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.
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!