As a grown-up (and a mom), I’m supposed to be sensible. Luckily for me, the holidays bring out my inner child, and my playful side shines brightly to make the day extra special for my family. The best traditions with my children started because of my need to celebrate the happiness in our lives. St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday to let loose, share playful pranks and talk in funny Irish accents.
Here are four sure ways to bring the luck of the Irish to your family.
Holidays are magical when your home reflects each new season.
• Use green fabric, shamrock patterns, rainbow prints, etc., to create custom pillow cases for your family.
• Add pops of festive green color to your decor by making shamrocks from colored paper, or purchase easy, cost-effective decorations from the nearest dollar store to create a wonderland of rainbows, magic and leprechaun mischief.
• Leave lip prints on the bathroom mirror for your spouse with the famous saying "Kiss me, I'm Irish." Your sweetie will enjoy the added romance and playfulness you are bringing into your relationship.
Creativity in the kitchen
For us, many of our good traditions began in the kitchen. Grab your kids and a few ingredients, and create memories of fun by getting creative.
• Make Lucky Charms treats. Use the regular Rice Krispies treat recipe with Lucky Charms cereal instead.
• Use Kool-Aid to make rainbow-colored ice cubes to add to any lemon-lime soda.
• Bake rainbow treats (cookies, cupcakes, etc.) with rainbow sprinkles, M&M’s or Skittles. Write a note to your neighbor explaining they are worth more than a pot of gold. Leave the baked goodies on your neighbor’s porch and give your children the gift of sharing the holiday spirit.
Dress for the occasion
• Wearing green is easier than ever with dollar stores, Wal-Mart, thrift stores, etc.
• Paint fingernails.
• Using makeup or colored ribbons is never going over the top.
• Ties, hats, beads and hair-coloring products all add to the pleasure of the holiday.
• Remember, dressing up is part of the holiday cheer. Take oodles of “selfies” in your rockin’ shamrock gear. Be proud to be celebratory.
A playful shenanigan or two
Leprechauns are playful, and nothing makes me happier than playing shenanigans on my family.
• Color the toilet water green and place small green footprints on the toilet seat, across the bathroom mirror and in the shower.
• Encourage your child to be creative. Catching a leprechaun is a very big deal. Legend says the lucky culprit who catches a leprechaun is granted three wishes. Use items around the house to set a leprechaun trap. Use tiny gold coins or Rolo minis as bait. Wait until your child is busy, grab the coins, leave Skittles in place of the gold coins as “rainbow seeds” and drop the trap. It's an amusing game.
• Create a rainbow explosion. Using various colors of crepe paper, decorate the living room, kitchen, bathroom, staircase or your spouse’s car on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day.
• Replace the bathroom lights with green bulbs.
• Replace your child’s or spouse’s shoelaces with green ribbon or green laces.
• And of course, the classic trick — turn all your food green. Green milk, green pancakes, green mashed potatoes, green rice, etc. If you are concerned about using store-bought green food coloring, try an all-natural technique of boiling broccoli or spinach in one cup of water for about 30 minutes and draining the liquid to add to foods such as rice or mashed potatoes. Soaked pistachios make a great paste to add to dessert items. You could also simply add colorful menu items to your dishes and celebrate with rainbow style of variety.
Lastly, remember to have fun. When you are happy, your family is happy. I once used a name generator on Facebook, and it called me “Princess Sweetsparkle.” Give your family “lucky leprechaun” nicknames. Your children will giggle with glee at being called silly things like Bubbly Sparkling Pants, Smiling Rainbow Lips or Lucky Golden Smile. Write it on a “lucky shamrock” and use the same shamrock each year to remind your family of the joy the luck of the Irish can bring.
Alessandra Toscanelli is a mother of two teens, author, yoga instructor, personal trainer and life enthusiast. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org