A Christmas in July 40th Dinner

We recently hosted a 40th birthday for our friend Nicki from Cottonwood & Co who more than likely wanted and had planned to be somewhere way more glamorous for her 40th (I think Italy was planned, or maybe New Zealand) but as we know, 2020 had different plans for us all. With restrictions on group bookings we weren’t able to head out into the world so we decided to host a dinner at home instead. Her love of a Nancy Meyers film and of course Christmas (you can see her dinner last year in this post) gave us the idea for a Christmas in July dinner with the fire roaring and the delicious wintry feast of Christmas food we often force ourselves to have in summer in Australia in its element at last in our freezing cold winter in the Highlands.

My inspiration was this kind of a theme (ideas and images from Pinterest, of course!)

Lots of greenery from our pines, holly and berries, winter fruits as a pop of colour (cumquats from a friend’s garden, beautiful red winter pears and apples), a gazillion candles and fairy lights and away we went with that! I set the table a whole day before I had to, actually, maybe it was two? I had the time while the girls were at school and so I faffed and potted about at my own leisure. The clean up? Much quicker as we had to head away to the beach the next day (I shouldn’t have planned that at all BTW).

There’s something about Christmas carols though, you whack them on and INSTANTLY you are transported to every Christmas you ever had. The smells of the food cooking, candles and lights sparking and the joy of a Christmas decorations about are a great distraction and salve for this shitty time we are all in at the moment.

The food was organised by us all (there were 7 couples and so everyone did something each). Cheese platters and canapés, I did the meat and potatoes and sauces for the mains, someone else the sides for our main, desserts…all covered off by us all and made the whole thing easier to manage and organise.

Mrs Munro outdid herself with the canapés. Little warm pots of seafood chowder (the birthday girl’s favourite) and then her other dirty secret: Maccas Chicken nuggies that she fancied up on a spoon. Classic.

A buffet for the rest of it and we were good to go. Lucy’s husband Chris SHONE with his dessert (as you would expect from an ex-chef) so so delicious. We ate and drank WAY too much and stayed up WAY too late. I think Rob kicked everyone out at 2am as they were still sitting around the table and we needed to get up the next day and clean up. You never think of that at 2am do you though?!

I think I got 4 hours sleep before Maggie was up and I had to be too, then the clean up all done and everything back to norm by about 10am, then we were packed for holidays and out the door by 12.30, a dead set CHRISTMAS miracle. Never again Beth, never again plan to do that!

It was such a wonderful night with all our friends, another celebration around our table in our home, how lucky we are to be able to do this over the years. The memories will be in my heart forever.

You can check out some more of our Christmas dinners for hosting a Christmas in July dinner here:

Girl’s Christmas Dinner 2019
Girl’s Christmas Dinner 2018
Girl’s Christmas Dinner 2017
Christmas in July Dinner 2017
Girl’s Christmas Dinner 2016

Are you a lover of Christmas in July too?


  1. You are so clever – such a beautiful Christmas table! Fancy!

  2. Absolutely fabulous – you are a dead set legend! 🎅🎄 🦃 🍾 🥂 🎉

  3. Looks fabulous ……

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