Making St Patrick’s Day Meaningful and Fun

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Photo source: Family Fun Magazine

Many people think of St Patrick’s Day and images of leprechauns, pots of gold, and rainbows come to mind. And those are certainly fun, don’t get me wrong. But, there’s so much more to the patron saint of Ireland than meets the eye — or has been related through modern American pop culture.

Our family has a book called, St Patrick, Pioneer Missionary to Ireland. It is a fascinating read. We’ve read it together as a family many times. It’s a poignant tale of a young boy’s turning to God and the joy he found in Christ and how he shared that joy with the Celts.

I think one reason we become disenchanted with holidays is that we forget the reasons behind the celebration. And like the game of telephone, the message gets tweaked as it gets passed on. March 17th isn’t about green beer and corned beef. (The Irish don’t even eat corned beef!)

Let’s redeem the days! When holidays roll around, let’s do the fun craft or make the cute cupcake, but let’s also remember what a fantastic opportunity we have to solidify the meaning behind the holiday in our children’s minds. Tell the story of the shamrock and make these cute cupcakes from Family Fun. Prepare a typical Irish Stew and then talk about the boy who sat on the hillside watching the sheep, thinking about who he was in light of a great, amazing God,

And he watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son.

Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven. — The Confession of St Patrick

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. What a great reminder!!

  2. I just posted a prayer of St Patrick that a friend of mine learned while spending time in a monastary. Very few realize that this is truly a Christian holiday. Thanks for this post!

  3. Happy St Patrick’s Day from N Ireland 🙂

    I totally agree that the true message of St Patrick is lost among the festivities, and true – we don’t eat corned beef!!!

  4. VeggieTales has a great recap of the story of St. Patrick. It is on the Sumo of the Opera DVD. The story is called “Lufti’s Fanciful Flannelgraph” It is very funny, too.

  5. I really like what you shared about St. Patrick.

    As I posted about today, we say so many things are awesome that we forget to appreciate the truly “awesome.”

    St. Patrick’s story and life is awesome and green eggs are fun.

  6. Angela says

    This is the book that our family has read 3 times as well!! Don’t you just love it?! I saw it one year when I was ordering school curriculum and just thought it might be interesting…but I had no idea how wonderful it really would be! My older boys were on the edge of their seats just about the entire time (every time we have read it.) We had never had a St.Patrick’s Day celebration before this year (it just didn’t work out with my pregnancies, births, etc.) but we had one yesterday. My younger children decorated with shamrocks (we discussed the Trinity) and made a St.Patrick’s Day “tablecloth” with plain white gift wrap, shamrock stencils, and green markers. My family LOVED your Irish Stew and Soda Bread recipes, and I threw in a green salad and some sugar cookies with shamrocks on them. Thanks for all of the great ideas! I am so grateful to the Lord for the internet…such a plethora of info and ideas for homeschooling moms!

  7. Karen says

    Thanks for such a wonderful reminder. We make green shamrock sugar cookies on St. Patrick’s Day. I also get out my great grandparents photograph and tell my children of their coming to America and all the sacrifices they made for the future of their family. You’re the Irish don’t even eat corned beef and cabbage!

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