Got Freedom? Get Gratitude
A festive summer day filled with barbeques, ballgames, parties and paradesâ€¦what’s not to love about the 4th of July? But with all the excitement surrounding the holiday, it’s easy to forget the meaning â€“ and colorfully rich history â€“ behind it. Good news is, there are plenty of fun, easy and inexpensive ways to infuse your traditional celebrations with a sense of significance. Here are just a few to spark (questionably bad firework pun intended) your interest.
The best way to bring history to life is to visit where it actually happened. If you live on the East Coast, you have numerous historical sites to choose from (Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty, etc.). But no matter where you reside, there are important, history-rich locales within reach. A quick online search or downloading one of the many available historical site apps are easy ways to find out what’s close by.
PACK IT UP
There’s a reason they call them “care packages.” Sending parcels filled with favorite (and much-needed) items from home is a great way to tangibly thank our troops for their service and boost their morale. There are many organizations such as supportourtroops.org that give helpful guidance in terms of what to send, and how/where to ship your items.
Teaching younger kids traditional patriotic songs like “America the Beautiful” or “You’re a Grand Old Flag” is a great way to get them in the spirit and thinking about their heritage as American citizens. You could have your virtual assistant play some flag-centric tunes, but for a holiday that spans centuries, you might want to go old-school on this. Talk to them about the story behind “The Star-Spangled Banner” (it was inspired by the British bombing of Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812). It will make our national anthem much more meaningful for them whenever they sing it.
MAGNIFY THE MELTING POT
Since the first 4th of July, America has become home to millions from around the globe who sought the liberty our country was founded on. And they have brought with them valuable contributions ranging from entrepreneurial innovations to delicious culinary creations. Take some time to seek out people who are new to the US and talk to them about their experiences before and after becoming a part of our nation. Volunteer at a community center that offers programs to help newcomers adjust to life in America. Add a few ethnic foods of your choice to the traditional lineup of hotdogs and burgers to celebrate the diversity of our country.
Summer is a perfect time to plant flowers and enjoy time in the garden. Take it a step further by having your kids decorate flower pots with red, white and blue artwork. Provide them with non-toxic paint, star-shaped stencils and other embellishments (beads, glitter, etc.) to help them celebrate their creative freedom. Visit a local nursery together to choose red, white and blue blossom
Give a few of these ideas a try to create an Independence Day that’s both exciting and enlightening!
KEY DATES IN JULY:
- JULY 1: International Joke Day
- JULY 4: Independence Day
- JULY 7: International Chocolate Day
- JULY 11: World Population Day
- JULY 22: National Parents’ Day
- JULY 27: System Administrator Appreciation Day
- JULY 30: International Day of Friendship