Fourth of July Traditions, Past and Present

Maybe as a kid I had a different favorite holiday. However, I don’t remember any holiday but this one being my favorite.

Why is the Fourth of July my favorite holiday? 

  • It happens during my favorite season (summer!)
  • For the most part, it’s a low-stress holiday (no extra shopping except for fireworks)
  • I love fireworks!
  • There’s always good food!
  • I get to see my family!
  • There are lots of things to do but not so much as to feel as though you’ve missed out if you skip it

I thought it would be fun to write a post about Fourth of July traditions. Reflecting back on the being a kid during this holiday to what I do now. An Independence Day through the years post if you’ll indulge me.

My Fourth of July Holidays as a kid

I’m pretty sure the food from this holiday might be why it became my favorite. My mom made barbecued chicken, homemade macaroni and cheese, and later, a cake mix lemon cake I loved.

My dad took us each year to Blue Springs, MO  to buy fireworks. And we’d get “the tour” of the area as he grew up there.  His dad’s house (I never knew my grandfather as he died long before my arrival) and farm set on an area now occupied by the police station.

While the cooking happened in the kitchen, I along with perhaps my older brother or a friend as I grew older, spent my time outside worrying my parents as I set off my small collection of fireworks.

Later in the afternoon, we’d get in the car and head out to Aunt Thelma’s house, she lived in the country with plenty of space to explore as well as worry my parents with more fireworks. I vaguely remember walking to check out “the pond.”  And of course, there were fireworks from all the cousins (and my own family) at night. And lots of great food including my mom’s contributions.

Fourth of July With My Family Before Our Own Kids Arrived

Once Aunt Thelma passed away, my different family members hosted Fourth of July, usually one of my brothers.  My brothers were firefighters which always made the holiday um, interesting and exciting. Still does. Choosing the Fourth of July as a family event to bring my (not yet) husband around to meet family certainly was a test. Lucky he stayed, I think.

After my husband and I married, we alternated holidays. Smaller family with a smaller gathering followed by simply going somewhere to view a display didn’t do much for me. (Not that there’s anything at all wrong with it.) At some point, I quit sharing this holiday. We see his family quite a bit more than mine (easier with fewer people) so I think it’s fair.

And Now, My Favorite Holiday Traditions With My Own Kids

We still go to my family’s gathering most of the time.  J loves this holiday possibly even more than I do. Mainly, he’s quite the fireworks expert. And can discuss the best brand to get, value, and pretty much everything else about them. G, however, lists this one as his least favorite holiday (and that’s okay).

At some point, we started decorating cookies for the Fourth of July but the boys started to outgrow that one. And I always watch my favorite Fourth of July movie every year: Independence Day! (Stay away from that  remake unless you favor stink bombs). We also visit the Fireworks stands on the Fourth to check out the discounts.

If you live in the US, do you enjoy this holiday? What are some of your Fourth of July traditions?


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6 thoughts on “Fourth of July Traditions, Past and Present

  1. Rebecca L Knox

    I love this post, Jean! Makes me feel like I know a bit more about you and I find more common ground…like there wasn’t already a lot!!! 😀 Reading your childhood memories brought back many of my own…especially of fun times spent with the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Now I’m wondering if, when we lived in Blue Springs, if we didn’t live on what used to be your grandfather’s farm. If you go straight across from the police station, THROUGH the bridge on Walnut, and straight onto South 13th Street (when you’re crossing that bridge it’s the dead-end street that you’re looking down on)…that’s where we lived for 8 years before moving to Liberal. In fact, the house that we lived in had recently been moved from where it had been to where it was when we lived in it. Had they left it where it was, it would have been UNDER the Walnut Street bridge right there beside the police station. They moved it down about half a block and across the street (405 S. 13th). Interesting! Have a blessed Fourth of July, my friend! <3
    Rebecca L Knox recently posted..30 Day of Summer – Post #5 – Hooray For the Red, White, and Blue!My Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Very interesting. I’ll ask my family later this afternoon if the house was moved. Wouldn’t that be something if it ended up being the same house?

  2. Beverly Meyers

    We didn’t have any family traditions for the 4th. We did different things every year. As an adult I worked sometimes so we didn’t have a specific plan for that day. When George was little we met my Mom and her husband at a campground with a swimming pool which was fun sometime around the day. Troy and George don’t like crowds so I have given up on going to see firework displays.

    1. Jean Post author

      Today would be a perfect day for swimming! I forced my group to go out and see the city display last night. We didn’t go to the big crowded part but just an empty parking lot I knew would have a good view. It was crowded as well so we parked on the side street. They stayed in the car but I got out and sat on my picnic blanket on the grass. Maybe next year you & I should just go together 🙂 Hope you’re having a great holiday so far!

    1. Jean Post author

      My siblings said they tore the house down so not the same house. Would have been neat though. Land was where the police station now sits and under the water tower, I think.

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