What is it about America’s Independence Day that makes this holiday so sacred and significant to each of us? Is it the parades, fireworks, festivities, or commemorations? Is it the remembrance of honorable founding fathers who had the courage to stand up for and even fight for liberty? Or is it the appreciation of the countless thousands who have sacrificed and given their lives to preserve the very liberty and freedoms this country was founded on and still enjoys? Certainly it is all of these and more. However, perhaps even more important than anything mentioned above, what makes this holiday so loved and appreciated, anticipated and planned for, and sacred and significant to us all is the simple fact that July 4th serves as a day to remember, appreciate, and surround ourselves with what and who is most important in life – family!
Below are listed ten 4th of July activities that any family will enjoy – activities that are both fun and meaningful.
1) Significance of Holiday: In connection with the point above, spend time thinking and learning about the significance of this day: read about the founding of our country, learn more about the Revolutionary War, read the Constitution or Dec. of Independence, visit graves of those who gave their lives for this country and our freedom, read historical accounts or stories, etc.
2) Thank-You’s: Spend a few minutes writing ‘Thank You’s’ to those serving in the military. Whether to a family member, friend, or neighbor – or to your local military unit – express gratitude through a letter or care package.
3) 4th of July Activities: Of course, what would the 4th of July be without a BBQ or picnic, watching Fireworks, attending a parade, playing or watching baseball, playing games as a family, etc.
4) Honor the Flag: Attend a Flag Ceremony in the morning. Put up a flag in your own yard. Learn about the significance and history of the flag.
5) Historical Spots: Visit a local (or national) historical spot.
6) Express Gratitude: Around the dinner table, have everyone express a few reasons why they love and appreciate this country.
7) Parade: Watch a parade, attend a parade, or actually make your own parade. Have the neighbor kids ride their bikes, have pets, people can walk, make your own ‘floats’, drive cars and have kids throw candy out, etc. – just around your neighborhood.
Water Fight: Play a game with friends or family and just have a big water fight.
9) American Trivia Game: Prepare and play a trivia game. In preparation, prepare American history questions: American dates, Presidents, Wars, Founders, States, Historical events or spots, etc. Then have an American Trivia game with everyone.
10) Family Time: Stay up late as a family and just sleep under the stars. Have a campout in the backyard, tell stories and jokes, play games, and just spend time together as a family.
The 4th of July is about picnics, parades, BBQ’s, and firecrackers. It is also certainly about patriotism, independence, liberty and freedom. But even more than that, the 4th of July must be an annual reminder of who and what is most important in life – our family! And never forget that the ‘parades’ and ‘fireworks’ of life are only moments of effortless entertaining pleasure; but the joy, happiness, and success of a family is far more rewarding and yet is only achieved through sacrifice, hard work, persistence, getting up after temporary defeats, and especially because of unselfishness – the very same qualities that our country was founded upon!