Dressing for Independence Day (plus a giveaway)

Nothing puts me in a patriotic frame of mind more than seeing bunting proudly displayed on homes and businesses. In fact, I recently took a trip to Honey Grove, TX, the setting for my most recent release, More Than Words Can Say, and I saw this house.

Not only was this a gorgeous Victorian-era home restored to its former glory, but it was a patriotic home as well. It was only the middle of June, but they already had their bunting on display for all to appreciate and enjoy. I knew I had to take a photo because a key turning point in my story centers around a 4th of July Parade in Honey Grove.

Abigail and her sister Rosalind have decorated their bakery with red-white-and-blue bunting and paper festooning in keeping with the holiday festivities, but in addition to decorating their portion of the town square, they decide to decorate themselves as well. Rosalind (a young beauty) has been chosen at the very last minute to be Honey Grove’s Queen Bee and is to be featured in the parade. Despite the late notice, Rosalind agrees to participate so that she can promote the bakery by handing out honey-glazed biscuits to parade goers. Thankfully, Rosalind is handy with a needle.

Here’s a scene from our hero’s point of view. Like most men, Zach has grown impatient waiting on his wife and her sister to appear . . .

The door opened. Zach spun around at the sound of the hinges.

“It’s about t—” The complaint died on his tongue as his wife stepped through the doorway. She’d abandoned her work apron and changed her dark blue shirtwaist for a white lacy confection with a pleated front that highlighted her abundant curves. She’d tied a red sash around her waist that set off her blue skirt with patriotic flair and had somehow folded a scrap of leftover paper festooning from the shop’s decorations into a circle thing that looked remarkably like a flower. It sat pinned it to her blouse like a brooch. Not only that, but she’d magically woven red ribbon through the braid on her head, a ribbon he was certain hadn’t been there when they’d been working side-by-side that morning.

I imagine Abigail and her sister dressed a bit like this. Abby with a red ribbon at her waist and a patriotic paper flower brooch. Rosalind in a fancier white dress with leftover red-white-and-blue bunting draped over her hips and bustled at the back.

“Isn’t she stunning?” Abigail asked as she turned her face away from him.

She? He only saw Abigail.

However, when Abigail gestured behind her, Zach finally noticed Rosalind stepping into the hall. She didn’t make his heart pound like Abby did, but he had to admit she was a right fine looking female. They must have taken curling tongs to her hair, for it hung in blonde ringlets down her nape in a way that reminded him of the fancy women in New York who used to bring donation baskets to the orphanage at Christmas.

Her clothes were much fancier than her sister’s, too. All white and frilly. She’d taken some of the bunting fabric and fashioned an overskirt that draped down her front and pulled up into a big bow at the back. She wore a straw hat decorated with more of those red, white, and blue paper flower things.

For someone who’d known for less than twenty-four hours that she was going to be the star attraction of the Fourth of July parade, she’d done an impressive job of improvising a patriotic ensemble that would no doubt put Sophia Longfellow to shame.

Abigail shot him a look that felt remarkably like a kick to the shin. Obviously, she expected him to say something. And not to her.

He smiled at Rosie. “I’ve never seen a prettier Lady Liberty.”

Abby beamed at him, making him stand a little taller since he’d somehow managed not to stick his foot in his mouth. Then she took her sister’s hand. “You’re beautiful, Rosalind. No one deserves the title of Honey Grove’s Queen Bee more than you.”

Abigail and Rosalind might not have been dressed quite like the lady on this vintage Victorian postcard, but they were creative in using what they had to create festive and patriotic ensembles.

I don’t have too many patriotic ensembles myself, but when the time is right I have been know to pair red, white, and blue items from my closet in new and interesting ways.

What is your favorite way to decorate either your home or yourself for the 4th of July?

Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of More Than Words Can Say and see what disaster befalls Abigail during that fateful parade.

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.

66 thoughts on “Dressing for Independence Day (plus a giveaway)”

  1. Good morning Karen and Happy 4th of July. I’m like you I pair red, white and blue together and where them proudly. We do live in the greatest country in the world. My mom is big in decorating for the 4th! She uses Texas Bluebonnets, red carnations, and white flowers as center pieces on her table.
    Wishing everyone here a Happy 4th of July and an amazing day with your friends and family.

  2. Have a very Happy 4th of July! I can just picture your character all decked out in her 4th of July attire! Outside I just like to have a U.S. flag or two, if not more than that. I usually don a 4th of July t-shirt and pair up whatever else I can find to make up a red, white and blue ensemble to be patriotic.

    • Hi Karen! I so enjoy your writing! My husband and I like to decorate with
      small American flags pinned to all the windows. My mom always had a patriotic blanket she would bring out for the holiday.

  3. I have some things to put in the garden and some flags. I also buy a tshirt to wear.


  4. I love the house in the picture. I wouldn’t mind living in one like that. I don’t really decorate my house for any holiday anymore. But, I will pull together something from my closet for a holiday.

  5. We don’t decorate in red, white and blue… Just red and white for Canada Day July 1st. I have a few things that I wear with the Maple Leaf.. but red is not my colour, but I do have white with a bit of red…And we always have the Canadian Flag flying high.

  6. My husband built an arbor six years ago for our daughter’s wedding. Every year since then, I buy angel wing dragon begonias with red blossoms and hang a huge basket on each side of the arbor. I buy American flags and put one in each corner of the arbor. I plant red dahlias in between kiwi vine that grow to the top of the arbor each year. It looks nice. I have a large flower garden and stake flags on the corners of it. I don’t have any bunting displayed so I shall set out to buy one today for the front deck. Thanks for the great pictures and book excerpt today. Loved it. We are honored to live in this great country.

  7. Oh that house is lovely. Perfect for a large family. I like to decorate with red white and blue around the house. And my flag is always flying outside. My clothes, well, I used to have many tops and dresses that were red/white/blue. Now, not so much. But I do have one blouse that is red/white stripes with white stars on red. It is see through and oh so light. I do get a lot of comments. But it is just so fun to wear.
    Thanks for stopping by today.

  8. UPDATE – I just noticed an error in my post. I originally stated that I am giving away a copy of More Than Meets the Eye, but I’m actually giving away a copy of More Than Words Can Say – Zach and Abby’s story.

    Sorry for the confusion!

  9. We don’t decorate for the 4th. I do usually have shirts in the colors for holidays. If I remember correctly, I think I used to have some window decals.

  10. We are always camping over the fourth and have quite a few decorations for the campsite and camper. I love the flags the best!

  11. How wonderful that your new book has a July 4th scene! Love the excerpt. I don’t do a lot of decorating, I just proudly fly our flag in front of my house. Happy 4th!

  12. I love to get the small flags and use them as a border for the front yard. I have flag lights I string in the windows and bunting on the porch. I love to decorate but hate taking it down.

  13. I usually don’t decorate for the fourth. But I love it and we sit on our front porch and listen to the fireworks.

  14. What a pretty house and the story sounds like fun. I don’t decorate as much as I used to when the kids were young, but we fly the American flag every day and put on something red, white & blue for the holiday. My mother’s birthday was July 4 and she had us convinced that all the fireworks were in her honor!

  15. What a fun post Karen! And I love your excerpt. I don’t usually decorate the house for Independence Day but I do have special RW&B jewelry I save for just that occasion 🙂

  16. My family always gets together to tie-dye red, white and blue shirts to wear on Independence Day! The kids love it and we all look like we’ve got fireworks on our shirts lol.

  17. Hi Karen! I like putting patriotic figurines out around the house. We have red, white and blue candle holders I put out and a few others. Thanks for the chance to win your book, it sounds so good!

  18. Happy Independence Day! I like to wear festive colors and watch our town parade and fireworks.

  19. We love getting dressed up patriotic! Hair colored red, white and blue, American flag shirts! Love getting to show our colors!

  20. I celebrate by wearing my homemade tie dyed t shirt and watch the fireworks from our back yard I could just picture the bakery and the entire town of Honey Grove decorated and celebrating the 4th when I read More Than Words Can Say Thank you for the opportunity to win and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

  21. I have some patriotic t-shirts that I wear for the Fourth of July and other patriotic days. My town has a parade and carnival every year for the Fourth. And the town has through donations one of the best fireworks displays in the state. And we can see it from our front yard! Doesn’t get much better!

  22. I have a patriotic Wreath that I always put on our door. I usually hang it up right before Memorial Day and leave it through Flag Day and the Fourth of July. We always get Patriotic T-shirts and I have some cute dish towels that I hang up in my kitchen!!!

  23. I have a couple different outfits to wear. Short set and a great cover up for my bathing suit.

  24. Being from New Zealand we don’t celebrate the 4th of July however we do have the same colours in our flag!

    PS though I’m from NZ I do have a US mailing address 😉

  25. Afternoon Karen!
    We fly our flag 24/7. I usually wear something red, white and blue on Independence Day and a flag pin.
    Thank you for a chance to win a copy of your book!
    Blessings, Tina

  26. My family has a handful of patriotic and red, white, and blue decorations that we try to get put up!
    Thank you for a chance to win!

  27. My family gathers together for a picnic and then we shoot off fireworks, sometimes we will have a bonfire. It’s about family time for us.

  28. I love wear red, white and blue and my family have Cookouts to celebrate

    Tighefan42 Atgmaildotcom

  29. my family has a big get together for a cookout or camping with a bonfire. wearing red white and blue.

  30. When my kids were little I would always get matching flag or at least red, white blue shirts for the entire family. Not sure they would be as agreeable to the matching at 30, 28, 25 and 22 as they were a”few” years ago. Maybe I’ll start up the tradition again if they ever give me grandkids.

    I haven’t had a chance to read More Than Words Can Say yet but I look forward to getting a copy. Maybe I’ll win one and can read it sooner than I thought.


  31. I enjoyed reading this excerpt and really want to read More Than Words Can Say. I really don’t decorate for any holidays except Christmas but I’ll probably wear something red or blue on July 4.

  32. Tonight I’m wearing my God Bless America T-shirt. I don’t decorate for July 4th. I will wear red, white and blue!

  33. Thank you for the giveaway offer. My mom used to dress us up in red, white, and blue when we were younger.

  34. I don’t decorate for July 4 but we do try to make something special for Independence day. Thanks for the fun post!

  35. I like to wear red, white and blue for July 4. Our family usually hosts a gathering for friends and family as well.

  36. It’s always so fun to see everything decked out in patriotic colors. I visited Waxahatchee when living in Texas and many of their beautiful old homes were decked out. So beautiful!

    I don’t have a favorite red, white and blue ensemble, but I am part of a Dickens Caroling group at Christmas time and when our schedules permit we get together again for a patriotic season. Unlike our Christmas costumes, our patriotic ensembles are left to us. Just wear some combination of red, white and blue – and then the gals have matching scarves. It’s always fun to see what everyone comes up with. 🙂

    Also, my grandma’s birthday is July 4th! So I always enjoy coming up with some fun new red, white and blue something to brighten her day. My aunt made her a t-shirt one year of fireworks done with glitter glue. It didn’t look homemade…it looked very professional. It’s been one of my favorites of her shirts for a long time!

  37. I have a skirt I made for the 4th of July when I worked at the library. It has many of the various flags the U S has had over the years. I pair it with either a red, white, or blue blouse. I found some nice silver jewelry with stars and red and blue bells.

  38. I love celebrating patriotic holidays! Red, white & blue with flags for Memorial Day through Flag Day & Independence Day. The American flag goes out most every day. Alway have flag t-shirts or red, white & blue outfits for the Fourth! God bless America!!! Thanx for the giveaway!!!!

  39. Hello! I’m so thankful to be an American and I’m forever grateful for the lives of men and women who have secured the freedom I get to enjoy. We are new homeowners and I have ideas saved on Pinterest for decorating my home but I haven’t brought them to life yet. ? I always wear something patriotic on the 4th of July and love celebrating with patriotic food. ?
    I’m so excited to read your new book, Karen!

  40. This post just reminded me that July 4th is almost here and I need to get busy! I love patriotic items and I usually decorate my front porch with a birdhouse that is in patriotic colors and I also have a garden flag to commemorate our nation’s birthday. And a flag is always necessary!
    Thanks for sharing this excerpt.

  41. I don’t often do red, white, and blue either bit at least a bit for Independence Day. I have more fun dressing up my two year old for the holiday!! What a wonderful and interesting article!

  42. I don’t do a lot of outdoor decorating, but proudly display an American flag on our front porch when the weather is good.

  43. I don’t do a lot of decorating because my MS precludes me climbing or getting overheated. I do try to wear red, white, and blue clothes.

  44. What a beautiful house that is. I live in a two family now but I still decorate for all holidays. Always a red, white and blue for the fourth for our door, a fourth of July door mat and little flags in front windows. Happy 4th to everyone.

  45. That is a gorgeous home, would love to have one like that. My family and I decorate our front patio with pin wheels of Red, White and Blue and display our flags. We dress up the kiddo in his Red, White and Blue shirt and levis shorts and my husband in his white shirt with levis and red cap and me almost like the kiddo. We always take a picture together and the little one holds his little flag. We go out to the Fourth of July Parade. Growing up my parents til this day have their flag flying in their porch along with Red, White and Blue ribbons. Wishing everyone a Safe and Blessed Happy 4th of July.

  46. Karen – I decorate the outside of my house with red, white & blue bunting & flags in flower pots, & outside lights. In side our home we also decorate with wreaths, flags & etc. We also wear our red, white & blue shirts. Happy July 4th to all!!!

  47. We have bunting out all summer along our fenceline and we also have mini flags in every flower pot on out front and and most of our pots out back. My mom and I also have fun. Flag theme shirts each year that we wear on the first. I also have several patriotic flag headbands including pinwheels on a headband.

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