We were sitting at Polite Provisions in Normal Heights, sipping our favorite cocktails (try the Tijuana Slow Dance, you’ll love it) and my husband Patrick was waxing patriotic. “Listen to this Lincoln quote,” he read from his iPhone, “‘I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.’ Lincoln rocked. Let’s really celebrate our national holidays this summer, Evie, and throw some parties, starting with Memorial Day.”
“But our patriotic party supplies are pretty sad,” I moaned, “basically one faded vinyl flag.”
“You’ve got a couple weeks to pull some stuff together,” he winked, “and that’s more than enough for my amazing woman.”
Motivated by flattery, I got right on it, starting with a party outfit for my man. An Uncle Sam costume for our party — the perfect gag gift. He can welcome our guests at the door in costume.
The Forum Patriotic Party Uncle Sam Costume ($19.32–$24.99 on Amazon) is 100 percent polyester and includes jacket, pants, hat, and bow tie. I also couldn’t resist buying the white Rasta Imposta Uncle Sam Wig and Goatee Set ($11.22 on Amazon).
For Rex, our Yorkshire terrier, I bought an Uncle Sam Pet Costume ($11.19 on Amazon). The polyester outfit includes a top hat, patriotic bodysuit in red, white, and blue, and a blue bowtie.
For myself, wanting to go a bit subtle with my party attire, I snatched up a red, white, and blue top-hat fascinator (Americana Hat & Ribbons Headband, $5.99 at Hobby Lobby).
For the front door of our house, I found an Americana Wreath made with birch branches and burgundy, white, and blue flowers, berries, and an American flag ($64.99 for the 26-inch wreath on Etsy at CrookedTreeCreation). And to set next to the door, a red, white, and blue pinewood “God Bless America” block set, tied up with a blue ribbon ($16 on Etsy at CaneySpringsCrafts).
When it came to decorating our food table, a ten-inch metal Vintage-Style Uncle Sam with Flag ($14.95 at Pier 1 Imports) along with four red, white, and blue plastic Americana Star Ornament Set ($12.95 at Pier 1 Imports).
To hang above the table, I found 3D Patriotic Paper Stars in red and blue with little white stars on them. The 28-inch and 15-inch stars come with hanging string ($8.99 for the two stars at Party City).
My favorite find was a vinyl door decal of Abe Lincoln, which I slapped onto our teenager’s bedroom door. The black-and-white decal features Abe rocking Wayfarer sunglasses and “Original Hipster” written below (Cool Abe Original Hipster Wall or Door Vinyl Decal for $11.99 at Amazon). Hubby Patrick rolled his eyes when he saw it, thinking it disrespectful to his favorite president. But I argued for it: “It’s something to connect our teenager to his country’s history. The man was hipster-cool 150 years ago.”
The colors of a USA Wood Tags Tapestry Wall Hanging caught my eye. It featured the states illustrated in license plates. But its price tag was too expensive for our party needs, so I left it behind ($169.99 at Cost Plus World Market).
Kohl’s sold a cheaper option: Fetco Americana License Plate Wall Art. The nearly three-foot wide rustic wood piece of art runs $39.99.
I also grabbed a red Americana USA LED Marquee Wall Decor to hang out by the pool table. The 12-inch aluminum sign lights up with two AAA batteries ($129.99 at Kohl’s).
To hang next to the marquee, I bought a USA Beer Cap Map — a birch laminate wood United States map with holes in it to hold beer caps from around the country ($35 for the 24-inch map on Etsy at SkylineLasers). “You go buy some homegrown brew from BevMo and the men can drink American beer and pop the caps into the map,” I instructed Patrick.
“Ooh, I like that one,” he said.
Finally, I bought some party tunes: Now That’s What I Call the USA: The Patriotic Country Collection. The country CD features artists such as Carrie Underwood, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Tim McGraw, among others, and runs $16.29 at Target.