1. Make Sure That Everything Is Properly Refrigerated
The first step to having fun is making sure that nothing happens that would cause people to not have. In the case of a barbecue, the biggest potential buzzkill you'll deal with is improperly refrigerated foods. Whether it's a beer that isn't refreshing enough or some meat that will get you sick, the summer heat can make its presence known in a big way. Be sure to chill everything until it's ready to be used, and buy plenty of ice day of. If you think you're going overboard, you're not. There's no such thing as too much ice.
2. Get Crazy With It
There are some staples that no Fourth of July barbecue can live without, but that doesn't mean you have to limit yourself to just those. Get creative! Serve something completely unexpected alongside your hot dogs and hamburgers. Grill a mean that nobody would expect. Celebrate America's rich cultural diversity by serving food from various cultures. If you think you'd enjoy something, then odds are other people will too.
3. Repress The Sadness You Feel About The Country's Current Political Climate
As the dogs are plumping up and your guest start to mingle, your brain is gonna try to ruin this brief moment of fleeting happiness by letting all the negative thoughts you have about the state of the world. Resist these. Don't let yourself think about the baby prisons, or the nazis, or the fact that mass shootings have become so damn common that they barely register to you anymore. If you let yourself think of the mass shootings you'll probably also start to think about the fact that half the country is so inculcated with a belief in firearms than not only are they unwilling to change anything in the face of daily tragedy, but they're also demonizing CHILD SURVIVORS just because they're trying to change things so the tragedy they survived never happens again. Thoughts like this can ruin a barbecue so just fake a smile, sip on a beer, and try to repress them until they go away.
4. Resist The Urge To Question Whether Celebrating A Country With Such A Troubled History Is Even Right
If you let yourself think those thoughts, you might also start to think about whether it's even okay to celebrate a country with so many problems. I mean, as bad as things are now, it's not like this is a new thing. Each generation has left its own stain on history since the nation was founded, you've just been programed to turn a blind eye to it. Is patriotism just complacency? Do you only love this country because it's easier to lie to yourself than to accept how truly fucked up everything actually is? When you grill up those hamburgers and light up those sparklers, are you just glorifying a history of racism, genocide, and war, or that kernel of goodness you've been trained to focus on actually something worth celebrating?
5. Don't Dwell On The Idea That Country You Love May Be Nothing More Than A Fallen Nation
For the love of God, don't let all those guilty thoughts make your mind contemplate the future of the republic. Don't brace yourself for the eventual collapse of everything you've ever known. If you get that thought, then you'll start to wonder if you everything you've ever known was ever really real. You'll start to think about all the stuff you were blind to in the past and feel like you've been living in a false reality that was built for you by a country whose ultimate goal seems to be preserving a charade for its own selfish gain. At the very least, don't start to think about whether it would even be a bad thing if everything crumbled around you. Afterall, what are you clinging to? Is that last shred of patriotism you feel worth fighting for, or is it just a lie that's doomed to fail over and over again, making everything around us worse and worse? When everything is this bad, how can there possibly be a future?
Fireworks are fun. You gotta have fireworks.