By: Pressley Cox

Did you know that according to a Southern Living article, Christmas in July started in 1933 at Keystone girls’ camp in Brevard, North Carolina. It began as a theme for a summer camp celebration, not in a church or by a marketing company. This first celebration included carolers, a Christmas tree, Santa Claus, presents and fake snow. There are numerous other theories of how Christmas in July began. Some say it started in the southern hemisphere since the real December 25 falls in the heat of summer. Christmas-themed neighborhood gatherings, restaurant promotions, and family get-togethers have become popular July activities. And of course, companies have used the theme to promote merchandise.

Regardless of how the tradition started, the Advocate will be celebrating Christmas this July by sharing different ideas for faith formation and worship to be used by in churches during Advent and Christmas.

We’ll start by sharing some great Advent devotional resources.

A Sanctified Art, LLC comes out with a new, creative bundle full of art, liturgy, prayers, devotions, posters, and more. 2018 isn’t available yet, but take a look at the great resource from 2017.

Illustrated Children’s Ministry was recently highlighted in this blog. It has a range of good Advent resources from coloring posters to family devotionals.

Salt Project creates beautifully-designed print resources that will help you and your congregation with Advent, Lent, and even summer resources.

Presbyterian’s Today releases a new Advent devotion every year. While the 2018 piece is not yet available, here is the link to find last year’s booklet.

Luther Seminary has an Advent devotional that is easy to download for personal use. If you scroll down this webpage, you also subscribe to receive a daily email during Advent.

Columbia Theological Seminary puts out an annual Advent devotional resource. Last year, they partnered with A Sanctified Art, LLC to create visual art and reflections.

Pressley Cox is a member of the ADVOCATE ministry team.  She serves as Pastor of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, SC.  She can be reached at pressl[email protected]