Happy St. Patrick’s Day, if you’re Irish, or you like Ireland, or like drinking, or like corned beef, or like…. green, I guess?
As someone who has a rather muddled ethnic heritage, I was always lukewarm about St. Paddy’s Day. While I appreciate the idea of pride in one’s cultural identity, I always felt like this holiday didn’t “fit” me somehow. While I do have some Irish blood, I also have plenty of Italian blood, and some German, and some… I don’t know. Some sliver of something else.
Growing up, I’d wear green, & that would be the extent of my “celebrating”. My mentality was more like:
Fast-forward to parenthood, and I approach St. Patrick’s Day a bit differently.
Now, between The Captain and I, determining our children’s ethnic makeup is like calculating one of those math problems where you’re dividing a pie & need to figure out what percent each person gets, only you don’t really feel like sharing the pie (or doing any kind of math, EVER).
Suffice to say that our kids would probably be more at home at, say, the Puerto Rican Day parade than proclaiming their love of Ireland by wearing green, but… any excuse for a celebration, am I right?
Here’s why I try to acknowledge the day.
1. I like the idea that although our kids are a blend of various cultures, celebrating any one of them IS worth doing. I find it more challenging to emphasize the importance of “where you come from” since as Americans, many of us have a variety of ethnic/cultural backgrounds rather than a single one.
2. School(s) usually makes a big deal out of it, encouraging kids to wear green, sometimes having class St. Patrick’s Day parties, and occasionally assigning the hellish project known as the dreaded:
If you’ve never had to help build one of these, well, then, you truly have the luck o’ the Irish, because after having to assist in building a trap THREE TIMES already, all I can tell you is that I would’ve paid good money to buy a pre-assembled, black-market leprechaun trap on Ebay in order to avoid having to spend hours trying to make one.
3. Tradition. As a family who doesn’t have the luxury (or finances) to often vacation or create awesome family memories outside of the home, I try to make special memories for our kids inside our home. And one of the ways I do that is by decorating for each holiday.
It doesn’t take much to make it special. I usually pick up themed plates, napkins, etc. at a dollar store (love me some Dollar Tree!). Whether it’s a birthday or a holiday, I set the table & decorate the night before, so the kids wake up to a decorated dining room.
It seems like a little thing, but it’s the little things that sometimes become the special memories.
(And I’m giving full credit to my mom, aka Grandma Rose, for the traditional corned beef & cabbage St. Patrick’s Day dinner. My mom doesn’t have a drop of Irish blood in her, & she makes a banging corned beef dish. Or so I’ve heard, anyway. I don’t eat it… I don’t get the “corned” part. And cooked cabbage makes as much sense to me as boiling a head of iceberg lettuce. No offense, Ireland. I love the potatoes, & pass the soda bread, please. )
Now, are these Pinterest-worthy creative works of holiday genius? Hellllll no! I’ve already admitted here that I’m deficient when it comes to that kind of brilliance (which I sincerely admire), but the point is, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE.
It’s the “A for effort” concept. The effort of making a holiday -any holiday- makes a difference. You don’t have to be artsy or creative to make it memorable for your family.© Copyright 2017 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom