Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Simple fun and frivality on St. Patrick's Day

March 17 around our home is a chance to learn more about St. Patrick. We watch a children's DVD and read a story or two about the saint. Sometimes the kids color a coloring sheet with the saint's outline on it, or we play a homemade bingo or trivia game with tidbits about Ireland. I understand it isn't really Irish, but we also enjoy corned beef and cabbage. For dessert, we might pop into McDonald's and enjoy a shamrock shake. (I know, that's a bit commercial but it has become a simple tradition!)

This year is a bit different. The kids woke up to some commotion in our home. My son discovered that his leprechaun trap had been sprung, and that my jade ring (used as bait) was gone, replaced by a note saying "ha, ha, ya'll never get my pot of gold!"

There are green paper shamrocks scattered around our home -- on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator handle, on the door knobs' of the kids' rooms, on the light switch, and on the TV screen. When my son opened the peanut butter jar this morning, he discovered the peanut butter was now green. And their milk mysteriously turned green when it was poured from the jug into their drinking glasses.

There is also green paper confetti scattered over the kitchen table.

The kids (especially my youngest daughter) got a big kick out of this.

Serving unique food can be a fun and inexpensive gift for family and friends on this holiday. In fact, you can create unique items often just with things already in your cupboard. For example, I have a can of Wilton's green Food Mist spray in my pantry. It is simply food coloring in a spray can. Green sprinkles (leftover from Christmas baking) can add a festive touch, too. For example, we will be having green jello for dessert tonight -- made special with a dollop of whipped cream that has been embellished with the green sprinkles. A small bottle of green food coloring can turn almost any white food into something special. My son hates mashed potatoes; I wonder if he would like them better if they were green?

This clever mom even put tiny leprechaun footprints on her children's peanut butter sandwich. She has some other clever food ideas for the holiday, too, so check it out:


(I love her leprechuan template -- cut it out and use it to embellish cupcakes!)

I found some other links to snacks, desserts, salads and other "Leprechaun" themed food for St. Patrick's Day.

Here is a quick shamrock-shaped snack:


How about some Leprechaun latte? (Yes, you can make this yourself!)

Or a Leprechaun Gold Salad?


How about some Paddy's Day Pudding?


Some would say that we are detracting from the real reason for the holiday. But we will return to some of our traditional activities this afternoon, and learn more about St. Patrick then. In the meantime, someone obviously thought we needed a bit more mischievous fun in our lives!

I would love to hear how others celebrate this holiday! Please post some comments with your family's traditions!

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