I’m a very proud American and make no apologies for it. But holidays tend to stress me out. I’m a big-time introvert. I enjoy a lot of “alone” time. Oh, my kids and my Mom and I will cookout this weekend. We’ll have our standard menu of bratwurst, German potato salad, Kraut salad and some desert. (Yes, it IS odd that a Scots-Irish-Ukranian family celebrates America’s birthday with a German meal, but it works for us!) I do love fireworks and could be persuaded to go–if they are on the actual 4th of July. Today that’s hard to find because in every city some radio station has taken over the fireworks and made them a big gigantic crowd thing with synchronized music, having to go way, way early to get a spot and Port-a-Potties. I like normal, hometown fireworks with smaller crowds. It goes without saying that I don’t like Port-a-Potties.
So, without further ado, here are my suggestions for a good Fourth of July alone–alone-alone or alone with your significant other if you are birds of a feather on this issue.
First a few good books:
Personally I re-read my favorite passages of Gone With the Wind at this time of year. Now, don’t get ahead of yourself, my ancestors were Yankees and no I don’t like the way the slaves are portrayed. I read about Scarlett’s wedding night with Charles and her visit with Rhett and other fun parts of the book. But there are other great reads that are perhaps a tad more relevant to the day.
David McCullough is one of America’s master story-tellers. Even better is the fact that he writes nonfiction. This is history that reads like a novel. 1776
Relive the Revolution through the often passionate, always informative, letters of founding father and mother, John and Abigail Adams. My Dearest Friend
The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes takes the illegitimate son of a British aristocrat, and his family, from his arrival at the beginning of the American Revolution until the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War.
Films, TV and Series
PBS provides the best celebratory 4th of July special. Held on the steps of the Nation’s Captial, this annual variety show celebration is great t.v. Stirring tributes to heros, good music and fireworks–what more do you need? A Capital Fourth.
On the fourth, I always enjoy watching Clifton Webb in The Stars and Stripes Forever in which he portrays legendary US Marine Corps Band director and march composer John Phillip Sousa.
Paul Giamati’s excellent portrayal of John Adams makes this series a riveting watch. It’s well worth it just for Benjamin Franklin sharing his bath with a lady friend! Seriously, this is a great portrait of America and of it’s second president. John Adams.
For the Introverted Family
Two great read-alouds with excellent film adaptations.
My history-avoiding kids “endured” this being read aloud daily in 8th grade, but ignore their opinion. It is excellent historical fiction. Any family who loves reading aloud will enjoy this. Johnny Tremain book and movie.
Then curl up around the air conditioner and watch this, or another, fabulous fireworks DVD. Perfect for the Port-a-Potty-adverse introvert!
Don’t forget the popcorn and cookies! How cool is Red, White & Blue Fireworks Popcorn?
And Stop by Old Navy for the t-shirts!
Need more party ideas? Food ideas? Scrapbook page ideas? Kid craft ideas? This board will give you ideas for the entire 4th of July holiday experience!