Monday, March 18, 2013

St Patrick's Day

So I've never really been into St Patrick's Day. It mostly seems like an excuse for stores to market all sorts of green merchandise and for a lot of people to get drunk. But the kids love it and over the past few years, I've learned to embrace the simple fun it can offer during the dreary end-of-winter. We're sort of hit-and-miss with traditions for this holiday but I think it's nice to just go with whatever the kids think would be fun and not have any "musts" as far as traditions really.

Last week, as we were sitting in the car waiting for something, we were next to an Irish pub covered with shamrock-studded St Patrick's Day promotional signs. The kids asked why we have St Patrick's Day and why all the shamrocks and green stuff. So we pulled out my smart phone and had a nice little learning moment as we did a little research. Turns out St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland back in the 400's. He supposedly used a shamrock to help explain the concept of the Trinity to the Irish pagans. (I'm sure there were plenty of three-leaf clovers underfoot to use as an object lesson.). St Patrick died on March 17th, 461. Turns out blue used to be the color of St Patrick's day but eventually green took over and green is the color of the shamrock and a great symbol of new life, of faith, and of growth (all of which St Patrick helped bring to the Irish). Turns out there's no readily available information on how leprechauns got involved in St Patricks Day - but they are a nice addition to spark the imagination and add a kid-friendly aspect to the whole thing. (I did find out that leprechauns are considered a type of fairy and that they used to wear red, not green. Interesting.) Knowing a bit more about the origins of the holiday made me feel even more friendly towards St Patrick's Day.

This year's celebrations were extra fun because I really let the kids take the lead and they each came up with fun surprises for the rest of the family. Eliza helped me pick out some festive decorations at the dollar store. The twins wanted to buy chocolate gold coins when we were together at the grocery store and they planned out that they'd "be leprochauns" and hide gold coins for everyone to find plus help me figure out what to say on a note from a leprochaun that would explain the treasure hunt.

The night before St Patrick's day, Oliver and Silas hid the gold coins they'd picked out and gleefully helped me set the table nicely for St Patrick's Day breakfast (plus the came up the idea of serving green water with breakfast and were thrilled with the result). In the morning, Ashton and Isaac helped me make green eggs on toast and sliced green pears for everyone for breakfast. After breakfast, everyone was pleased as punch about their extravagant St Patrick's Day presents - a couple of pencils each from the dollar store (seems we're always needing more pencils around here!).

While Jared finished up his meetings at church, the kids and I surprised him by setting the table extra nice for Sunday dinner with the china and crystal and all. Then we feasted on corned beef and cabbage and potatoes and carrots.

We finished off the day with some green cookies that Oliver and Silas made (and that were really yummy despite their appearance!).

Happy St Patrick's Day!

1 comment:

emily ballard said...

Your kids told me all about the green eggs and green water. So simple, yet SO exciting! That's the magic of holidays :)


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