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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How do you celebrate the 4th?

I’m back from our summer vacation to Disney World. We had a great time and I want to go back. I returned to 200+ email messages, phone messages, bills, a mountain of laundry, swimming lessons, piano lessons, Cub Scout Day Camp, Vacation Bible School, the summer reading list and Accelerated Reader tests, and somewhere under the couch pillows is an unconscious teenage boy in his boxer shorts who only comes out to eat, usually at night, leaving me with empty cupboards in the morning, which means a trip to the grocery store. . . ahhhhhh. I’m ready for some fun.

Thankfully, it’s time to send out invitations for the 4th of July. I used Evite and sent mine out Sunday. Take a look at “A party is only as good as its guests” (4/11/10) for help making the guest list.

Before sending out the invites, you will need to decide on what kind of party to have. For July 4th I recommend a BBQ. The weather is great and summer has just started. The kids are still happy to be outdoors rolling in the grass, listening to the songs of the crickets, and catching fireflies. It will still be a few more weeks before the mosquitoes and sunburns chase them inside and you are listening to the latest hit songs: “I’m hot” and “What do we have to eat?” Make time to enjoy it now. This time of year life is at a slower pace and what could be better than food, friends, and fun. We make a whole day of it. We all meet downtown for the parade and then return to my house for a BBQ lunch. Then, we head off to watch the fireworks and return to our house for some of our own backyard fireworks (which are legal here). Some other ideas:

• Picnic in the park (where everyone brings their own food)*
• Pot Luck dinner inside where it’s cool. (unless you are a total germaphobe like me)* See post on pot luck tips
• A group trip to your local amusement park/laser show.*
• Make and enter a float in the local parade, followed by a trip for ice cream*
• Neighborhood Chili-Cook Off contest/ block party
• Pool Party
• Old fashioned 4th where families compete in potato sack relays and other games (make sure to include a pie baking contest)
• A homemade carnival with games and prizes
* These are great choices if you hate to cook.

If this is your first 4th of July party, don’t try to put together an entire day. It takes a lot of food and games to keep people busy for that long. Shoot for 2-3 hours. Early evening is a cooler time of day for an outside party and you can all end the evening by going to the fireworks.

When picking the time and day, don’t just assume that the 4th is celebrated on the 4th in your community. This year the 4th falls on a Sunday. In the south we spend this day at church. Our parades and fireworks shows will be on Saturday, so that is when I am having my party. On many military bases, the big fireworks shows are on Thursday so that soldiers may travel to see family over the four day weekend. If you live overseas your local American expat community is a great place to reach out to other Americans. If there isn’t already an event planned, plan your own-- everyone is looking for some piece of America on July 4th.

You don’t need to have everything worked out just yet, but you do need to know:

• Date
• Start Time
• End Time
• Location
• Attire: should they dress for inside, outside, pool, relay races, mud wrestling, etc.
• What to bring: just yourself, a pot luck dish, a picnic lunch, dessert, a board game to share, etc.
• RSVP information

Take it one step at a time. We will be here to walk you through it. Good Luck!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing!
    Following from Twitter Hop Thursday. Already following on twitter so am now following on GFC as well.


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