Independence Day On A Budget: A Little Less Boom, A Lot More Fun

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Turns out that hanging out with friends and loved ones is the key to a good time. It’s not how much you spend on fancy steaks and kebobs to BBQ. It’s not about getting far-too-up-their-own-butts microbrews that are infused with guava and honeydew. It’s really just about enjoying a warm night and laughter with those you love.

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Blog Update: As a quick note, I am traveling to New York City this week on business. It’s a short 4 day trip, which means it will be long days in the office. Don’t count on posts all 5 days but if I do miss, I’ll try to make up for it with a zinger on Friday.

Also… I should probably mention now that I took last Friday off to recover from a 4th of July beer hangover, and to spend the entire day reminding myself why I don’t regularly consume beer.

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I live in the United States, and every year on the 4th of July, my fellow patriotic citizens celebrate our hatred for tea by blowing our own fingers off in between chugging beer and eating processed meats.

I’m not sure that summary is entirely accurate, but it’s pretty damn close.

Now I’ve never been a big fireworks person. As a kid I found them boring, and as an adult, I can think of around a billion other things I need to be doing than staring up into the air to watch colorful lights.

My Dad was big into M-80s, but I really think it was more for the story of being able to tell his buddies he had illegal fireworks. I really don’t see how he could take any real pleasure in lighting a fuse and then sprinting in the exact opposite direction with his fingers buried up to the second knuckle in each of his ears.

At Disneyland when the fireworks would go off, my family and I saw it as an opportunity to get quickly to where we wanted to be. All we had to do was dodge a bunch of people staring up into the sky, and we could zip around the park with ease!

The point is that I’m not big on the booms or the bangs or the pows.

So when it comes to celebrating the 4th of July on a budget like I did this year, I didn’t feel too stressed. Yet I knew we’d spend money, so that little tickle is always on the back of my neck, and not the one that says, “Oh no… who invited Mrs. Ragwood from next door. She never stops tickling my neck!”

No this was the tickle that says, “You know those hotdog buns cost money right?” or “Do you really need all-beef hot dogs? Those suckers are 78 cents extra!” or “If the house lights on fire, have everyone get warm in front of it first so that you don’t have to run the heater later.”

We did all of the typical stuff, and had lots of friends over. Those friends offered to bring their own fireworks (BYOF), and we used the excuse for not having our own of, “Well the neighborhood goes pretty crazy, so we just sit out and watch everyone else explode!”

It’s not a lie. Our neighborhood does go crazy. A few houses down lives an MLB recruiter and his sons. We have been told by other neighbors that their shows cost them tens of thousands of dollars every year, and I’m here to tell you that I firmly believe it. They are bananas!

The simple fact is that (as called out a above), we just don’t give a rip about fireworks, but if others wanted to bring some over, that’s great!

We bought cheap beer, we bought cheap food, and then the most amazing thing happened…

We had a damn good time.

Turns out that hanging out with friends and loved ones is the key to a good time. It’s not how much you spend on fancy steaks and kebobs to BBQ. It’s not about getting far-too-up-their-own-butts microbrews that are infused with guava and honeydew. It’s really just about enjoying a warm night and laughter with those you love.

We had a great time, and we’ll do it almost exactly the same way next year. It’s yet another lesson we’ve learned in the process of digging out of debt.

To be totally honest, next year I might get the next step up in beer. I had a hell of a headache the next day. Oh… and I might go all-beef dogs too. I’m pretty sure I got a tooth in one of mine.

Thanks for the understanding about the blog posts this week, and I’ll be back to full steam ahead next!

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Got a 4th of July story of your own from this year? Do something fun? Not American but still have a comment? Leave it below and I’ll make sure to respond!

One thought on “Independence Day On A Budget: A Little Less Boom, A Lot More Fun

  1. “If the house lights on fire, have everyone get warm in front of it first so that you don’t have to run the heater later.”

    This is gold! I’m actually laughing out loud (in my thankfully-so-far-empty office). Safe travels.

    Like

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