Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Better than Christmas.

Today is my favorite holiday.  Someone asked me how I could like this day more than Christmas.  Let me make this clear: it isn't because I'm especially patriotic, because I'm not (oh man, I may receive some heated emails after this).  Honestly, I don't care all that much whether we choose a day to celebrate America (or America's independence) or not.

I definitely enjoy being a citizen of America, I appreciate the sacrifice of our soldiers, and I love Americans (and I love people who don't live in America as well), but celebrating our country isn't something on my list of priorities.

It's only a country.  I love Americans.  I like America.

But 4th of July is my favorite holiday.  Every year, we invite family and friends over to our house to celebrate with us.  Everyone brings food: burgers, homemade ice cream, desserts of all sorts.  A few families bring fireworks, as big and bright as we can find.  And at the end of the night, after it gets dark, we have a fireworks display from our driveway.  Since my family lives out in the country, there aren't any rules against fireworks.

When ours run out, we sit out in chairs and watch the beautiful fireworks from the in-town parks color the horizon, brighter even than the lights of the city.
Ten reasons I love 4th of July more than Christmas:

1.)  It's summer!  I love warm weather so much more than cold weather. 

2.)  We get to be outside.

3.)  It's a night time holiday... and I love staying up late and watching stars and sparkling lights.

4.)  Family and friends are all together.  It's not just a family thing.

5.)  Delicious food.  Christmas food is good too, but man, homemade ice cream is the best.

6.)  There isn't stress of buying gifts and last minute shopping.  The materialism disintegrates quite a bit and is replaced with comradery, stories, and quality time (my love language). 

7.)  The funniest things seem to happen on 4th of July and wonderful memories are always made.  Everyone is in a good mood because summer just does that to you.

8.)  Fireworks are beautiful!

9.)  Sparklers.

10.)  The smells.  Every family for miles around cooking out on the grill.  The crisp and smoky scent of fireworks. 
I love this day.  Last year's Independence Day was kind of a bummer (I wrote about it), because the Panhandle was undergoing a drought and so we had a fire ban.  No fireworks anywhere and for good reason.  Grass fires swept through the edges of my city and burned down several houses.  With no rain for more than six months, fireworks could have been disastrous.

Since fireworks are a significant part of the excitement of Independence Day, it was a little disappointing to skip them for a year.  It also gave less of a reason for people to drive out to our house, so we had a smaller cookout than usual.

We couldn't even make a small bonfire, so Rebekah and I had to roast our marshmallows over a candle!  (That didn't taste so good.)  We laughed and laughed.

Last summer, I was frustrated with a few things in my life, like my job and worries about college.  God taught me a lot through the drought and lack of water.  He even gave me a new hope the day before the 4th of July.  I'm so thankful for what I was able to learn through the struggle, even if it meant no fireworks for a year. 

This summer has been much harder, so I am so thankful that the Lord allowed us to relax and have a great time for one night.  No worries.  No problems.  It was peaceful.  It was fun.  Even though it hasn't rained much this summer, it did enough.  There were big and beautiful fireworks.  There was a huge celebration.  A feast.  Many guests, family and friends.  So many memories were made.

In fact, thirty-seven people attended our 4th of July celebration at my house.  37.  It was great.

Thanks, Jesus, for letting us have this day of pure joy and quality time.  It was the best.


  1. Okay, good, I'm not the only one! I love the 4th for all those reasons too! Better than Thanksgiving or Christmas, definitely.

    Last night as I was watching fireworks, I realized that fireworks are celebrating our country and our independance and how can we really enjoy watching the fireworks on the 4th of July unless we can really celebrate our independance and the greatness of our country? I didn't used to be very patriotic either, it doesn't help that I've never been out of the U.S. so I don't know what it's like NOT to live here. But God has taught me that even though America is kind of imploding, it's still the greatest country in the world. Just think, if all Americans believed that they lived in the greatest country in the world, how much better off would our country be? We'd all actually want to vote, want to protect our country, want to love ALL the people in it. The 4th of July is a symbol of what our country was meant to be, family AND friends coming together to freely be together, pray together, eat together, laugh together, and talk together. What an amazing gift we have.

  2. I grew up in apartments, and fireworks have been banned for private use in my city for as long as I can remember, so my family never really made traditions like those... It sounds like a wonderful, wonderful time, and I can totally see how it would become your favorite holiday. (Especially being the quality time person that you are!)

    Interesting that you mentioned the consumerism and materialism that usually accompanies Christmas. In fact, that's one of the reasons why I DO NOT like Christmas... like, at all. I just don't care for it. Holidays in general just don't do much for me.

    What REALLY caught my eye was the marshmallow-candle roast. My siblings and I used to roast mini marshmallows on toothpicks over tea light candles, and it was so much fun! I just kind of threw it together one day to keep us occupied, and it's still a time-honored tradition that they carry on, though we're flung far and wide now. Sure, they don't taste that great, but it's a blast!

  3. Your 4th of July sounds a lot like my New Years, which is my favourite holiday :) I can see why you love it so much! <3

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