Monday, March 10, 2008

Inviting the Wee Folks In

How do you celebrate Easter without the Easter bunny? EASY – You just invite some little leprechauns over. Here goes me again with the whole anit-commercialism/pro-imagination stuff.

I love St. Patrick’s Day. Have since I was a kid myself. Don’t know why I loved it back then because I hadn’t yet met the gift bringing leprechauns. Maybe it’s the 1/100 of my blood that’s Irish? Could it have been having a very young Sean Connery melt my heart in the old corny Disney movie ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’? Maybe it could even be that it is one holiday that hasn’t been hijacked by commercialism. Whatever the reason, I’ve always like it. Fast forward to me being a mom with my own wee ones. I read a cute little article in Family Fun way back in the 1990-something- I think. It could have been the early 2000’s as my memory isn’t the keenest. I knew my boys (when I only had boys or maybe 1 baby girl) would dig it with the whole treasure hunt thingy-ma-bob. But being the insanely creative & crafty wanna-be that I am I decided that I would have them decorate the little wooden boxes from our local craft store instead of shoeboxes mentioned in the article.

I even had a dear friend that found some real 4 leaf clover shamrocks that we could sticker on to the outside of the box for extra luck.

That first year I think the leprechauns brought little gold-foil covered chocolate coin candy and some marbles. Our family has been hooked ever since. And I think that the Leprechauns spoil us a bit more now since they know we prefer them over the Easter Bunny any day. So much so that we don’t have the Easter Bunny visit our home in an attempt to really emphasize the religious importance of the holiday. So St. Patrick’s Day is our way of involving a little spring magic into the lives of our children.

Hopefully the leprechauns will still like me this year even though I’m not letting them bring in all the sugar that I’ve allowed before. Some of the things I have suggested that they bring are…
Real $ (Like maybe the new gold colored President $1 coins or the old Sacagawea one),
Real & Costume jewelry for girls and boys.
Mini toys and craft kits.
Marbles or smooth glass nuggets.
DS games.
I even found some plastick clover coins once.

And more, as long as I (I mean the leprechauns) can cram it into their little treasure boxes. Most of the stuff I (they) can find at the local $1 store and party supply outlet.

I can’t tell you how excited my kids get on the evening of the 16th to leave their boxes in the windowsill for the leprechauns to find and hide. Of course the moon’s magic can still make it through our ever constant cloud cover here and the wee people haven’t missed a year.

The leprechauns used to leave trails of confetti shamrocks along with dead-ends for my mini-munchkins to follow to find their boxes. But, with a half-dozen kids the confetti got to be a bit much. With my clutter talent I was still sweeping and vacuuming up clover in June and July. Now they might leave a confetti hint like ‘What a mess’ spelled out (which meant the boxes could probably be found in or nearby where assigned chores were located. Or maybe the wee folk were just commenting that our house is a mess. Or the word ‘Talent’, which meant that maybe these kids, ought to develop some but they could find their boxes next to what ever represents their talent. My favorite is the no-clue route because there is no shamrocks to clean up. We have had the boxes turn up in the bag of dog food, dryer, and microwave oven.

My favorite Leprechaun movie is still the corny ‘Darby O’Gill’, but we also watch the ‘Secret of Roan Inish’.

Favorite book is the children’s story by Teresa Bateman, ‘The Ring of Truth’.

Favorite Music, anything Celtic, Irish, or Celtic Woman, and Enya. I embarrass the ba-geebers out of my kids when I start fake Riverdanceing right along with the beat. At least I lost some pounds so the house won’t shake as much when I do. It’s great upbeat cleaning music as well.
As for the Corned Beef and Cabbage. We love having an Irish meal every 17th. I’m in the process of re-working some of my favorite recipes so that they are more figure friendly. Hopefully they will turn out. If they do then I’ll be sure and share them with you. I’ll be sure and share my favorite Easter traditions as well in the coming week.
Meanwhile I’ve got to attack my clutter again because I didn’t like it when the Leprechauns left the, ‘What a Mess’ message.


Trena Doll said...

Whenever I think of you and your passion for all things related to St. Patrick's Day, I remember some amazing table settings you created for some school activity (was it jr. miss?) I still think, with your attention to detail and creativity, you could have a second career as a high-powered party planner! If I were rich & frivolous, I'd hire you!

Susanne said...

What a cool tradition!!!

Stephanie said...

That is so fun!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of the Leprechauns bringing the kids a few fun things on St. Patrick's Day. I have never been a huge fan of the Egg-Laying Bunny. (Although I love the Cadbury Eggs better than any other candy we get all year.)
It's probably too late to retire the Easter Baskets at our house, but maybe I could ADD a visit from the Leprechauns. Because I have so little to do around here as it is…