Guest Author - Sandra Lee Garth
Celebrating our nationís independence should be a fun and stress free time. To help make this possible, start by forgoing the written and mailed invitations, and call your guests. Itís doubtful that anyone would mind.
No need to come up with a color scheme for this one. Red, white and blue are the colors of the day. American flags are pretty much a given, however, donĎt go overboard. Red, white, and blue, banners, fans and streamers are great additions to the decorations. Take a visit to the local craft stores and buy scrapbook papers to use as coasters, table runners, and signs. If you have, or want to buy a whole punch, you can punch out food labels and place cards.
Use small pails, either galvanized or in the color scheme for ice-buckets or to hold flowers, cutlery or condiments. Red and white gingham paper or plastic tablecloths are in abundance this time of year and are very inexpensive. Donít forget the table clips to secure the tablecloths also.
Streamers attached to trees make great outdoor decorations and help the whole neighborhood to get into the spirit. White sparkling lights in the bushes, around doorways, porch and deck railings add ambience and fun when the sun goes down.
Bandanas are economical and make great napkins and or favors for your guests. Provide a small zippered take home bag if the banana is used for a napkin as well as a favor.
For plates, cutlery and glasses; use all three of the colors.
Most July 4th celebrations traditionally include some type of outside activity. Play as many games as possible and be sure and include a few that adults and children can play together. If there is a parade in your area, try to time dinner around it, either before or after. If youíre planning on attending fireworks be sure and bring jackets if the temperature usually dips at night. Donít forget hand wipes bottled water and mosquito spray or wipes.
Whether youíre hosting a picnic, buffet or sit down dinner, the food is going to be one of the highlights of the party. Here are a few ideas to get the menu ball rolling.
Friend chicken, burgers, brats, hotdogs
Kebabs, potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad
Coleslaw, bean salad, tossed salad
Baked beans, corn on the cob, grilled vegetables
Seasonal fruits grilled, or cut up in a salad
Potato chips, tortilla chips and assorted dips
Cake, pie, cobblers, ice cream, homemade popsicles, whoopie pies, smores, cookies
Sodas, water, ice tea, beer, all served on ice
Inside or out you never know when an accident may happen. Each home should have a small first aid kit available. Your kit should include, band aids in assorted sizes, gauze, Vaseline, medical tape, scissors, q-tips, ice packs and ace bandages. If you routinely entertain, a CPR course from your local Red Cross office is a great thing to know. Hopefully youíll never have to use this knowledge, but you always want to be prepared.
If you have fireworks for home use they should always be supervised by an adult. Have small pails or bottles of water nearby to douse them to make sure all fireworks or sparklers are not a fire hazard.