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What I Learned Last Year About St. Patrick



I chuckle to myself thinking about a year ago. We couldn’t believe a virus was stopping the world for three whole weeks. I mentioned it to my husband and he wrinkled his brow. “I think it’ll be much, much longer than three weeks.” Of course he was spot on, but at the time I thought (hoped) he was being crazy.


Last year, I wrote a blog post about making the most of St. Patrick’s Day since we’re all stuck at home anyway. And you know what? It worked. We had a blast last year on St. Patrick’s Day. We made yummy food and did cool crafts. It was much more memorable than any other St. Patrick’s Day has been for us. Typically, we’d go out in the rain (it's aways raining) and wait too long at a restaurant serving Irish food and the kids would get restless and they didn’t even like the food so we’d have to re-feed them when we got home.


Things are slowly returning to some sort of normal. My kids will be transiting to a five-day week at the beginning of April and they’re all in outdoor sports (hallelujah). But I had these fun memories about last year's St. Patricks's Day and I want to do it again. We will still have a virtual school day on St. Patrick’s Day, so I plan to make it fun. I hope you’ll join me.


Start with music:

Whether you’re more Celtic Instrumental or Irish Pub, the internet has it all. Have fun searching for Irish music that puts you in the mood for an Irish celebration. Music has a way of changing the mood. I hope you find the right songs to make things a little more joyful.

Talk about who St. Patrick was:

Kids tend to know more about how to catch a leprechaun (also important) than basic facts about St. Patrick. Facts like, he wasn’t Irish. He was born in Britain. When he was 15, he was kidnapped by raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. While in Ireland, he converted to Christianity despite being surrounded by Pagan druids. Don’t miss the power of this. He was forced into a place where most everyone was a Pagan and God grabbed him up and said, “This one’s mine. I have big plans for him.” After escaping Ireland and retuning home, he became a Catholic priest. He had a vision from God to return to Ireland to share Christianity with them. He did and he’s now known for Christianizing Ireland. That’s why today “Irish” tends to go with the word “Catholic” not “Druid”. These are not the things I typically associate with St. Patrick’s Day, but man, I should. What an amazing story!

Do some fun activities:

When I think of St. Patrick’s Day, I think of shamrocks, leprechauns, gold coins, and rainbows. Check out this website for 60+ activities to do with your kids. There are fun crafts and activity pages kids would typically do at school. Why not try a couple?

Explain that we all get to be Irish today:

My husband is part Irish and I’m not. My kids like to remind me that I’m the only one in our family that’s not Irish. I’d feel like an outsider, but I know that on St. Patrick’s Day we all get to be Irish. The other days of the year, I have to settle for just having an Irish name. It’s fun to celebrate another culture. And no cultural celebration is complete without…food.

Make some yummy food:

Why not try to make Irish soda bread, or meat pies? Dessert anyone? How about an Irish apple cake? These are the things Irish people usually make on St. Patrick’s Day instead of our typical corned beef (which is also delicious). Get the kids in the kitchen and let them help you try a new recipe. Kids are more apt to try something new when they helped make it.

I hope that one day my kids will tell their kids, “Once on St. Patrick’s Day, God blessed our family because we weren’t too busy. We talked about who St. Patrick was. We listened to fun music and we made some delicious food and fun crafts. It was the perfect day with family. You know, St. Patrick wasn’t actually Irish. He was born in Britain. When he was 15, he was kidnapped by raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland…”

God bless you and your family.

And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Shannon


 

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