Things to do for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day may be rather low-key in Roanoke this year, but here are some ideas for how your family can make it a special day, courtesy of our family:

  • Wear a diversity of colors. Here are some samples of this week’s conversations in our family: “ohhh no! Not green again!” … “Mom, can I wear red? How about blue? Cause I want to be pinched.” [Mom offers to pinch child whenever he likes.] “No, Mom, I want to be pinched by other people!”
  • Get into the spirit with some cheery authentic Irish folk music. If you don’t have any instruments, make some out of cardboard, rubber bands, and trash can lids. Here are some suggestions:
    • Molly Malone. For years, our kids have interspersed their play with singing about the fair maiden who “died of a fever, no one could save her.”
    • Rare Old Mountain Dew. The boys always laugh at this song, though I haven’t told them what it’s about yet.
    • Danny Boy. If your family is getting too enthusiastic about things, sprinkle in a few phrases from this song to tone it down. “If I be dead, as dead I well may be…”
    • The Rattlin’ Bog. Our kids have spent many an hour listening to online renditions of this round. Here and here are a couple of their favorites. Come up with your own versions to add even more fun. 
    • Be Thou My Vision. One of the best and oldest hymns, full of beauty and medieval imagery.
    • The Parting Glass. This cheery song about saying goodbye to all your friends indefinitely is the perfect way to put your kids to bed at the end of the day.
  • Discuss the possibility of purchasing your own personal Irish island. In our case, it would have to be big enough to run several Connemara ponies.
  • Spend some time looking at pictures of Irish castles. Imagine what life would have been like hundreds of years ago, with the gentle British Empire constantly seeking to subjugate your homeland. Discuss the wisdom of kissing the Blarney Stone during a pandemic (or anytime, for that matter). Remind your kids of how foggy and rainy it is on the Emerald Isle. Ask your kids if they wouldn’t really rather stay with the grandparents while Mom and Dad visited Ireland.
  • Apple juice and green food coloring. This is the surest way to feel like a true Irish. Sláinte!

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