Fun July 4th Dessert: Berry Flag Tart

The star of your patriotic menu will be this flag-shape dessert featuring bright red raspberries, tart blueberries, and dough cut in stripes and star shapes. Despite the masterpiece finish, it's actually quite simple to make.

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Easy 4th of July Decorations

Decorate your home in the spirit of Independence Day with our red, white, and blue 4th of July decorations. From flags to fireworks, these easy decorations cover every July 4th theme you can think of -- and they're cute to boot.

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Our Favorite July 4th Recipes

Take the guesswork out of creating a delicious spread of 4th of July food. Our July 4th entrees (hot dogs! ribs!), drinks (punch! sangria!), side dishes (fruit and pasta salads!), and desserts (mmm, pie) make organizing a patriotic potluck a breeze.

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Festive July 4th Desserts

Celebrate Independence Day with these festive 4th of July desserts! With star-shape scones and piecrusts, tempting tarts, colorful shakes, and fresh berries, these recipes for 4th of July desserts are sure to stand out at your patriotic celebration.

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Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.

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4th of July Cake Recipes

Headed to a 4th of July potluck? Cakes are a dreamy way to end the day (well, that and fireworks), and our collection of berry-topped cakes, lush chocolate cakes, swirled sprinkle cakes, and layered red velvet cakes are worth their own oohs and aahs.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Popular in Holidays

Top 10 Alternative Gift Ideas

When the holidays pressure you to spend excessively, consider starting a new family tradition by giving memorable and meaningful alternative gifts.

With all the stress, expense, and expectation surrounding the holidays, it can be a challenge just to get through "the most wonderful time of the year" with our values and our wallets intact. Here's how to save money, protect the planet, and spread good cheer all at the same time.

  1. Chronicle your family history by assembling photographs, letters, and important documents.
  2. Frame a meaningful photograph or put together a photo album or book of family recipes.
  3. Host a potluck instead of having to cook the entire holiday feast alone.
  4. Give children a gift of music or sports lessons instead of another toy.
  5. Give the gift of time. Begin with a gift certificate that offers babysitting, a home-cooked meal, or a monthly lunch date with a relative or friend.
  6. Donate to a charity in the name of a loved one.
  7. Give fair trade items such as tea, coffee, or chocolate.
  8. Give homemade baked goods, potpourri, or a dried herb wreath.
  9. Create a special memory by going to a ball game, to a museum, or on a camping trip.
  10. Give away one of your favorite things.

The best way to change your gift-giving habits is to start slowly. You can't change your holiday traditions all at once, but you can try one or two ideas at a time. Pick a few things from these easy-to-do ideas below and give them a try this holiday season.

  • Pay for the car behind you at the toll booth during holiday road trips.
  • Leave potted flowers or herbs anonymously on a friend's doorstep.
  • Clean the cat box without being asked!
  • Send a card to a soldier overseas or an injured veteran spending the holidays in a military hospital.
  • Make an emergency kit gift basket with a blanket, flashlight, gas can, jumper cables, and flares.
  • Call an estranged friend or write a letter to someone you haven't seen in a few years.
  • Give away the last great book you bought and enjoyed to someone who shares your taste.
  • Shovel snow for an elderly neighbor.
  • Have a re-gift swap. Get together a few like-minded friends and trade tchotchkes.
  • Host a cookie swap. Six friends who each make six dozen of the same kind of cookie can meet for coffee and go home with a dozen of each kind.

Alternative gift fairs give shoppers the opportunity to purchase personal, poignant, and fun gifts that support local and international charities. At a gift fair, people are able to make donations on behalf of friends and family to a variety of charitable organizations that feature gifts ranging from chicks for a family in Haiti to school supplies for an underprivileged child close to home.

Organizing an alternative gift fair is something you can do with friends, neighbors, members of your faith community, and at the office. Whether held in a coffee shop, a church basement, or a restaurant, alternative gift fairs are social and fun community gatherings that alleviate the stress of a packed shopping mall while supporting worthwhile causes.


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