Laura MacCorkle Christian Blog and Commentary

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July 4th: Picnic for One?

Sure there’s strength in numbers.  But sometimes, well, you just end up being alone on a holiday. 

Your friends went here.  Your family went there.  And your neighbors are not to be found, interestingly enough, anywhere!

But it’s not like you planned on it.  Still, for unexplained, sundry reasons you find yourself with no one to celebrate and make some noise on the Fourth of July.  And you can quickly become blue (or red or white, depending on your tone and the sun’s radius).

Well, never fear.  I won’t have it!  This year, you won’t have to lay out the red-checkered tablecloth and share your coleslaw and fried chicken with just the ants. 

I say forget the picnic for one!  Because I’m coming to your rescue with 1,776 patriotic ways (okay ... so I only came up with 13 ways in honor of the colonies) of how you can spend your holiday solo and star-spangled-banner-ly this Independence Day.  Enjoy ...

1.  Patriotically (is that even a word?) color-code your pantry.  Reds with reds, blues with blues and so forth.  Every time you open the door, you won’t be staring at just boxes or cans or expired bags of pasta.  You’ll see the American flag!

2.  Leave a cappella singing messages of “Yankee Doodle” on all of your friends’, family members’ and neighbors’ answering machines.  How sweet and thoughtful of you!  And then upon return, they can retro-share in your holiday celebration when they check their voicemails.

3.  Round up furry friends Rover and Fluffy and reenact A.M. Willard’s Spirit of ’76 painting.  A paper-towel roll-turned-flute, an oatmeal-can-turned-drum and a triangular-shaped hat made out of newspaper will work just fine!

4.  Fire up the grill.  See how many hotdogs you can char up at one time.  Then, see how many you can eat in less than a minute.  Then, take a swig of tummy-friendly root beer.  Keep a bucket at the ready.  And take two antacids before the morning.

5.  Got Reddi-Wip?  It’s the dairy whipped topping made with REAL cream, you know.  So get one can of that and set it to the side.  Get one pint of blueberries and set that to the side.  Get one package of red Jello and prepare following the manufacturer’s directions.  Set that to the side.  Move all ingredients to the middle.  And then set to the side. 

6.  It’s time for a DIY parade!  Pull those rollerblades out o’ storage.  Find the Radio Flyer and load it up (once again) with a festooned Rover and Fluffy.  Walk around your block.  Wave to everyone you don’t know.  And see what happens!

7.  In the spirit of all things American, grab your baseball bat and purchase a baker’s dozen apple pies.  Go to your backyard and bombs away.  There are no foul pies.  And if you try, I just know you can you make that dessert a tasty, little home run.

8.  There’s “Hanging of the Greens” at Christmastime, right?  So why not have a “T.P.-ing of the Houseplants” on July 4th?  Take one roll of two-ply bathroom tissue and separate.  With one pile of one-ply, decorate the houseplants facing east.  Take a quarter turn south.  And then with the other pile of one-ply, decorate the houseplants facing west.  Turn a quarter turn north.  You’ve now T.P.-ed and faced the four corners of our great land!

9.  Go to your local home build-it center and buy some bags of sand.  Then, pick an American national monument.  Recreate this building or historical marker in your interior sandbox—your bathtub!  Take a picture and then relax in a nice, patriotic 'n' exfoliating bath.  Aaaaaah.

10.  Who needs Old Navy and their stinkin’ thanks-for-making-us-lots-of-money-on-July-4th T-shirts?  Make your own outfit for FREE!  Get a white trash bag.  Find a red Marks-a-Lot.  Close your eyes.  And then decorate however you like.  Cut three holes (neck and arms).  Add some festive sling-backs (guys, you can wear your man-dals).  And now you’re a Fourth Fashionista!

11.  DIY parade – Part 2.  Blow up patriotic balloons.  Affix them with paint-friendly adhesive (try ticky-tak) to your transportation of choice.  Blitz around your neighborhood as fast as possible (but please don’t break the law on a federal holiday) and see how many balloons will stay on. 

12.  Have a moving-pictures marathon!  Rent as many July 4th or patriotic-themed films as allowed.  Also rent the “I’m Just a Bill” Schoolhouse Rock video (or any of the “America Rock” ones).  Watch a movie; break; watch Schoolhouse Rock; break; watch a movie; break; watch Schoolhouse Rock

13.  At dusk, go outside.  Douse yourself with preventative baking soda, fire up your lighter and get your sparklers on!

SPECIAL NOTE:  Kids, don’t try any of these on your own and without a thumb’s up from Mom or Dad.  Big kids, only attempt 4, 7, 11 or 13 at your own risk.  And for a more inspirational and substantive July 4th read, please check out today’s CW Devotional here.