If you ask any given person what their favorite holiday is, their response will most likely be Christmas, or in the case of Jewish people like me, Hanukkah. Maybe it is the receiving and giving of gifts, or the love of family, friends, and good food in one of the coldest months. Whatever it is, Christmas and Hanukkah are a favorite among many people.

Although my favorite holiday has changed many times throughout the years, my current favorite is not necessarily a common one.

As a kid, my preferred holiday was Hanukkah because I loved receiving gifts, as most children do, but at that age did not have to worry about the stress of purchasing gifts for others. Eventually, I began loving Thanksgiving more because I appreciated getting together with my family and eating one of the best meals.

While both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are still high on my list, my current favorite holiday is the Fourth of July.

In the past, I had spent most of my Fourth of July's with my family attending a local parade and fireworks. I always dreaded it because I hated the sound of fireworks and the chaos of the parade. So, I spent most of it sitting in the car with noise cancelling headphones on.

Once I finally got over my fear of fireworks, the Fourth of July had an entirely new light in my life. Now, I love seeing fireworks and cannot imagine my Independence Day without them. I did not realize it was my favorite holiday until I celebrated it in 2016.

That specific year was one of the first times I had celebrated it with my close group of friends. I went to a friends house for a barbecue, where we hung out all day eating burgers and hotdogs and ended it with fireworks and a bonfire, talking and making s'mores together.

Between camps, jobs, and vacations, it always felt rare to find a time when every person in my friend group could do something together. I felt lucky in 2016 that a majority of us, including myself, were able to spend that time together without worrying about work or anything else.

The Fourth of July is the perfect excuse to do everything you love to do during the summer — whether that is going to the beach, having a bonfire with s'mores, swimming, or having a barbecue. You can spend it with family or friends, and everyone is beaming with pride and love for the United States. No matter your background, everyone is celebrating for a common reason.

Besides being the ultimate summer day, I love how low key the Fourth is. There are very little responsibilities for this holiday. Cooking at all is optional and if you decide to do it, something like barbecuing is simple and fun, as well as being a good way to spend time outdoors. There are absolutely no gifts involved with this holiday, so whatever you do during it, there should be minimal stress, which is why it is my favorite.