Summer means beach trips, baseball games, and working in your vegetable garden. However, it also means that all American holiday of Fourth of July is right around the corner as well. Most true blooded Americans look forward to this summer holiday and for some die heart July 4th fans it is as big as Christmas. It means a day off of work and a free day to spend time with the people that mean the most all while celebrating this great country and all the all American things that come with the day. Some people take the day to enjoy the All-American sport of baseball and others might enjoy a day at the beach. Then one of the most popular things or activities that people enjoy on the fourth of July is to have a cookout with family and friends. Families and friends gather in the backyard and light up the grill, enjoy hotdogs, have a cold drink, make homemade ice cream, and then when the sun goes down enjoy fireworks. When planning your cook out one subject that you will want to address is how to decorate for your party. One way of doing this is to hit up your favorite department store or party supply store and purchase all the decorations that they are selling this time of the summer. More than likely you will find red, white, and blue everything from tablecloths to napkins. Save a little cash then you could decorate for your party by yourself. Even if you do not want to take on the entire project on your own you can mix the premade items with the do it yourself decorations that we are going to discuss. Either way the point is to show your patriotism and also show off your skills as a party decorator. Adding a nice center piece to the guest tables or even the tables or other areas that you set up to serve food can be a real catcher. A very simple and inexpensive centerpiece idea is to find a colander and try your best to stick to the red, white, and blue theme. Add the foam to a colander and add your choice of flowers. Of course again you want to try to stick to the patriotic them and purchasing red, white and blue flowers. Some great choices for this project are Vinca major, wild strawberry, and for a little fancier flower roses. During this time of the year anywhere, that sells flowers typically will have a large selection of plants to use for this project. Another great centerpiece idea is to painted patriotic images or decoupage images onto clay pots. You could also add embellishments that you can find anywhere that scrapbooking supplies are sold if you want to. Once you have them decorated to your standards and desire then fill them up with potting soil and add your plants. Again you will want to try to stick to the theme of the party, and you might even want to consider planting perennials so that you can you use them year after year is some way for your future July 4th parties. A very simple centerpiece idea is to take your favorite glass container and layer different types of candies. Of course, once again you will want to stick to candies that are in line with the color theme and you can further decorate your container by adding ribbons and other items in a glass container. You can also take similar containers or fish bowls and fill the lower section with decorative rocks, marbles, or even the gravel that is used in fish tanks. Fill with water and float flowers and floating candles on the surface of the water. Want something more unique then you can take items such as antique watering cans, metal pails, and any other container that you feel as that history of America feel. Then fill the container with sand that can be purchased either a home improvement store or anywhere that sells sandboxes. Then place a few pinwheels in the container. The average pinwheel can be purchased almost anywhere, or you can get fancier versions at places as craft stores. If you want to get creative then there are simple directions and patterns on the internet that will assist you in making your very own pinwheels. It could even be a project that you allow your children to participate in a few days prior to your cookout, and then they would have a sense of accomplishment by knowing their work contributed to the gathering. If pinwheels are just not your thing then of course they can be replaced by small American flags. Now if your guest is going to have assigned seats or you are at least going to have table settings than a neat idea is to decorate each set as well in a smaller version. You might even want to consider making replicas of your center piece only in a mini size. Then again if you want to do this decorative touch you can just take a small jar such as a glass baby food container and place a single stemmed flower in it. If you wish your guest to have a small parting gift to take home with them then a great idea is to purchase mini terra cotta pots and if you choose to decorate them. Then plant either seeds or a small plant in the mini planters. The possibilities for one's holiday and your get together ranging from the average items found in your local stores to do it yourself projects. With so many flowers to choose from as the wild strawberry, Vinca major and daisy to name a few the possibilities are endless.