Breaking a Tradition or Breaking a Promise?

Today is July 4th and with it is the American Celebration of Independence Day! Up here in Canada, my family and I celebrate by watching ID 4 every year since I can remember. It has been a favorite Tradition of ours.

I love it because the film is so cheesy and fun and I’ve watched it every year since it came out back in 1996 when I was 20. That’s 22 years so far of watching this film for me. We even made a trip on the Extraterrestrial Highway a few years ago so I could see a time capsule for the film.

But today we may not get to enjoy it as a family- thus possibly breaking a tradition and that makes me kinda sad. It seems like plans and schedules could be interrupting our family movie watching.

My wife and our oldest daughter are working during the day and won’t be done until 6pm. I made a commitment to an old friend and a coworker to go and see their first live musical performance gig this evening. I even bought a couple of tickets in advance. I’d really like to see how good they’ve gotten.

So do I cancel on the family? With our teenage kids growing up and having their own lives- these moments we share are rather important and starting to dwindle. Can I just stop a tradition that is decades old and one that I enjoy?

Or do I cancel my plans to support my friends and their first ever show? I’ve seen my old friend perform over twenty years ago on many occasions, it’s just that this is his new band. But it’s also in Vancouver which is a 45 minute drive there and 45 minute drive home late tonight. I bought tickets for my wife and I, but I hadn’t confirmed if she wanted to go when I did.

So what do I do? Cancel on family or cancel on friends? Who is more understanding? I think I know the answer now that I’ve written out my dilemma. It seems kind of obvious now.

The Days Between…

In North America there is a couple of days in July that feel lost and without fanfare.

July 2nd and 3rd.

These are the two days that fall between Canada Day and Independence Day. The celebrations on July 1st north of the border and on July 4th south of the border. Canadians and Americans share a huge border and those that live near it, such as myself, benefit from the ability to visit freely from one side to the other.

What should we do with those two days in between? We should create an official celebration between our two countries that lasts four days. Hear me out… Already many people extend their time off around one of these dates. Many of us have family and friends who live on either side of the border. Plus the number 23 in numerology contains elements of companionship, diplomacy, and teamwork energies. A perfect description of the camaraderie between our two countries.

Why not make it official? Call July 2 and 3rd The International Two-Three. A new holiday celebrating friendships. I’m on board and want to make posters now!

Our Canadian July 4th Tradition

Even though my family and I are Canadian, we celebrate Independence Day the same way every year. We get together and enjoy a typical American meal such as burgers or pizza- tonight is Costco hot dogs and soda.

I put on the closest t-shirt I have to being something that symbolizes USA. And we wish a happy, healthy Fourth of July to our friends in the USA.

Then we watch the one film that symbolizes July 4th for us.

We love this film. Two years ago I wrote about how the tradition began and our journey through Nevada on the Extraterrestrial Highway: ID4

I wrote again about the film Last year and my opinion on “fake news”.

But something wonderful about the film reminds me of America. It’s a classic Hollywood Blockbuster with action, comedy, and heart. It showcases heroics, the fall and rise of a diverse group of people and a sense of leadership. Leadership that is needed to bring the US back from destruction.

I love this film- for all it’s campiness and ridiculous moments. And for the joy it brings my family as we look forward to viewing it every year.

ID 4

The film Independence Day came out in 1996.  I remember seeing it in the theater a couple of times that summer.  Most people have seen the film.  I’m not going to write a review for it or its sequel.  Instead, I’d like to share how fun the film has been for my family and I.

In 2010 we sat down as a family to watch the film together.  It was the first time our children had ever seen the movie.  At the time our children were ages 4,6 & the oldest was about to turn 8.  Before showing them the film I explained that the movie was based on historical events that had taken place in 1996.  The movie was an homage to why Americans celebrate Independence Day.  At the end of the film our children believed that it was all real.  That the Americans had defeated an alien race and saved the earth.

Of course, now our children are older and believe that story about as much as they believe in Santa Claus.  But every year we watch the film as a family and today will be no different.  We all look forward to it and have fun talking about the first time we watched it.  I’m pretty sure that by next year, we will watch the sequel after it as well.


Last fall when we were driving back home from Stan Lee’s Comikaze, we took a detour from our regular route home.  We headed through Death Valley and onward through the Nevada desert.  Part of our trip was to find places that most people skip over.  I decided that this would be the perfect time to travel down the Extraterrestrial Highway.  We stopped in Rachel, Nevada at the Little AleInn because I wanted to see this place for myself.  No one was there except the two employees at the restaurant.  We ate lunch and did the touristy thing of taking photos everywhere around the building.  It brought forth more talk about the film ID4 and where it was filmed.  There is a time capsule waiting to be opened at the restaurant and I wonder if it will have any hoopla surrounding it when they do open it.

This entire trip I was taking numerous selfies and pictures of our SUV on the horizon to prove that we were there.  The scenery was spectacular and I highly recommend the trip through Nevada.  We were also lucky to see some fighter jets fly so close to us when we stopped for a break at one of the many Vista points.

America is a beautiful country and I look forward to traveling through it more.

Happy Independence Day to my neighbours down south!