Making the Most of Your July 4th Celebrations
Ah, yes. Summer has arrived! (And so has the COVID-19 vaccine!) This must mean that the day marked by sparks of red, white, and blue is around the corner. The smell of grilled hamburgers will soon be wafting through the air. Fireworks will be dancing among the stars. But most importantly, family and friends will once again come together to safely celebrate.
Though, let’s be honest. Preparing for and hosting a Fourth of July party can be a struggle. While juggling your full-time job and the kids’ summer agendas, shopping for USA-themed decorations may not be your top priority. (In fact, tonight’s dinner is still a mystery.) The grill is likely low on propane. You’ll need to head to the store before the rush of last-minute shoppers floods the aisles. And don’t forget about the sparklers and sidewalk chalk. Failing to make those purchases is cause for an uprising from the little ones. It’s safe to say that there’s never a dull moment!
Organizing a July 4th celebration is daunting. Yet, there are ways to reduce unwarranted stress. Continue reading for tips and tricks on how to have a hassle-free holiday party.
Make A List
First, choose your weapon: pen and paper or virtual notepad.
When you're out and about, it’s easy to let one of those mental notes slip your mind. There’s nothing worse than getting home and realizing you forgot the ingredients for s’mores! Making a list will allow you to organize your thoughts in one place. It’s easy and efficient!
With a working to-do list in front of you, sequence your tasks. Ideally, you should send invites and determine headcount before you buy food and drinks. If possible, try to be mindful of your guests’ allergies and dietary restrictions. Asking your family and friends to note such things when they RSVP will allow you to plan accordingly.
You may also find it helpful to categorize your list by location (i.e., grocery store, bakery, liquor store, dollar store, gas station) or type of product (i.e., food, desserts, beverages, decorations and games, propane).
If you’re sticking to a budget, sweep the house for any essentials you already have. These may include paper plates, plasticware, condiments, and decorations.
Check the forecast to determine whether your guests will gather on the patio or in the kitchen. With sun and clear skies, an outdoor party is the way to go. And you can even decorate the night before.
Play Music that Fits the Vibe
What’s a party without some good tunes? Music is sure to elevate the mood!
There’s a quick and easy way to create a playlist suitable for you and your guests. Spotify allows users to create collaborative playlists. And guess what? It’s free! Once you download the Spotify app on your device and make a profile, the rest is a breeze. Create a new playlist, add a relevant title, and select “make collaborative.” You can now encourage your guests to add songs from their favorite artists and genres. With the music under control, that’s one thing you can check off the to-do list!
Maybe some of your guests are musically inclined. A fun alternative to a collaborative playlist is live music. Invite your gifted family members and friends to sing and play instruments at your gathering. This could turn into a fun karaoke night!
Picture this… You have a near-completed to-do list and a sense of accomplishment. The party is tomorrow, and your guests couldn’t be more excited. You remembered the graham crackers and chocolate bars, as well as the sparklers and sidewalk chalk. You foresee the kids’ smiling faces as they hold their sparklers up against the night sky. After you dust and decorate, the couch is calling your name! A much-deserved break awaits.
Instead of spending the next 30 minutes searching for the ideal TV show or movie, consider a history lesson. There’s no time like the present to learn something new. Start by understanding more about the different aspects of Independence Day. Search for what most history books do not include: Black history. You may be surprised about what you find.
In a video created by NPR, the descendants of abolitionist Frederick Douglass deliver a powerful message. They read and reflect on one of his famous speeches titled, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass’ young relatives highlight a Black person’s ongoing fight for equal rights. When the United States achieved freedom, Black men and women remained enslaved. To this day, Black Americans are still disadvantaged.
Make a list, play your favorite music, and learn some history. These are great ways to have a productive and enjoyable July 4th celebration.
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