Tomorrow we will be acknowledging perhaps my favorite holiday, Independence Day. But it is not for the reasons that you may be thinking. Sure, I love history and the story behind our country’s valiant fight to be independent from Great Britain. Who doesn’t love a “we won” story when you are on the winning side? But my reasons for loving the Fourth of July are much simpler. First of all, it is in the summer, my favorite season. The weather is warm enough for me to spend the entire day lounging on the beach with family. We share stories of our recent lives with each other, as well as reminisce about our past shared experiences, while the children dig in the sand and splash in the waves. In the evening, we share a barbecued meal and then venture off to watch a radiant display of local fireworks. There is no gift giving involved. There is no large meal preparation with an even larger clean up. There is no stress about who you wish a happy holiday to and who you might offend. We all celebrate it!
But this year, there is some uncanny irony in saying “Happy Independence Day!” We will be acknowledging our country’s freedom from a rule controlled Great Britain with more restrictions in place than I can ever remember. Gone are the large gatherings of family and friends joined together to share a potluck style barbecue in the yard. Gone are the spectacular fireworks displays to celebrate the birth of our country. Gone are the patriotic parades. So what is left to do to celebrate?
Here are three things I suggest you do:
- Watch “Hamilton” on Disney+
Full disclosure here: I am a HUGE Hamilton fan. Too cheap to buy the tickets in New York with the original cast, I patiently waited for it to make the national tour stop in a local city. While this may be okay with most, it is something that I regret. I have the original cast soundtrack downloaded and have become accustomed to their immense talent. Don’t get me wrong at all. The touring cast was phenomenal! But when you listen to Lin Manuel Miranda, knowing his passion behind the story, everything else pales in comparison. So, this is why I texted my nieces and asked them if I could watch it at their house this weekend because this college parent is too broke to splurge on Disney Plus!
2. Host a BYOB(Bring Your Own Barbecue)
Boston’s Mayor Walsh adamantly states that there should be no large gatherings or cookouts. So, have a smaller one. Keep it outside and sit 6 feet apart. For those who are nervous to touch the same serving utensils, just bring your own food. July 4th is about celebrating our country’s freedom. No one is saying you can’t celebrate, you just need to be a bit more careful about how you do it.
3. Start a new tradition
Take your family to the beach or visit a local state park. Pack a picnic and find a new spot to enjoy it. Make red, white and blue tie dye shirts and wear them on your adventure.
What are your plans to celebrate July 4th? Are you able to continue with your usual traditions? Will you be doing something completely different? Will you be watching Hamilton on Disney+ like me?