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July 3, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No battle. Christmas vs July Fourth

Summer Santa. (Screenshot Christmas

Whew. Made it just in time for the fireworks. (Christmas

Always better than Christmas, is Fourth of July.

None of those weeks of stress about presents. 

Locating the right level of wonder-ness and price point expected by the receiver.

Hiding purchases from snoopers and shoppers favoring alternative gift sources: those home invasion kick burglars.

Feeling guilty from constantly keeping tired, anxious, demanding kids in line with Santa threats.

None of that.

No arguing about which house to go to and risk irritating the other side of the family.

Cramming stuff in suitcases. Rushing to the airports. Worrying about all the sick people right next to you. Pretending the pets are just as happy boarding as they would be at home if you were there.

None of that.

No mandatory “friendly” competitions with neighborhood yard lights, home decor, or beauty pageants of cookies and holiday treats. 

No bolts of reindeer/ snowmen/ Santa fabric jokes.

Itching with wool or worrying “Please don’t let anyone I know see me in this” outfit some family member thought was cute for pictures  – “and since we bought them, let’s get some use of them and wear them everywhere”

(You know those ugly Christmas sweaters were originally bought thinking they looked fabulously stylish. It’s true. Deranged thinking often goes unidentified for years)

No blaring ads screaming at children to nag parents for this year’s must have toy.

All that whining and insecurity, “If you really loved me….” Guilt tripping. Obvious retaliation for the Santa’s watching threats.

(Although you must wonder if marketing departments are even able to create a sales promotion/campaign without a holiday to base it around, to justify it: SALE. SALE. SALE….Insert your favorite holiday here. Seems there are more and more to choose from each year.)

Fourth of July explodes with freedom from all of that cloying Christmas stuff.

Flag in Boston. NO permissions granted. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted image

Happy Birthday, United States of America.©

For us, July Fourth was the real gathering of the clan. 

Far out in the country away from phones, people, and mandated city/civilized behavior.

Bare feet, dirt on clothing not scolded, hair brushed in the morning, but often untouched the rest of the day, and smudges on knees and elbows (but clean hands at supper – “Even if we aren’t using the good china”).

Waking up daybreak to Bobwhites and doves calling instead of Santa’s tired elves.

Eating messy stuff outside. Let the watermelon juice run down chins. Seeds get spit off the porch.

Dogs really feeling part of the family as we all sat down.

A ragtag bunch, but we knew how to really celebrate.

Such cheers when it was finally – at least mostly – dark. Let the fireworks begin!

Sparklers handed to little ones while the older kids jealously guarded their paper bags of firecrackers. (“Waste of good allowance money,” my mom always sniffed from porch swing.)

Then the grand finale: one or two coveted Roman Candles sending orbs streaking down the long red dirt road. Closely supervised by my dad with “Hold it way out to the side of your body in case it goes wrong and blows out the back.” (Which it did once. Experience is the best teacher, still.)

Staying up late – outside – counting falling stars as well as lightning bugs.

Boston grave of Samuel Adams, Revolutionary partiot. (All right reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Sam Adams. Not just a beer. A real cool one.©

Christmas may have ribbons, glitter, and glow, but the Fourth of July has the best presence of all. 

Still free and independent after all these years.


Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read more? 

  • “Pets and fireworks don’t mix”  How to celebrate Independence Day with You Pets.(Local ABC 13)
  • “Combat Vets Ask neighbors to be courteous with fireworks over Fourth of July Holiday” (local news) Nonprofit group, Military with PTSD, sends a gentle reminder with yard signs that unexpected fireworks outside a window may just be startling for you, but for a vet coping with post traumatic stress disorder the loud pops may trigger flashback and anxiety. (Organization’s Facebook here)
Old North Church gate. All rights reserved. Copyrighted image. NO permissions granted

Yes, it’s the “One if by land. Two if by sea” place. There at the beginning. ©

Click here for The Old North Church’s history.






  1. robstroud / Jul 3 2015 1:28 am

    But no egg nog, either…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 3 2015 3:49 pm

      But the weight gained may be about the same? Cheers (and thanks for your time spent keeping us free.)


  2. EllaDee / Jul 3 2015 4:52 am

    Happy July Fourth to you and yours. I agree, even though our Christmas falls in summer and I enjoy it, I like the other holidays better. Australia Day our equivalent to Fourth of July is under siege as ‘invasion day’ but it’s still a day that I have an affection for 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 3 2015 3:50 pm

      It’s good to have affection for holidays. Meanings need to be remembered. Cheers and thanks for lighting up a firecracker response.


  3. mohawkvalleygirl / Jul 3 2015 11:05 am

    I do appreciate a holiday where the pressure is off (although I confess to loving Christmas and ignoring a good deal of the stress). I’m heading to the store soon for my annual Sam Adams beer (oh, OK, I drink Sam Adams on other occasions as well).


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 3 2015 3:54 pm

      Freewheeling holidays are the best. (Holidays are the innocent ones- people can create their own stress no matter the occasion?…all those red white and blue tiny cupcakes, floral arrangements, outfits…..) Thanks for the cheers for relaxed celebrations

      Liked by 1 person

  4. marthaschaefer / Jul 3 2015 11:35 am

    And it is warm, let’s not forget the warmth!! Nothing to shovel or move, no hats, mittens, gloves, boots replaced with flip-flops. Gotta love the 4th! Happy holiday to you and yours Phil!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 3 2015 3:56 pm

      Warm, or as we call it here: sweltering. Too hot to do anything anyway, might as well sit on the porch with cold lemonade…or something. Hope your July Fourth is full of fun

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate Crimmins / Jul 3 2015 2:07 pm

    I would take the 4th over Christmas any day! Fireflies, campfires, cousins more numerous that the stars in the sky (seriously? where did they all come from?). Always outside even if the weather was iffy. We once hunkered in my uncle’s barn to celebrate as it rained pitchforks. Kind of ruined the fireworks part but nothing else.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 3 2015 4:20 pm

      Ha – your celebrations sound so familiar. (Nothing like drumming of rain on a metal roof, anyway.) Happy July Fourth – hope yours is spectacular!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sustainabilitea / Jul 3 2015 3:44 pm

    Sounds as though you have a great time on the Fourth, but I happily admit to being a lover of Christmas, preferably a white one. 🙂 Enjoy!


    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 3 2015 4:23 pm

      Hard to beat a fireplace and white Christmas. (one without mosquitoes would be such a gift) Sleigh ride – want bells on the harness and real sleigh rides (with sleigh runners not tires). Actually it’s nice the two holidays are at opposite ends of the calendar – no real contest and everyone can enjoy both! Thanks for jingling along


  7. heretherebespiders / Jul 3 2015 9:37 pm

    A city’s firework show – nothing beats it. I told someone here last week that I liked the 4th better than Thanksgiving or Christmas!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 4 2015 1:59 pm

      I like to see the small town parades with kids on decorated trikes and bikes. We’ll pull out some lawn chairs in the yard tonight – luckily we are between 3 big firework displays from surrounding towns/tourist area and have a great view of them all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Robin / Jul 4 2015 8:11 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate summer and Independence Day. Happy 4th of July, PhilosopherMouse. 🙂


  9. Ally Bean / Jul 4 2015 10:55 pm

    Interesting. I was just thinking about these two holidays, comparing them. And putting aside my family’s wonderful tradition of drinking bourbon at both, I don’t care for either holiday. Too staged, I guess. Can’t put my finger on why, but I prefer holidays with less dependence on decorating. Much prefer the first day of each season to these big deal holidays. Although bourbon is a good addition to those days too. 😉


  10. Paul / Jul 5 2015 12:49 pm

    What about Molly and RC cat and Bob? Did they enjoy the 4th?(And maybe the German?)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 5 2015 3:33 pm

      Bob, as usual, was the attentive observer. RC decided to reestablish her command post in the front of the house despite a German invasion (HRH was simply squashed between the wall and the couch to be inconspicuous so as to examine the holiday more closely. THere is no truth to the rumor she was hiding from the loud Pop-pops or the visiting canine). The German who hates Pop-pops and Boomies, curled up under the vanity in the inner windowless bathroom (It was by choice, she insists. Just staying out from underfoot with so many carrying plates of food and such.) Molly was totally confused by the lack of playmates once it got dark and kept checking on them…and gathering all the toys up into a big pile on the bed just for herself. Winner!
      Hope your weekend brought some delights!


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