DAILY PROMPT: HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

esplanade-boston-fireworks-2013Favorite holiday?

Not Christmas though I’ve had some fine Christmases and enjoyed them as only someone who wasn’t brought up with Christmas can. I had to marry Christmas so I could make it merry. I love it dearly. From the brightly wrapped gifts to the decorated tree to the carols piped through every shop and mall in America — I love it — though I’m always aware I’m borrowing it. Maybe that makes me appreciate it more — because I remember when it wasn’t part of my world.

I also remember some totally fabulous Passover seders with roasted lamb and all the ritual trimmings. Ceremonies, wine and song. Those were great too.

But I have to cast my vote for Independence Day. The 4th of July, America’s big, booming birthday bash. What’s not to like? Burning meat on the barbecue? Hot dogs, hamburgers. Potato salad I make myself with a side of slaw. Ketchup and mustard to douse the flavor of scorching. Everyone wearing shirts with flags and finally, watching the best fireworks. What is more satisfying than explosions in the sky?

I’ve seen fantastic fireworks at the Boston Navy Yard, along the Charles. In the sky over Nantucket Sound and old Uxbridge High School’s football field. I love fireworks.  Bang, boom and the yummy smell of cordite in the air.

I remember a long time ago … the mid 1970s … a friend and I walked all the way from the house in Hempstead to Eisenhower Park. A few miles. Traffic was terrible on the fourth and there wasn’t any place to park when you got there, so … we walked. Then we lay flat on our backs on the grass and watched the sky explode.

When Garry and I were first together and lived in Charles River Park, we stood on the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge and watched the sky light up, listened to the Pops play the 1812 overture, with cannons. I later saw the celebration from the Hatch Shell, though it was less fun because Garry was working and had no one with whom to go “ooh” and “aah.”

boston fireworks 2011

I don’t know about the rest of you. There are lots of excellent holidays and always plenty of good reasons to love them. Holidays are great and we should take every opportunity to celebrate. Life is short and sometimes grim, so party hearty when you can. On principle. As for me, let’s send up some skyrockets and start a bonfire. My kind of holiday.

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20 thoughts on “DAILY PROMPT: HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

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  3. I hate to admit it (and usually won’t), but the 4th of July freaks me out (other than the food). All the loud bangs and potential for fire. I’m a chicken!

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    • There are so many things to be afraid of. Our house has been hit by lightning 3 times in five years. That’s a LOT scarier and I have no way to run away from that. I’m more afraid of itty bitty garden spiders than I am of lightning or fireworks blowing up.

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  4. I think Christmas will always be my favorite. It was so intensely special when I was little, and then I raised my boys, and it was special for them too. Now that they are nearly grown, there is not as much fanfare, and I am looking forward to relaxing at home with my family. I liked your description of the Fourth. I like that one, too. I’m off for the summer anyway, though, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t stand out for me as much.

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    • I think I love the 4th because I love fireworks so much. I’d probably like ANY holiday where they shoot skyrockets 🙂 Christmas is great, but expensive and these days, I dread the associated costs, especially because I really like buying presents for people … and hate it when I don’t have money to spend.

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  5. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays past | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  6. Great post, and thanks for making me think about the fact that Christmas is not a given with everyone. I have never adopted a holiday, but I like the idea. I have to keep my eyes open for a good one.

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    • Christmas is such an overwhelming holiday. If you live in America, you can’t avoid it. It’s like a giant truck running over everyone and everything in front of it. I love the holiday and enjoy its celebration, but it’s not my holiday and I always feel a little bit like a stranger at the party. Just a little, but the feeling is always there. And I am by no means alone. It is especially hard on Jewish kids in homes where parents don’t make any concessions for this very unJewish holiday. They feel — and I remember — feeling really left out of the fun.

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  8. Thanks for The Boston Pops Spectacular clip… America’s Birthday is a grand holiday! We watch the Pops and the pops every year on TV. Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, too. How glorious it must be to really experience the boom, bang fireworks and music first hand. Enjoyed your post and guess what? We’re having leg of lamb for Christmas dinner. We raised our own sheep when we had our farm in Southern Maine (1970s & 80s). These days, leg of lamb is a treat, so we only have it on holiday! May your Christmas be merry and bright and my all of your holidays be filled with light!

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    • And a warm and wonderful holiday to you, too. We wanted lamb for Christmas, but it was almost $70 for a leg big enough to feed us. Ham will have to do but we can be merry anyhow 🙂

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