forget the marshmallows!

Complete the Feast with Roast Beast

Of course, the feast is the main event, but it may not be the time for heavy, rich dishes. And it's probably not the time to sit around a fancy dinner table, either. Christmas in July is the perfect time for hosting a full-on BBQ event, and there's no better main course than a classic holiday ham.

Performance offers ham in a variety of brands and cuts, so you can find what’s best for your celebration, whether it be an attractive D-Shaped Ridgecrest® Ham perfect for a carving station, or a West Creek® Pit Ham, already smoked and ready for the grill. Serve with pineapple slices and glaze for a summery spin on tradition.

Offer sweet and savory charcuterie, with seasonal summer produce tossed in among holiday favorites — skip heavy molasses and go for crystallized ginger cutout cookies with a light lemon glaze instead. Garnish with bright edible flowers, perfect for July.

Present the Presents!

It wouldn't be Christmas without the gifts, so use this opportunity for awesome promotions that give back to your guests. Grab a giant Christmas stocking and fill it with items appropriate for your theme.

Ask your suppliers for any sweet summer swag like beach towels, umbrellas, and even fire pits or inflatables. Post a giveaway every week on social media to hype up the event so that people who like and share the post can be entered to win. Make gift bags for the first 50 people through the door, including merch from your establishment and a gift card they can enjoy on a return trip.

Remember: The more you give, the more you get, even in the middle of a steamy summer!

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