In our house most holidays come with specific traditions…except for Independence Day. One thing is certain: on the Fourth, we’re going to eat. Everything else is pretty flexible.
Some years we throw a party, some years it’s just us. We usually don’t even commit to fireworks until sometime in the evening (and just as often as not we decide that we’re having a great time relaxing at home and have no desire to fight the crowds.)
This year our Fourth of July was, predictably, relaxed and food-filled. We hosted a small group of family and friends, but in our family, even a “small” group usually includes at least 10 kids. The weather was great, so amid stuffing our faces with ribs, potato salad, mac-and-cheese, and deviled eggs we sat outside chatting and watching the kids blow bubbles and run around the yard.
At dusk we decided to grab the kids and some blankets and head down to the beach to watch the fireworks. It was fun, but a stressful, long, and late process that I will probably not repeat next year or maybe even the next.
I remember when my big kids were little, I would sometimes feel vaguely guilty that I didn’t take them to see the fireworks every single year. But now I see that I was NOT being a lazy or “bad” mom by skipping on the fireworks. Most of the time it’s way late for little kids and getting there and home can be a huge undertaking.
I figure I’d like some fireworks displays to be part of my kids’ collection of childhood memories, but that doesn’t mean it has to happen every year, or even every other year, or that I’m obligated to haul my kids out every time there’s a fireworks show in town.
I guess what’s constant in our July 4 holiday, besides the food, is that we have built a tradition of doing pretty much whatever we want on that one day each year. We don’t over-commit, we don’t over-plan, and we don’t over-do much of anything. It’s just hanging out in the yard, talking, eating, and having fun. I think every family needs a holiday like that.
To see more photos of our Fourth of July festivities go ahead and click below! It’ll take you to our Story using the Disney Story App, which is free and helps you create a virtual story from the moments in your life.