As a kid growing up, I had incredible parents that kept us as their focus. They sacrificed so much to provide us with memories. These are memories that enriched my childhood and hold til this very day. As a mom, I want to give my children the gift of good, fun memories . One way my parents did this was to establish family traditions. Things we would do every year without fail. We looked forward to these traditions and not only did it give us really awesome memories, it gave us stability and unity as a family.
As we are coming upon St. Patrick's Day, I have been working on a Family Traditions printable where I can write all the traditions that surround each holiday and family milestone. Not only is this an amazing thing to keep in hand, it truly helps me as a mom to intentionally make each holiday and family milestone a special event. You can grab your free printable here.
As a new family, we don't have traditions figured out for every holiday and family milestone yet. I read so many neat ideas on Pinterest, but am most of the time too late in the game to actually do them. This year, I am using this planner to figure out some fun family traditions to start and am planning ahead for each of them. I am also including just some really cool and silly days like international pancake and coffee day, we totally have to celebrate those! :) You can download yours for free by entering your information below.
Since St. Patrick's Day is next on my list, this is a compilation of what I have planned to make it super special! :)
I think it is very important to know exactly why you are celebrating a certain day and where the traditions come from in the first place. I love this quote by Winston Churchill.
The story behind St. Patrick's Day is quite captivating and definitely one your children will love and remember. My favorite way to learn history is through listening to audio stories. Luckily, in our generation, there are tons of options available. Adventures in Odyssey has an amazing episode about St. Patrick's Day called Patrick: A Heart Afire. You can purchase the album here.
If you would rather read some books about St. Patrick's Day with your children. Here are some options that I found on Amazon.
You may actually find some of these at your local library. One of the books I listed above is a Kindle version. I bought that one to read for St. Patrick's Day along with listening to the story on Adventures in Odyssey.
St. Patrick's Day Symbols
This kind of goes along with the above, but I think it is super fun to know where the symbols come from and what they mean. We did this for Christmas as well, and I learned a lot! So this is what I found out according to what I have read.
- Green- We wear green on St. Patrick's day because it is a way to pay tribute to Ireland. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle and is green all year round, so in the 19th century, green became the national color.
- Shamrock- The Shamrock is the name of the three leaf clovers in Ireland. According to history, St. Patrick often used the Shamrock in his preaching to illustrate the Holy Trinity.
- Celtic Cross- Patrick was a slave in Ireland before he became a preacher. Because of this, he was very familiar with the religion and cluture of the Irish people. When he came back later in his life to bring the Irish people Christianity, he combined the cross symbol with a symbol of the sun, which is a powerful Irish symbol. The result was the Celtic cross.
- Leprechauns and pots of gold- I am really not sure when these became symbols of St. Patrick's Day, but you can read a little more about their history here.
- March 17- We celebrate St.Patrick's Day on March 17 because this is the supposed death of St. Patrick.
- Corned beef and cabbage- Originally, one was to eat bacon and cabbage which is a traditional Irish cuisines.Irish immigrants in America could not always afford bacon, so they substituted corned beef instead.
St. Patrick's Day Crafts
Depending on the ages of your children, you may or may not want to do crafts, but my two year old at this point loves them! I really like crafts that are not only fun, but provide an opportunity for me to teach my son important concepts. In the case of St. Patrick's Day, the crafts are a great introduction to some difficult theological concepts like the Trinity.
Although he may not grasp this entirely, it is opening his mind to this concept and setting a foundation for later when he will be able to fully grasp it. The crafts that I picked for my son this year are centered around the shamrock. I will add pictures as we do them. :)
I really love this Shamrock craft. It is from Bible School Printables and very easy to make. This is also a no mess craft which is nice. You just need crayons, printout, scissors, colors, and a brad.
I also am planning on making the St. Patrick paper doll found on this website. My son loves to tell me stories and re enact things. My plan is to read the books, listen to the St.Patrick: Heart Afire, and then have my son tell me the story back using the paper doll. It will be fun to record to keep for later too. :)
This website also has an entire until study built around St. Patrick. In the future, I plan to use the entire unit study with my children. It not only gets them super excited about the holiday, but they become very knowledgeable in what they are celebrating as well.
If you are looking for more craft ideas, you can check out my Pinterest board entitled Holidays.
St. Patrick's Day Food
Holidays are no fun without special food surrounding them, right?! Or maybe that is just me, I get super excited about food. :) Since my family has never done food traditions for this holiday, everything will be new.
For breakfast we will adorn our best green outfits and get pancakes at Ihop. :) We do this every year, and it is so much fun! Just getting out of the house sometimes is magical and special.
For our afternoon snack, I am going to make a green smoothie. The green smoothie recipe I love calls for spinach, peanut butter, dash of cinnamon,salt, and nutmeg, whole banana, and almond milk.
I definitely want to try out corned beef and cabbage for dinner. This is a recipe that I found, and it sounds pretty yummy. I will update with a picture and how it turned out, once I make it.
I found a beautiful fruit rainbow that I want to make for our dessert, this is the website where I found the inspiration. :)
My husband loves bread, and if I feel inspired and am able, I may try to make Celtic knot rolls. I am not incredible when it comes to shaping bread so this may not be a picture that I share with you. lol
St. Patrick's Day Schedule
So if you got lost in all that rambling, here is the play by play of how I would like our day to be. We will see if it actually turns out that way, but we can always hope. :)
7:30 Morning Routine
8:30 Eat breakfast at Ihop adorned in our lovely green * Listen to St. Patrick: Heart Afire in the car
10:00 Make Shamrock craft and St. Patrick paper doll. Let Lil A give me his own rendition of the story of St.Patrick.
11:00 Go on a green scavenger hunt outside
12:00-12:30 Eat lunch and clean up
1:00-3:00 Nap time
3:30 Green smoothie for snack
3:30- 6:00 Have a dance party with Irish music :)
6:00 Supper of Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Bread with Fruit Rainbow for dessert
I hope this gives you a little bit of inspiration to make your St. Patrick's day a holiday to remember! I would love to hear some of your family traditions and different ways you may celebrate St. Patrick's day in the comments. :)