Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally thought of as an adult holiday – going to the bar, having a few “pints” with friends… I mean really, if there isn't a Charlie Brown special about it, then it's not a kid's holiday, right? ;) But my husband and I are both proud to be Irish, and over the years we have instilled that same pride in our older daughter. (And we're working on our youngest, as you can see!) I think our girl was 3 or 4 when she really started to get into the idea of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always told her that it’s such a neat holiday because while we are actually Irish, on St. Patrick’s Day EVERYONE is Irish for the day. I remember her standing in the kitchen and stomping her little foot and saying, “I’m NOT Irish! I’m (insert first, middle and last name here)!” ;) That one went in the book that I try to write her funny sayings in.

Anyway, after she got over that and started embracing her Irish heritage (we’re not just Irish, but that is one thing that she has from both sides of the family), she started getting more into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.

This morning my girl started her day with Lucky Charms cereal (what else?) and a glass of milk that I turned green with a couple of drops of green food coloring. She thought that was so cool! (She's already requested blue milk for Easter...) And just to make it a little more holiday-ish for her, I pulled out one of the "Happy St. Patrick's Day" napkins that I have in with my holiday "supplies." I pulled those out and used one for my daughter’s breakfast, one in her lunch box, and then we used them at dinner. Honestly, you can probably go and get any holiday decorative napkin so inexpensively after the holiday has passed, and if your kids are like mine – everything is more special to her with a “festive” napkin! (Kids are easy to impress if you put even a little effort into it!)

My girl went to school dressed in 4 different shades of green, including a cute green t-shirt with a big, sparkly green shamrock on the front, and I put a shamrock pin on her and did her hair in “Laura braids” (her name for braids, in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder) with green rubber bands.

Another tradition we have is that I always make corned beef and cabbage – this afternoon my girl even drew a picture of Mommy cooking our St. Patrick's Day dinner. You can make it a number of different ways, but for you busy moms, I find this to be another fabulous Crock-pot recipe:


½ bag of baby carrots
1 corned beef
1 cup water
wedge of cabbage

Throw the carrots in the bottom of the Crock-pot, put the corned beef on top, pour in the cup water. Turn this on low for 8 – 10 hours, or high for 5 – 6hours. Then throw in some cut up cabbage and cook for another 2 – 3 hours on high. I always make mashed potatoes, and this year I surprised my daughters (and husband) and put some green food coloring in the potatoes!

Anyway, we traditionally have that for dinner, and for dessert I always bring home a special decorated cookie or cupcake for my girls (Irish Cream cheesecake for my husband and I!). This year I brought home these silly little green things... frogs? Not sure, but there was a cupcake in there somewhere. My creative girl unwrapped 2 chocolate gold coins that the "leprechaun" brought her at school, and being the huge Disney lover that she is, she turned her "frog" into a Mickey head, much to the delight of her little sister!

It’s nice to make even the smaller, less "kid-friendly" holidays festive for your children, and the fact that for us it helps instill a sense of pride in our girl’s heritage, all the better!

***Kudos to my friend Catherine who traditionally has a “leprechaun” visit her house in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day. Her daughter wakes up to green water in the toilet, green milk with her breakfast, her green underwear hidden in silly places in her room, and all of the green things in the house piled up on the kitchen table! God bless her for putting up with that pesky leprechaun – I personally would be exhausted having to pick up after that little guy! But, it’s worth the excitement that builds for her daughter in the days prior to St. Pat’s Day, when she is wondering if the leprechaun will visit!


Teamcarbone said...

OMG those are the cuties ideas EVER! I can't wait it join the St. Patrick's experience once my LO gets older...maybe at pesty leprrchaun might just pay us a visit.

Christine said...

Oh that Leprechaun thing is hysterical! I may need to try that!

We also had crock pot corned beef which was easy and fast.

Loved the pics of the girls! They look so cute!

Deanna said...

Thanks for sharing the Leprechaun tips with me, Cath -- they were a big hit!!