For some of us, celebrating the Fourth of July has always been an easy choice: It’s all about summer and eating and fireworks, so let’s do it! For others, it’s always been a complicated holiday — a reminder of the way American ideals of equality were established during a time of slavery. This year, those of us who used to nosh mindlessly on hot dogs might not feel so great about being all rah-rah for a country that’s still not treating all its citizens equally. So what do we do when our kids want to get their Independence Day on, like we always have in the past?
We think it is possible to make this July 4 holiday both fun and educational. On the educational side, this is your chance to teach kids that you don’t have to love the current federal government to feel good about your hometown. And you don’t have to approve of the Founding Fathers’ racist hypocrisy in order to think of the Declaration of Independence as an ideal we’re still working toward, not a statement of a finished goal. Plus, you can exercise your democratic rights while you do so.
On the fun side, this is still a great time to eat, play, make silly red-white-and-blue crafts, and watch some patriotic content. After all, July 4 has also always been the time to celebrate the season, family, and community. Here we’ve balanced the fun activities with the enlightening ones, so you and your family can redefine this holiday for yourselves.
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