St. Patrick’s Day has always been a part of my life. When I was young, I hunted leprechauns. My friends and I ran around the playground at school – brown grocery bags flying behind us. The younger students understood that only big people could see the leprechauns, and we trusted our older friends to steer us in the right direction as they “spotted” the green streaks running between the school buildings.
In all my years of hunting – and eventually spotting – we never caught a leprechaun, but we sure did have fun.
We believed in magic.
Years later, I’ve passed that magic down to my own five boys. We prep our clothes for March 17th days ahead, because we believe if you don’t wear green you’ll get pinched. My middle son usually paints his hair green. The twins won’t go to sleep because they watch for the leprechauns almost like they watch for Santa Claus.
So, if you want to bring a little Irish magic your way on St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few of our favorite traditions…
Make sure they’re hung low because leprechauns are short. Remember, the more food you have in your yard and house, the higher the chances of actually catching one. You’ll be surprised at how many bites are missing the next morning … and the tooth-marks are even green!
The more sparkle and green the better! My sister used to make traps that looked like doll houses, with double sided tape strategically placed throughout the “house.” My brother, on the other hand, would just use a rabbit trap. The houses my own boys make usually match their personalities, and range from elaborate castles that they work on for days to propped up shoe boxes. Those sneaky leprechauns usually make a mess of our traps, and sometimes even leave a gold coin behind with a note of thanks for the lodging!
Have a leprechaun hunt – with lots of friends!
We let the older kids and parents serve as the spotters, and send the younger children running all over the yard. All you need are a few grocery bags and an imagination! Even though a pot of gold is nice, if you actually catch a leprechaun, my children and their friends seem just as happy with the pile of treats left behind … all green!
St. Patrick’s Day is magical in our house. We put down the phones, games and gadgets and run around the yard with bags flying behind us, hunting for that one leprechaun.
I still haven’t caught a leprechaun, but the memories I’ve been able to make with my children are more valuable than any pot of gold!