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Christmas in July: Steubenville Nutcracker Village pops up at Mall at Robinson

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

Did you know celebrating Christmas in July did not originate as a marketing tool but as a summer camp activity? The National Recreation Association's journal described Christmas in July in 1935 at a girl's summer camp, saying "all mystery and wonder surround this annual event."

The Pittsburgh Dress for Success Christmas in July tree is one of 10 local nonprofit themed trees in the Mall at Robinson's Charity Tree Land display. Visitors can vote for their favorite.

The very first Christmas in July camp celebration was held in 1933 at Keystone Camp in Brevard, N.C. according to Better Homes and Gardens writer Emily Van Schmus. The all-girls summer camp held a weekend celebration complete with carolers, a Christmas tree, fake snow, a gift exchange and even a surprise visit from Santa Claus himself, wrote Van Schmus.

The camp continued the tradition each year, and slowly the tradition began to take off in the South and eventually spread around the country.

Did you know there is a movie called “Christmas in July”? The 1940 comedy starring Dick Powell and Ellen Drew tells the story of a gullible man who is tricked by his coworkers into thinking he won the grand prize of a slogan contest for Maxford House Coffee. The prank has unintended ridiculous effects, resulting in the protagonist getting promoted to an advertising executive, collecting the $25,000 prize, and going on a luxurious spending spree, before the prank begins unfolding and his wacky misadventure begins.

Did you know the Hallmark Movie Channel will premiere Christmas movies all month long? During the first week of July, movies such as “Meet Me at Christmas,” “Holiday Hearts,” “A Gingerbread Romance,” “A Holiday Engagement,” and “A Boyfriend for Christmas” will deck television screens while Christmas enthusiasts dream of a white Christmas in 90-degree weather. Pulling the curtains shut and cranking up the air conditioner while sipping on a hot cup of cocoa with a dollop of whip cream should be enough to put anyone in the festive holiday spirit.

Did you know it wasn’t until the 1950s when the retail industry capitalized on the concept of Christmas sales during midsummer? Those types of summer sales go on to this day.

The Nutcracker Crawl at the Mall at Robinson features 50 of the 200 nutcrackers displayed annually in downtown Steubenville, Ohio. The Steubenville Nutcracker Village will run Nov. 23, 2021 through Jan. 8, 2022.

Celebrate Christmas in July

If all the above bring you yuletide cheer then check out the Christmas in July celebrations around town:

Did you know the Mall at Robinson is celebrating Christmas in July with a variety of events and attractions through the end of the month? There will be “fa-la-la-la-fun” cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus at the Chocolate Boutique at 11 a.m. on July 17. The Robinson Township Library will hold a Storytime with Mrs. Claus at 6 p.m. on July 22. Limited tickets are $5 and available on the library website.

Did you know as part of the Mall at Robinson celebration, 50 nutcrackers from The Steubenville Nutcracker Village in Ohio will be on display around the mall? Other events include “Elfie” photo stations, children's train, and the Christmas in July Tree Land located in the lower level near Macy’s where shoppers can vote for their favorite tree.

For a complete list of activities,

Did you know there are merrymaking Christmas in July events happening the entire month throughout Allegheny County?

  • Sandcastle Waterpark is planning a Christmas in July themed night swimming event.

  • Simply Social is organizing a meet and greet with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Mouse from 10 a.m. to noon on July 24 at 218 West Bridge St., Homestead. Tickets are $20.

  • The Oaks Theater at 310 Allegheny River Blvd. in Oakmont will feature the legendary National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie on July 16. Doors at 6 p.m. followed by photos and movie at 7. General admission tickets are $8.


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