Does anyone else have the problem of not being able to Pinterest responsibly when looking for ideas to celebrate the smaller holidays?
For the big holidays it’s like: Halloween? Yes, give me ALL of your intricate pumpkin carving patterns. Thanksgiving? Of COURSE I would like to see forty different centerpiece ideas. Christmas? I OBVIOUSLY need to know how to make my own bows from recycled wrapping paper, THANK YOU.
But a search for, say, “St. Patrick’s Day ideas”? NO MA’AM.
The endless wall of green, shamrock and leprechaun-themed activities and recipe tutorials instantly make me feel all anxious and pressured to GO BIG or GO TO THE END OF THE RAINBOW.
But I don’t want to go big.
I don’t want to make a seven-layer cake in gradient shades of green.
I don’t want to cut out thirty shamrocks out of five different kinds of paper and put them on string to make garland and then hang up the garland.
I don’t want to make corned beef OR cabbage.
I just want to put a dang green sticker on my face and call it a day.
So that’s what I’m going to do. In fact, I’ve been finding that the simpler I keep the smaller holidays, the better (i.e., less pressured and more joyful) I feel.
I’m sure that as my kids grow, for these more minor celebrations, some years we’ll want to go all out and some years we may do nothing at all.
But for now, it’s all about simple joys and bringing a small touch of celebration to the holiday without a huge amount of time, effort, or money.
So, lasses and lads, if you’re feeling the same way this St. Patrick’s Day, here are seven easy ideas to celebrate:
1. Put a dang sticker on your face!
Fact: on St. Patrick’s Day in seventh grade I stuck a shiny shamrock sticker on my cheek and felt cute as heck. I am willing to bet as a 35-year-old I will feel just as cute if I do the same thing (but now I actually know how to do my makeup too!)
2. Add lunch bag adornments
If you have some stickers left over, put them a few on the food containers in your kid’s lunch. Or wrap up a sandwich in parchment paper and put a sticker on top to seal it. My parents would do this sometimes and it made me feel super special.
3. Write a little note
In the theme of your kid’s (or even partner’s!) lunch, put a little note in there that says, “I’m so LUCKY to be your mom/partner!”
4. Go get a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake
I can very clearly remember riding in the back of a car with one of my childhood best friends (hey Kristy!) on an unseasonably warm St. Patrick’s Day. Paula Abdul was on the radio. The windows were down. And her mom took us to get Shamrock Shakes. It. was. AWESOME.
5. Serve up some fun food
There are a lot of options here:
- Serve already-green food (this is probably the healthiest option).
- Serve dyed green food (maybe stick with more bread-y things like pancakes; I recall one year we made green mac-and-cheese and well…it looked like a big pile of boogers).
- Serve Lucky Charms! (I would have been THRILLED with this as a kid since my parents only bought generic brand cereal and would mix, for example, the regular cornflakes with the sugary cornflakes lest we not consume too much sugar. I understand the sentiment—and thanks for looking out for my health, Mom and Dad!—but just getting to eat name brand cereal would have been heaven).
6. Look for the Leprechaun
Print out a picture of a leprechaun and put it somewhere in your house for your kid(s) to find (just tailor the size of the picture and the location to your kids’ age-appropriateness).
Simply going on a lookout is fun but you can add a reward if you’d like: a sticker, a little treat. I remember doing something like this in kindergarten but we all made “binoculars” out of two toilet paper tubes taped together and colored rainbows on them (if you wanted to get a little fancier).
If you think your kids might need some help finding him, “he” may want to leave a trail of Lucky Charms to follow!
7. Pot o’ Gold Scavenger Hunt
Ok, this seems a bit higher-maintenance than the stated “easy” theme of this idea list, but bear with me.
My grandma and mom put together a scavenger hunt for my siblings and me one St. Patrick’s Day and I still remember how fun it was.
As scavenger hunts go, they had clues on pieces of paper around the house for us to solve in order to find the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow (i.e., a pile of chocolate gold coins they’d hidden).