When my kids were in second grade, they came home one fine February day and asked me if “The Leprechaun” was going to come to our house and bring him chocolate coins. I thought “Really? That's a thing now?”
I went down a Pinterest rabbit hole, which today would amount to watching hours worth of TikTok videos on how to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with kids, and learned that yes, The Leprechaun coming to your house is indeed a thing now. Here are some of of the “fun activities” the internet suggested I plan for my small humans to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. How this relates to a priest converting pagans to Christianity in Ireland is completely beyond me but we'll go with it.
Why my kids don't celebrate Saint Patrick's Day
Editor's note: This is one of my more popular, seasonal posts and was originally published in 2015. These words are supposed to make you laugh so if you're having some other reaction, you're taking it too seriously. And, we never celebrated St. Patrick's Day and my kids are mostly well-adjusted teenagers. You do you.
1. Use a few drops of green food coloring to color the toilet water
This is supposed to be a a “fun surprise” for kids to find in the bathroom on St. Paddy's Day morning. Fake green pee (AKA something else I can add to my list of stuff to clean up) doesn't meet my “fun surprise” threshold. And hello? I live in a house with three males and only one of them hits the toilet with any regularity. Cleaning up extra pee? I don't think that fits into my idea of celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. Pass.
2. Let the kids think “leprechauns were there” by turning everything upside down in their rooms and the house. Put things in odd places. Upside down turn around pictures, maybe even rearrange the furniture a little bit
Mmm hmm. That sounds dreamy. Not.
The last thing any mom wants to do after the kids are in bed is tiptoe around the house quietly moving furniture. Would my kids have laughed and chortled over some overturned chairs and some upside-down pictures? Maybe they would but I'm getting Poltergeist flashback heebie jeebies just thinking about all that. And besides, who's gonna clean that crap up? A tiny little leprechaun cleaning crew? I think not.
3. Toss green sprinkles all over the breakfast table, on their food, and maybe some other fun places around the house
Whoever dreamed up this one has lost her ever-loving mind. First of all the most important meal of the day does not include sprinkles, at least not at my house. And second, what exactly, is defined as “other fun places around the house?” Between the couch cushions? Under the bathroom sink? Besides the “Ew, ants” factor, who the heck wants to be finding little green sprinkles on Labor Day? Not I.
4. Have the kids create a Leprechaun Trap.
Say, what now?
This is what the article said: “We all know those little leprechauns can create a lot of mischief so maybe it’s best to set a few traps and see if they can catch one. Let the kids get creative making their trap using any kind of materials you may have around the house. Add gold glitter to attract the Leprechauns – they love shiny stuff.”
I'm a firm believer that glitter is the dust of Satan, so anyone who suggests using it is automatically suspicious. And setting a trap for a little Irish dude who might be stealthily sneaking through the house searching for the end of the rainbow (or maybe just some magically delicious cereal) just seems a little creepy.
Seriously, people. I don't have room in my life for the leprechaun. We have Santa. We have the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and if we didn't live in Texas, my kids would probably believe in Jack Frost. We even do the whole elf on the shelf thing. Do I really need to add another mythical creature to the lineup?
Between Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, I'm going to do enough backpedaling when my kids get older. If I say yes to the Leprechaun and letting my kids celebrate Saint Patrick's Day in our home, what next? Is the ghost of George Washington going to come visit our house on President's Day and leave us little tiny cherry trees?
P.S. My kids are 13 now and only one of them seemed a little upset that I “lied” about Santa, et al, so it would have probably not traumatized them to add the Leprechaun to the roster. It might have been my breaking point, though, so all's well that ends well.
Stop the madness, parents
I have no beef against celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. I'm down with green construction paper shamrocks, kissing people because they're Irish (hey, I'm a hugger), and green beer (and pretty much any celebratory stuff that happens in a bar.
But, I'm going to say “Move on, leprechaun. I hope you find something magically delicious at the end of the rainbow, but the end of the rainbow isn't at our house, so your magical little feet need to keep on walking.”