Is it Time for New Traditions?
Independence Day is less than two weeks away, so it’s not too soon to start making plans! Keep reading for ideas, suggestions, and why it’s important to make this day special.
Our lives are marked by days of celebration and remembrance, each one writing another page in our personal story. Though we can agree that every day is significant in its own way, these particular days are “special” days that cause us to set aside our ordinary routines to celebrate and remember events of the past.
In each culture and family, these days become traditions that we repeat year after year. They connect us with our past and remind us of our common bond. As we get older, we realize the importance of keeping these traditions for our own families because these memories are so special to us.
On July 4th, Americans will gather for the purpose of celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Fireworks, accompanied by patriotic music, will play a significant role in many communities. There might also be parades and other planned events. All these are important in establishing community traditions. But we also have an opportunity to bring this down to a more personal level. So keep reading for some ideas and suggestions that don’t rely on good weather.
- Tell the Story
If we would ask different individuals to explain the historical events the led to Independence Day, we would probably be surprised at the responses. If you have kids in the house, take time to tell the story. You can find some recommended titles at Scholastic from picture books on up, and don’t forget to browse your local bookstore. You might also want to have one of your kids recite the famous poem, Paul Revere’s Ride!
- Tell Your Story
If you are an American, your personal history is woven into the fabric of the national story. How did your family arrive here? Where did they come from? Why did they leave their homeland? If you have some of those old family photos, this is a good time to bring those out along with a map to visualize the journey. If you haven’t heard your family history yet, take time to talk to your older relatives. More than likely, they will have some colorful accounts you’ll want to remember and pass on.
- Make it Red, White and Blue
Nothing says Fourth of July like red, white and blue decorations. And if your little ones can manage a glue stick (think paper chains), everyone can get involved. Depending on how elaborate you want to be, and how talented your family members, you might want to gather your supplies and get started right away. Ideas are all over the Internet, but here’s a great pictorial to jumpstart your creativity.
- Don’t Forget the Feast
Family traditions often include favorite foods. And coming from an Italian heritage, food took center stage at every gathering. Consider setting a Fourth of July menu to repeat every year, featuring your family’s favorites. As your kids grow, they can help prepare the menu.
Eating outside? Plan a traditional picnic! You can always move it inside if necessary. And remember to incorporate a special blessing over the meal to commemorate this special day. And one more thing: don’t forget a side of pasta.
- Add Entertainment
Whether you’re all winding down after a long day or filling that lull between dinner and fireworks, it’s always a good idea to plan some entertainment. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the great content on pureflix.com, this is a good time to sign up for your 30-day free trial. You’ll find historical biographies of the American presidents, the American Heritage Series, and much more.
I hope these suggestions help you create new traditions for your family and revive your old ones. And I especially hope it reminds you of the importance and significance of sharing your own American story with your loved ones.
Have a blessed, safe and happy Independence Day!
Franklin Santagate is the Executive Vice President of Marketing for Pure Flix, and works with denominations, ministries, and organizations by finding common vision, assets, resources and influence. From that position, we create initiatives we can do together that we cannot do apart, reaching our mutual objectives and expanding the Kingdom of God. To discover more or to become a Pure Flix Global Strategic Alliance partner go to http://pureflixalliance.com/join/.
To contact Franklin for speaking opportunities at churches and special events, email him directly at email@example.com