Editor's Note: I love the Fourth of July. It is such a lovely holiday to celebrate family, friends, or yourself. I wrote a short piece for Spillwords two years ago about Independence Day. I am going to repost it below. I hope you enjoy the spirit of my words and the holiday. All my words are meant in good humor and tongue-in-cheek jest. (For the record...Yes, I do enjoy Christmas!) Happy Fourth, everyone!
By Kara Jackman
The Fourth of July is the best holiday ever. Christmas does not hold a balsam-scented candle to the Fourth in my power rankings of top 5 holidays.
1. Independence Day 2. Thanksgiving 3. New Year’s Eve 4. Columbus Day 5. Christmas Day
Never mind two through five. We will be here forever if we debate our feelings about all of these holidays. Let’s focus on why the Fourth is the first in my book.
You do you! There is no familial pressure to spend time with relatives. In short, it is not a forced holiday. You want to go hang out with friends or family? Have at it! You want to spend the day on the couch watching Netflix? No problem! This is a day without expectations. Though it is more fun with friends and family, wherever it is you end up, make sure you are doing what you want. If that isn’t in the Bill of Rights, it should be.
There is no obligation to buy anything for anyone. All you need to do is show up and possibly bring some pasta salad. Everyone loves pasta salad and it is easy to make. Watermelons are also easy to bring along. I saw a woman today walking down a city street eating a quarter of a large watermelon. She was clearly trying to get a head start on the impending holiday. Just get out there and share the food, beverage, or things that make you happy.
The weather is wonderful. There is no hunched, mad dash in the freezing cold from the car to the front door in July. Don a breezy sun dress over your bikini, or a pair of shorts, and you are ready to go to the party or stay on the couch. FYI, most people are in a much better mood thanks to the warm weather, so go ahead and venture out.
The music is way better. The music celebrating our nation’s birth far outshines Christmas music. We, the people, must endure Christmas music as soon as we step out of our Halloween costumes through to the dawn of the New Year. This is not the case with patriotic tunes like “America the Beautiful,” “Star Spangled Banner,” the “1812 Overture,” and even “Yankee Doodle Dandy” if you are so inclined. These songs are only heard during a handful of holidays, typically on the day of the celebration. We not beaten over the head with patriotic tunes. I always feel more patriotic and stand a bit taller because the words of many of these songs so perfectly describe who we are, and what we should embody, in this country.
The funny thing is I’m not even all that patriotic. I never served in the military. I don’t have a flag in my front yard (well, to be honest, I don’t have a front yard). I just love easy-going gatherings of friends and family, American history, warm weather, and good music. So please, I implore you, to enjoy this Independence Day because it is the best holiday of them all.