There are few holidays as unabashedly simple as the Fourth of July.
You don’t have to worry about the food safety implications of stuffing or not stuffing a turkey. There’s no making a list and checking it twice. No one is judging you on your costume, if you decide to wear a costume, which, hey, Wookiee fur seems a tad hot for July, but you do you.
For Independence Day, maybe you toss a couple of hot dogs on the grill and catch a fireworks show. Maybe you spend the afternoon reading through the Bliss Thru Shopping archives. What evs! If you do it in red, white and blue, you’re Fourth of July ready.
You just need some red, white and blue.
And something to keep the kids busy before fireworks. And grilling accoutrements.
And, possibly, an inflatable cooler that looks like Uncle Sam’s top hat.
It exists. And you need it.
Let Shopping Siren show you the way.
I may not know how to stuff a turkey, but this I can do.
• Sparklers, 15-count, Dollar General, $2
Gold sparklers perfect for swinging in wide arcs and freaking out the dog, your mom and anyone else close enough to become flammable. Sparklers are the height of danger when you’re 8. Possibly also when you’re 48. Get two.
• Flag paper plates or napkins, Dollar General, $1
A couple of hot dogs along the stripes, potato salad over the stars, apple pie right in the middle. Dine patriotically and you don’t have to worry about calories. I’m certain that’s how that works.
• Glow items, Dollar General, $1
Choose from glowing necklace, bracelet, bracelet with flowers, flag or basic light stick, all in Fourth of July colors. Buy now and you won’t have to spend 10 times as much on a street vendor’s merch before the fireworks. It’s an investment! Like retirement, but with glow sticks.
• Amazing Happy Baby Balloons, 37-count, Holiday Bargain Outlet, $1.99
Your best chance of winning the Great Independence Day Water Balloon War of 2018 is by filling and sealing this cluster of 37 water balloons. The package says it takes less than a minute. You can do it! The only thing you have to fear is fear itself! Fear and that kid down the street with a giant Super Soaker. But go, you!
• Pit Crew four-way grilling wrench, Holiday Bargain Outlet, $14.99
Looks like a four-way lug wrench with a spatula on one stick and fork tips on the other, complete with rubber handles and a bottle opener. Not for the fainthearted. Barbecue this Independence Day like you mean it.
• LED pool noodles, Holiday Bargain Outlet, $5.99
They float! They light up! It’s like a party in your pool. A Fourth of July party, if you will.
• Flags, 4-count, Hobby Lobby, $1.39
Wave these made-in-America, 4- by 6-inch mini flags at a passing parade, at a fireworks show, at your father-in-law when he starts talking about how the Yankees are better than the Red Sox. The possibilities are endless.
By the way, Hobby Lobby is offering 30 percent off all Fourth of July merch this week, so you can get your patriotic on for less. Huzzah!
• Lawn pinwheel, Hobby Lobby, $2.09
Red, white and blue flag pinwheel that you can stake into the ground. The tag warns that this IS NOT A TOY. So don’t even think about blowing on it. Just don’t.
Best find: Inflatable cooler, Hobby Lobby, $5.59
It looks like Uncle Sam’s top hat, but it’s inflatable and you can fill it with ice to keep your drinks and food chilled this July 4. So, a pretty amazing top hat.
Think twice: Uncle Sam glasses with mustache, Hobby Lobby, $8.39
Plastic novelty sunglasses with a faux top hat perched above and a white plastic mustache hanging below. Kind of like a really bad, if deeply patriotic, disguise. These glasses are not the worst thing you could wear this holiday (that Wookiee costume does seem really very warm), but neither are these glasses subtle. But, hey, the birth of a country isn’t particularly subtle, either. So go for it if you’re so inclined.
I’ll just be over here by the pinwheel.
Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who Do. Not. Want. Fireworks.) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].
Fourth of July lawn pinwheel at Hobby Lobby for $2.09. Because patriotic garden gnomes are so 2017.