12 March 2008

Capturing A Leprechaun

It's Wednesday, and that means it's WFMW over at Rocks In My Dryer. I almost didn't participate, but then I remembered that next Monday, everyone is a little bit Irish, so I thought I'd share what the Monsters and I do to celebrate.

I am Irish...my grandfather was a first generation American and my mother grew up in a town that was Irish-Czech in its history. So there is a lot of pride in their Irish history. However, my Irish has been severely diluted by the addition of my dad's German heritage and the Monsters are a Heinz 57 mix due to the conglomeration of their father's heritage.

When the Monsters were little, I decided to make a big deal out of St. Patrick's Day and pull that piece of our history into the Monsters' lives. It started out with green milk at dinner and little pieces of chocolate disguised as gold coins left around the house.

However, one year the Monsters were taught at day care that if you catch a leprechaun, he must give you his pot of gold. The Monsters immediately conceived the idea of creating a "trap" to catch a leprechaun on St. Pat's. Before they go to bed on the 16th, they set up their "trap", and "bait" it with "gold" The gold has been anything from yellow Lego pieces that I invariably step on the next morning, to torn strips of yellow construction paper.

The first year the Monsters thought of this idea, I thought it was very clever. They thankfully had been talking about it for days before St. Pat's, so I was able to stop by Target and pick up some sort of a "prize" for each of them. I've been doing that ever since, but now the prizes have escalated to CDs or other items more enjoyed by pre-teens than toddlers.

The Monsters have never caught the leprechaun who visits our home. Each year, they wake up excited to see if they have, but they find that their "trap" has been demolished and Sean the Leprechaun leaves them a note telling them "Good Try!". Sometimes Sean's friend Paddy stops by instead. This fueled their excitement the first year, and the traps have grown more elaborate ever since. Their single-mindedness toward catching Sean was very much like their excitement in waiting for Santa.

Both of the Monsters now know (or are at least very suspicious in the case of my 10 year old) that the Easter Bunny, Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Sean the Leprechaun are not real, but the magic of St. Pat's continues the tradition of creating a trap and Sean leaving a prize. It's something that I've come to look forward too, almost as much as the Monsters, and I hope it is a tradition that they continue when they have children.

So that's what works for me when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Head on over to Rocks In My Dryer to see what works for other busy Bloglandians.

Until later...


MamaToo said...

I love this idea! We celebrated St. Pat's growing up, but I wasn't sure how to translate those traditions onto my kids. This is a great one - thanks.

JanMary said...

I live in Northern Ireland -we have never seen a leprechaun and this is obviously where we have been going wrong! Thanks for the tips.

S.B. said...

Cute idea. My little one is too little to celebrate, but when she gets older I might try to celebrate this holiday with her since we are Irish.

Be Thrifty Like Us

Melinda said...

Oh that IS cute. I may have to try this seeing how my oldest was born on St. Patrick's Day.

I also wanted you to know I have never seen anyone else called Nonnie. That's what my children call their grandmother. It's unusual, but it's also neat.


Amanda said...

What a great idea!! My son's going to be on Spring vacation this year (he's in kindergarten) on St. Patrick's day, so we might just have to do this to put some fun into it!! Thanks for the tip.