I think I go a little overboard when it comes to holidays. I might be a little crazy. But my kids aren’t learning The Star Spangled Banner in school, or saying the pledge everyday, and no one else is decorating with red, white and blue, or blaring “God Bless the USA,” or shooting off fireworks. So in order for the fourth of July to be anything other than the same as every other day WE have to make it special.
How crazy I am becomes more apparent, however, when the crazy comes out in my kids. On the fourth I told them we were going to have chicken salad for lunch and they said “we can’t have chicken salad! Its the fourth of July! We have to have something festive!” I guess I’ve made them a little crazy too.
So this fourth of July we sported as much red, white and blue as we possibly could.
We spent the week studying the founding of America in school and made some flags and drums. We listened to patriotic music for a few days and attempted to teach the kids to sing the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful and My Country Tis of Thee.
(side note: I found myself strangely commiserating with the loyalists as I taught my kids about the American revolution. I kept thinking how they weren’t the bad guys just because they were loyal to England…I mean here we are living in another country but feeling totally American. It was hard not to feel for the loyalist colonists who still felt British. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad our country was founded, and feel like our founding fathers were great, brave men…but for the first time I sympathized with those who weren’t ready to break from their home country.)
We ate flag coffee cake for breakfast on the morning of the fourth and waved our flags.
Instead of chicken salad we made flag shaped pizza for lunch with American pepperoni! (How could I say no to the request for a more festive lunch??)
We watched a movie about the American Revolution and listened to more music and sang some more. We read lots of books about America. We had hamburgers, french fries and coke for supper.
Then Daddy put on a spectacular fireworks show while the kids ate some red and blue jello. He lit a fire and then threw saw dust on the fire, which made little explosions. The kids loved it.
I might be a crazy person, but at least our kids had a fun, memorable fourth of July (and hopefully learned a little about their country) even in a land that doesn’t celebrate it! Celebrating the fourth away from America always makes me sentimental and thankful for our country…and of course miss all those Americans we love so dearly and couldn’t be with yesterday!