Katie Patton
July 04, 2013 4:00 pm

Sweet summertime, we have waited oh so long for you to arrive! While I usually turn my nose up at the insanely quick passage of time, I couldn’t be happier that we have reached the quintessential summer month of July, because it can only mean one thing: Independence Day is upon us! A favorite holiday of mine, the 4th of July takes all things gloriously American and combines them to make the summer day to which all other summer days are measured against. On this beloved day, we all get to be kids again – eating food we don’t normally eat, staying up late to take in every last bit of the sticky summer night, being silly and remembering what it is like to truly marvel at something. A long time ago, I vowed to never grow up, so naturally, I would like to help all of you fulfill this goal, as well. To honor America, let’s talk about all the ways our nation being another year older makes us feel young again!

Fireworks!

If there is one thing the greatest of all American holiday’s is sure to bring it is this adored nighttime spectacular. Do you remember what happened the last time you walked in front of a child watching their favorite television show? Probably nothing, or if you stood in front of them for too long, they leaned so far to the side that they almost tipped over; nothing was coming between their eyes and that screen. As an adult, it might be hard to remember the last time you were that enamored with anything, but the 4th of July puts that spark back in our eye. When the fireworks show starts the whole world seems to fall away and whether eight or 80, those big, bright, beautiful booms easily mesmerize us all over again, giving us something to innocently marvel at. Claim your viewing area and don’t let anyone stand between you and this famed fourth tradition!

Break Out The Sparklers

Light ’em up and write your name in the air! Seriously, at what other time of year does a fast-burning metal stick provide hours of entertainment, smiles and laughs? Plus, while the munchkins classified as actual children stand very still, contemplating whether they are scared or amazed, you can show them the magic of drawing fantastical things in the air. You see, the dazzling properties of sparklers are two-fold: you get to bring out your inner child while earning magical cool points with your favorite minis. Sparkle on, crazy kids!

Red, Hot and Blue

While I still find it acceptable to force my friends to wear coordinating (or totally matching) outfits on occasion (all the time), the 4th of July is the only actual holiday where it is seen as cute and remotely trend-right to match your friends, family or the actual holiday itself. It takes a special type of person to rock an all over Christmas tree print, but every last American can sport a star spangled tee with on-trend pride. Better yet, call up your bestie and assign her to blue shorts and a white tee while you take on the reverse look. This is the one holiday where you can let your love of holiday-themed, color-coordinated, family-friendly outfits fly without fear of judgmental stares and wear any article of clothing which displays our nations flag. We can all absolutely be inspired by the kiddos to red, white and rock it with our matchy-matchy style.

Fourth Food

It just makes everyone happy. American’s love to eat so it is only natural that we celebrate our independence with traditional favorites, some of which take us straight back to the good ole’ days. Anyone looking would be hard pressed to find a household with a grill that wasn’t fired up, ready for a block-party or BBQ. When is the last time you ate a hot dog?! How about a s’more or a homemade pie? Not only do we get to eat fun, fabulous foods that don’t normally make their way into our daily diet, pretty much anyone with an affinity for baking LOVES to theme these delicious dishes to the day. Within 4th of July spreads across the country there will be pies with lattice crusts and cut out stars, cakes sporting strawberry stripes and blueberry stars and enough red, white and blue sprinkles to last us the whole summer through. It’s our party and we’ll eat flag-shaped, kid-approved food if we want to. And we absolutely want to.

Baseball, Bonfires and Beach Days

The three most important B’s besides the aforementioned BBQ, often shine as brightly as the fireworks themselves on the 4th of July. You don’t even have to like sports to enjoy watching America’s favorite past time on this specific summer day and while the rest of the season may quickly pass you by, there always seems to be time for a long day of soaking up the sun while celebrating the stars and stripes. It is seemingly the one day of the year where those of us who no longer have the privilege of a couple month hiatus from work win back that nostalgic feeling of freedom that comes with summer break; we are able to enjoy every last bit of the sun until heading home with rosy cheeks and tired eyes. And do you remember the first person who showed you how to roast a marshmallow and make a s’more while sitting around the bonfire? Thanks to America, we get to stay up past our bed times and reminisce at least once a year, breathing in that sweet, late-night summer air.

I know, I know, I get a little sappy and nostalgic when I talk about the 4th of July. It is truly one of my favorite holidays and I get lost in the thought of my celebration being like a scene out of The Sandlot. Regardless of how you celebrate Independence Day, be sure to relish in it. While I am perpetually searching for ways to never grow up, America’s birthday is one of those rare days throughout the year where we have complete permission to regain our innocence, let go and act like a kid again. So go ahead, get lost in the day! Even if you happen upon those sparkles in the sky on other random days or find yourself around the bonfire on a cool fall night, there is nothing like the magic in the air on the 4th of July.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

Tell me why the 4th of July makes you feel like a kid again! And please, oh please, if you are rocking a red, white and blue outfit tweet a photo…extra points to those who coerced someone into coordination!

Feature Image via Shutterstock. Other images found here, here, here, here and here!

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