In honor of Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers, go all out to celebrate the Fourth of July with your family.
Read all about it. Did you know that the 13 colonies actually separated from Great Britain on July 2, but Congress approved the Declaration of Independence two days later?
Decorate your family's bicycles. Hit Michael's or any other arts-and-crafts store to get streamers and pinwheel flags. Weave ribbons between the spokes of tires. And then, if your town allows it, join the local parade.
Eat red, white and blue foods all day. Dip strawberries in white almond bark (vanilla-flavored candy coating) and then into blue sprinkles. Drink milk, cranberry juice and blue Gatorade. Make a fruit salad with blueberries and raspberries - with a dollop of whipped cream. Make strawberry shortcake - or serve make-your-own blueberry or vanilla ice cream sundaes with maraschino cherries.
Wear patriotic colors. But of course. Fortunately, blue jeans and white T-shirts get you two-thirds of the way there. Add a red cap or a red headband. Set up a home manicure station with red, white, and blue nail polish.
Play John Philip Sousa. Or sing or at least hum "Born in the U.S.A," "You're a Grand Old Flag," "Over There," "Yankee Doodle," or any other patriotic tunes.
Start reading a couple patriotic books. Why not try David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning John Adams? Or to learn more about the Constitution, check out The Federalist Papers. For any little kids in your life, buy Judith S. George's Caldecott-winning So You Want to Be President? (Kids love learning about America's fondness for presidents raised in log cabins, big and small. And guess what? Andrew Johnson was a tailor.)
Watch an all-American film. Why not catch James Cagney in "Yankee Doodle Dandy," Tom Hanks in "Saving Private Ryan," Will Smith in "Independence Day," or Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"?
Hit the fireworks. If you're lucky enough to live near New York City, watch the Macy's show. In Washington, D.C., catch the fireworks that light up the sky behind the Washington Monument. In Boston, head to the Charles River.
Happy Fourth of July!
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