I know I'm not the only one who remembers The 4th as a kid!
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For some of us it was 10 years ago, for others it was 50 - regardless of your age, you can't deny The Fourth of July was the best part of your summer. Nowadays with busy schedules and political discourse, it's hard to appreciate the American holiday like you once did. So for today, let's take a trip down memory lane and step into the mind of your eight-year-old self, marveling over the excitement of the first week in July.

1. Sparklers, duh

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On no other holiday is it appropriate to be running around with mini torches of fire. You know you couldn't wait 'til nighttime to bust out one of these bad boys!

2. Family time

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This may be a downside to your holiday experience today, but back then you were overjoyed to see all of your cousins and siblings in one room together.

3. Fun & competitive games

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Some of the weirdest, yet most creative, games stem from the 4th of July. Like, who came up with the watermelon seed spitting contest? Water balloon fights? That strange "don't drop the egg on the spoon" race? Whatever your family traditions are, you always put your game face on for these competitions.

4. The foooooooood

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This is the day where all your favorite summer staples come together: lemonade, hotdogs, burgers, mac & cheese, watermelon, soda, popsicles, and JELL-O! Finally, the one time out of the year it's morally acceptable to bring JELL-O to a party!

5. The annual parade

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If you were lucky enough growing up to witness or participate in some sort of local parade, you felt like a movie star. Even if it was just a small neighborhood celebration, strutting your stuff on the streets while decked out in red, white, and blue was a pivotal moment in your celebrity career!

6. The outfits

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The one special day where your mom allowed you to have face-paint AND an entire stack of of American flag temporary tattoos plastered all over your body. Oh, and don't forget the beads!

7. Swimming is encouraged

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If you were fortunate enough to have a lake house or backyard pool, there was not a single minute of the day where you were dry. Lucky you!

8. Being able to stay up late and partaaaay

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On Christmas Eve, you have to go to bed early so Santa can come bring gifts. On Easter, you try to fall asleep quickly so that the Easter Bunny has time to set up your candy basket. On Thanksgiving, your too stuffed with turkey that you're in bed by 8pm. However, on the Fourth of July, you're allowed to stay up as late as you want (primarily because your parents are too tipsy to tell you otherwise)!!

9. Taking fun & goofy pictures

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For some reason, 4th of July photos always come out better than any other holiday. Maybe it's the heat exhaustion from hours upon hours in direct sunlight or the contact high from the BBQ smoke - whatever it may be, these pics will last a lifetime!

10. And finally, a fantastic firework show to end the night

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This is what it's all about: you and your family are worn out from celebrating all day, cuddled up with blankets and lawn chairs, watching the fireworks burst in front of your little eyes. Oohs and aahs are encouraged. You pick your favorite color and watch it explode. The fireworks may burn out, but these memories are branded on your heart forever.

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