I heart green—kelly, emerald, olive—lovely, lovely green. And yet, somehow, every March 17 at o’dark thirty, I dig through drawers and dare to smell what’s in my dirty clothes basket in hopes that there’s something clean enough to get by with it for just one more day—for the sake of holiday cheer.
I can roll like that.
But now I have two pre-schoolers. And a first grader. And they’re girls. All of them.
Every. Single. Holiday. There is a whole level of forethought and (worse!) follow-through required. All of this is completely unnatural to me. Simply wearing green? No-no-no. One’s child must wear something singularly related to St. Patrick’s Day. Choose one: shamrocks, pots o’gold, leprechauns, “Irish” (which just feels like a lie—mostly because it is one), “shenanigans,” “lucky.” That’s the stuff.
Feeling the pressure a few weeks ago, I found myself in the dangerous territory of nearly ordering three St. Patrick’s Day frocks for my girls. But I just couldn’t pull the trigger. My girls are at the age where they can’t wear something two years in a row. Sometimes they outgrow things before they make it even two months in a row. To buy something that may get worn twice and before going out of season—and then not citing next St. Patrick’s Day? That goes against every $425-per-week-daycare-paying (really), clutter-phobic fiber of my being. Unless we’re talking Christmas. Not even going down that rabbit hole.
I might cave.
Let’s go ahead and put that out there. I have a vision of my little lassies showing up in “just green,” while their peers are sporting ruffly shamrock-printed ensembles. I see myself dodging superior glances from other moms and pitying looks from teachers who are thinking (and likely whispering), “You see how frazzled she is…I’m surprised she even remembered to put them in green…poor little girls.” It may do me in.
And you know clothing is just the tip of the iceberg. Because then there’s the rest of the holiday “shoulds.” Should I make this a teachable moment? Celebrate the rich diversity of our country by touching on the history of Irish immigration in the U.S.? Should I delve into the works of St. Patrick himself? Explore religion, slavery, how stories get bigger in the retelling? I should. But, shoot. That doesn’t feel fun. I have to make it fun! It’s a holiday, and it’s magical! Must… MAKE… CHILDREN’S… LIVES… MAGICAL!
I breathe and am reminded of the movie Office Space. “Some people choose to do the minimum.” Darn right they do. Mama, you rock that minimum. Throw some green flair on your kids and smile. (And because it’s been too long, here you go.
But, some people choose to do more.
For those of you in that category? I’m listing a few easy—but still feel like you’re stepping it up—ideas to help you through one more round of holiday pressure.
Craft With What You Have
No Time for Flashcards is an awesome resource. I love this rolling pin shamrock painting activity. Easy if you have everyday craft supplies but don’t plan your masterpieces in advance.
St. Patrick’s Day Snacks/Drinks
Take what you usually eat and drink. Then add some green food coloring. Stir. I know. I just blew your mind.
Should you choose to do more? Here are ideas for every St. Patrick’s Day meal. There’s a fruit rainbow with a chicken nugget pot of gold at the end. No lie.
Have a Limerick Writing Contest
Award the winner with a wee bit o’gold.
Historical Perspective on St. Patrick’s Day
- Pack up the kids and hit Nashville’s Irish Fest all over Nashville through March 17th.
- A warm take on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland vs. America from an eloquent Irishman.
- A slightly less warm—but still PG—article on the REAL St. Patrick and how details have been changed or fabricated over the years.