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When you think of patriotic holidays in the United States, what do you think of? Of course, many people think of the reasons for those holidays: celebrating the United States and the people who have served or are serving the nation’s interests, especially in the military. In addition, these holidays are often a time for families to get together, from young to old, and enjoy each other’s company. For many people, celebrating holidays like Memorial Day and (especially) the Fourth of July is associated with Summer fun, barbecues, and other outdoor activities. You might also think of fireworks shows, bright lights, and loud noises. However, that’s not the only way to celebrate patriotic holidays. (In fact, for many veterans and others who have lived through dangerous situations, fireworks can be a major source of stress and PTSD). So, besides fireworks, what are some alternatives for ways you can show your patriotism as you celebrate these holidays?

Patriotic Celebration and Party Ideas

When celebrating a patriotic holiday, everyone’s celebrations look will likely vary from person to person and from family to family.

For instance, one type of celebration is focused on more solemn remembrance of the sacrifices that military members have made on behalf of their nation and people. Especially for those who have lost family members to conflict or other forms of service, holidays like memorial day are not only a time to spend with your family members, but to remember those who are no longer with us. Many celebrants will visit cemeteries to honor the dead by decorating graves, especially of veterans, with small American flags, flowers, or other symbols of their appreciation. This is very meaningful when you know the people whose graves you visit, but it can also show respect for others who you did not know in life. Some people will visit cemeteries or memorials even if they do not have family members or friends buried or honored there, as a way of remembering the sacrifice of those people.

Of course, plenty of veterans and current military members might also appreciate a visit! This is especially true for older veterans, and even more especially for those living independently or in assisted living facilities. Like many elderly people, these veterans will likely appreciate a friendly visit (and not just on Memorial Day, though that holiday is a good reminder!). Likewise, many other veterans will appreciate a visit or phone call even if they’re still living with family. And, of course, many veterans likely need help, financially or otherwise; if you have the resources available, you might consider donating to a charity that helps veterans in need.

Other forms of celebration are less formal. For example, Memorial Day or Independence Day parties are common, often taking place outside in a yard, park, or patio, and almost always involving traditional summer food. These parties can sometimes be difficult to plan, since large family events often involve older and younger guests. To make sure everyone feels involved, consider the following ideas:

Patriotic Decoration Ideas

What are some ideas for Independence Day outdoor decor? If you are planning on hosting a party for a patriotic holiday, think about what kind of mood you want to set with your decorations:

First, it’s good to consider color. Color is a huge part of any holiday decor, and patriotic holidays will usually incorporate the colors of the United States flag in their lights and decorations. Red, white, and blue not only look nice together, but they also focus on solidarity with the nation and those who serve it. It’s a reminder that, even though many things can divide citizens of the United States, many good things unite us. Focusing your decor on these colors is a great way of helping your guests remember why these holidays exist. Depending on the mood you want for your party, you can go with bright, vibrant variations of red, white, and blue, or with more muted, deeper tones. Either style still works for the holiday, whether you’re using navy blue and maroon or a lighter cobalt and strawberry. You can include red, white, and blue lights, and American flags as part of the decoration.

Besides just a normal flag, there are lots of other designs that incorporate the “Stars and Stripes” patterns: bunting (semi-circular flags) designed to line a patio rail or hang from ceilings; flag-themed disposable utensils and dishes, like paper plates and colored cups; lawn posts displaying patriotic messages; or even inflatable Uncle Sams. That last option might not be the most serious, but again, it all depends on the kind of mood that you’re trying to set with your lights and decor: some people want to focus on the joy of having family around, and having a safe place to live, while others choose a slightly more formal approach. You’ll likely want to tailor your party’s mood to those who will be attending, and what they’re likely to appreciate.

Red, White, and Blue Lights

What kinds of light decorations are the best for patriotic holidays and Fourth of July party decor? You’ll likely want to consider red, white, and blue as your color scheme for lights. One great benefit of these lights is that they can work as a decoration for your house all summer long, even in between (or after) patriotic holidays. Nobody is likely to complain about beautiful blue lights, red lights, and more on your house, and it’s a great way of keeping the holiday and patriotic spirit alive throughout the season.

You can find several different kinds of lights that can work as decorations for your house or patio; for example, string lights are the kind we typically see around Christmastime. They’re attached to a string or wire, and can either hang down off the wire (sometimes those are called icicle lights) or simply spread out from the wire a little to each side, giving some variation to the light display. If you want something more uniform, rope lights are another option; unlike string lights, rope lights are a straight line of lights inside a (usually plastic) clear tube. These lights are sometimes a good option not only for a controlled, uniform look, but also because they aren’t associated as closely with Christmas lights as string lights might be.

To find lights like this, you can try searching something like “LED lights Fourth of July,” or look for a company that sells lights designed for this purpose. For example, companies like JellyFish Lighting offer great summer lighting options, including customizable backyard and holiday lighting. When you have lights that can change color or pattern whenever you want, you have a great way to add some extra flair to almost any holiday celebration.
Whatever you find, make sure it brings some color and life into your patriotic holiday celebrations, and take the time to enjoy your time with family and friends!