Noël des campeurs: Quebec’s Christmas in July

Camper’s Christmas is a Quebec tradition celebrated on the weekend closest to July 25 in campgrounds across the province. It’s a day when campers gather with their friends and family and take part in Christmas cheer and festivities. In the heat of the summer.

The tradition began in 1960 at the Domaine de Rouville campground in the Montérégie region south of Montreal. Today, Camper’s Christmas coincides with Quebec’s construction holiday, when thousands of Quebecers take their summer vacation.

Camping is increasingly popular across the country as a family activity during the summer. Almost all of my friends have RVs and spend their holidays in campgrounds.

In the spirit of celebrating an active Camper’s Christmas, here are five ideas for simple and fun activities to do with the family while at the campground:

  • Christmas decorations are a must. Have the kids get creative, imagine a summer Santa Claus, and decorate the RV.
  • Organize a hunt for Christmas presents at the campsite’s playground. Hide the gifts across the playground in places where kids need to use their movement skills — like crawling, hopping, balancing, and running — to find them.
  • Drag the toboggans out of the garage and stage a relay race. Kids can pull each other on the sleds through a race track (they slide nicely on grass or sand). You can decorate the course with Christmas trees, lights, and artificial snowmen.
  • While ice hockey is a Christmas tradition, ball hockey is the sport of choice for summer Christmas. Many campgrounds have street hockey equipment. Just invite the neighbours for a friendly game, and don’t forget to wear your Christmas hat!
  • Finish the day off with a Christmas song around the campfire, a traditional Christmas dinner, and a typical Christmas in July camping desert: snowman-shaped marshmallows.

To everyone celebrating July 25 at their favourite campground: Merry Christmas!

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