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Mendo Lake Family Life

Red, White, and Due

By Angel Jenkins

While being pregnant in the heat of the summer may feel less than ideal, a patriotic baby shower is a way to embrace the season. After all, partnering the nation’s birthday with the birth of your baby is a great way to celebrate. Here are some ideas for an all-American themed party to welcome your little firework!

Once you’ve earmarked the date, you can proceed the same as you would for most showers, planning the menu, choosing decor, and thinking of a few activities. For showers near holidays, it is always especially important, however, to start with the guest list.

Whether your shower will be on July Fourth or just near that date, you’ll want to let guests know well in advance so they can plan accordingly. Flights fill up over holidays, and out-of-towners will need to book in advance. Even nearby guests will appreciate the heads up so they can schedule other Independence Day events accordingly.

Some potential shower slogans this month are, “Red, White, & Due,” “Made in America,” “Our Little Firecracker,” “Boom, Boom, Baby” or “Stars, Stripes, & Sleepless Nights!” A patriotic theme lends itself to red, white, and blue decor, which is easy to find on the Fourth of July aisles of your local party store. 

Incorporate the color scheme into traditional decor, such as banners and balloon arches, then add American flags and silver stars to jazz up walls and tables. Red and white flowers in blue vases or floral babies breath in coke bottles with bandana bows make fitting table centerpieces.

Etsy is also well stocked with patriotic shower items, from invitations to editable party games. Whether it’s trivia about the parents-to-be, baby bingo, a pacifier hunt, or nursery rhyme test, online printables abound and can even be found in Independence Day designs.

Set up a ballot box for guests to “cast their vote” American-election style, as they guess the baby’s gender (if it hasn’t already been revealed). Reveal the winner by having guests light sparklers that turn pink or blue accordingly. 

For a vintage Americana vibe, pull up a red wagon to hold shower gifts. Hang a giant flag as the perfect backdrop for photos with guests. Dozens of songs are available for you to create the perfect shower playlist, from Bruce Springstein’s “Born in the USA,” to “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. 

For the menu, consider a “Bun in the Oven” build-your-own burger or hot dog bar with all the traditional American fixin’s. Charcuterie boards featuring red meats, white cheeses, and crackers highlight a finger food table. Some food coloring turns deviled eggs into red, white, and blue snacks, too.

Fruit kabobs of strawberries, blueberries and bananas can be served as edible firecrackers and individual shortbreads or cupcakes topped with berries and cream stick to your theme. Children in attendance (or just the young at heart) will enjoy ice cream sandwiches with red and blue sprinkles dabbed along the sides for dessert! 

A s’mores station is another festive food idea, while apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream is about as all-American as it gets. Fill one drink dispenser with chilled water and add floating stars cut from watermelon. Fill a second dispenser with lemonade and add lemon or strawberry slices. 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to baby showers, and hosting one with a patriotic theme can make it that much more memorable. The baby need not be born on the Fourth of July to celebrate like it’s Independence Day! 

Angel Jenkins is feature editor for Family Life magazine and a freelance writer and editor for a number of other publications across the U.S.