Happy Independence Day! Ever since I was a kid, I’ve spent the first weeks of summer looking forward to July 4th, when I would have a classic American cookout, eat some kind of a dessert that uses strawberries and blueberries to replicate the American flag, enjoy the fireworks and
play some good old-fashioned picnic games watch Revolutionary War documentaries on the History Channel. Although complaining about America is a tradition as old as the Declaration of Independence – and of course the U.S. of A. does have its problems – take a moment today to compare our country to some places across the globe: we have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free, compulsory public education, and public parks and libraries open to anybody who wants to explore and learn. If that doesn’t make you want to chant U-S-A, U-S-A, nothing will.
But you don’t have to be from the United States to celebrate on the 4th of July – face it, no matter where you live, you’ve been exposed to American culture. So if you’re celebrating from overseas, here are some tips to throw a great American-Themed party (psst – Americans can do it, too!). My favorite parts: the name tags with names of American icons like Betsy Ross and Alexander Hamilton, the map where you try to fill in the names of the 50 states (no peeking!), and the mad libs approach to classic American speeches and songs like the Gettysburg Address and Oh, Susannah.
There’s always the issue of what to wear, though, and on July 4th I think the rule of the day is to be as cheesy and red, white and blue as possible. Think: whatever the summery, patriotic version of a Christmas sweater, you should wear that. We do have a few guidelines – the dos and don’ts of patriotic wear – if you don’t want to cross the line all the way into star-spangled Speedos.
However, if you’ve been inspired by Hamilton or by your once-a-year viewing of The Patriot, maybe you’ll want to get your all-American fashion inspiration from the founding fathers. Don’t worry, we’ve written a guide to founding father fashion too! Get out the tricorn caps, Yankee Doodle boys and girls. They probably won’t be the weirdest thing you’ll see somebody wear today.
One of our favorite pictures from the American-themed party post was a party in Poland where the hosts played the movie Pocahontas on the TV. We have some film recommendations in the party guide – American genres like baseball movies, war stuff, and Tom Cruise – but if you need a few more, here are some movies that make me love America.
Another age-old American tradition is losing to European and Latin American teams in soccer(/football). With the Olympics coming up, I should mention that our U.S. national teams are very good and I have high hopes! But during the last World Cup, we wrote a list of American things to do to get over the World Cup loss. The activities work just as well as a way to celebrate America!
Whether you’re an American celebrating the land of your birth, residence or citizenship, or a non-American trying your best to put up with us, we hope you have a spectacular July 4th! May all your hats be three-cornered, your parties American-themed, and your Solo Cups red.