How To Tastefully Celebrate The Fourth Of July, Because "'Murica" Is Not Cool Anymore
The Fourth of July is almost here, which, for most people means flags, food, fireworks, and a whole lot of red, white, and blue. Celebrating Independence Day feels like one of the most quintessentially American things you can possibly do, and hey, why not? But there can also be a pretty fine line between "hooray, patriotic celebration!" and "stereotypical American caricature." While being proud of where you come from is totally awesome, there are also a lot of things that perhaps aren't so awesome — like the fact that, racism, violence, and inequality means that not everyone feels like they're living in the land of opportunity and the home of the brave. So it might not be a bad idea to give some thought this year to how you can tastefully celebrate the Fourth of July.
The good news is that it's pretty easy to organize a fun, affordable, and not-too-over-the-top celebration for this awesome summer holiday without going crazy (according to TIME, the average American household spent $346.50 on Fourth of July in 2015, which, you know, seems a tad excessive). So this year, why not go back to basics for Independence Day, and have a low-key Fourth of July celebration? What could possibly be better than enjoying a day off with family and friends while stuffing yourself full of hot dogs, anyway? (That's right, nothing.)
Embrace The BBQ
Sure, you could host a Pinterest-perfect backyard dinner party with Instagram-worthy place settings, but the Fourth of July is made for simple barbecues. Grab some friends, some burgers, and some cold drinks, and you've got yourself an easy get-together that is totally budget-friendly. And hey, add some red Solo cups and red, white, and blue iced cupcakes and you've totally got the decor sorted, too.
Think Beyond The Flag T-Shirt
Just picked out my 4th of July outfit! pic.twitter.com/JVNz2CXGWQ— 80's Wrestling Pics (@80sWrestlingPic) June 24, 2016
Getting decked out on your best stars and stripes get-up is fun, but, there are also plenty of summer outfit options that won't leave you looking like a walking national anthem. According to Elle, there are lots of different choices for Fourth of July fashion depending on where you happen to be celebrating that are still totally American — think sneakers, denim, or sundresses. You know, stuff you could still wear out in public on July 5.
Be Considerate With Fireworks
Happy Memorial Day!! Remember to think of soldiers with ptsd before doing fireworks pic.twitter.com/VH4nOTePLA— Mina !! (@mina_sarmas) May 30, 2016
OK, so fireworks are cool right? Totally — unless you have a pet, a sleeping baby, or happen to be a veteran struggling with PTSD. While holiday fireworks are expected and unavoidable, there always seem to be "pre" and "post" holiday fireworks (I've even heard them a week later!). That's why, according to CNN, many vets have started posting signs on their lawns reminding people not to overdo it when it comes to their fireworks displays. While freaking out a puppy or waking up a sleeping baby suck, it's not nearly as hurtful as what many vets experience when fireworks are set off when they aren't expecting them (aka, any day other than the holiday they were intended for).
By all means, enjoy your fireworks. Just remember that, for some, they are totally the actual worst. (Note: sparklers are just as fun and make hardly any noise!)
Check Out A Parade
If you're looking for family-friendly ways to celebrate the Fourth of July, a parade might be a great option. It's pretty easy to feel super patriotic and proud hanging out in a crowd of people enjoying the holiday, and there's usually something for everyone to enjoy, especially the little ones.
If there's one holiday that seems to lend itself to over-the-top proclamations about patriotism, it's gotta be the 4th of July. But it's also just as easy to enjoy the day and be proud of your country, while also being considerate of others, who might not feel quite as enthusiastic about all the flag waving.