When my sister and I were just wee little leprechauns, St. Patrick's Day was a big deal in our household. My Mommy had been engaged to an Irishman in her twenties and fell in love with the culture. While her Gaelic fiance didn't quite make the cut, her love of all things Irish was translated into our childhood.
My Mom would take the day off of work to stay at home watching QVC and ordering Celtic goodies from infomercials. She would also make sure we woke up before school to pots o' gold filled with chocolate coins and little treats wrapped in gold paper. We would adorn ourselves with silly headbands whose glittery shamrocks would jiggle at the faintest of movements while singing Irish rebel songs whose meaning we wouldn't understand until years later.
Upon arriving home from school, we'd find our Mom where we left her, staring contentedly at the blaring tv while the smell of corned beef and cabbage wafted in from the kitchen. Once our meal was consumed, dishes were washed and homework completed, we'd all make our way to the living room to watch our favorite Irish film, The Secret of Roan Inish. The movie, based on Irish folklore, was probably the furthest thing from Pappy Land and The Big Comfy Couch that we were so accustomed to, but it left us enchanted time and time again.
Today, things are a little different. My Mom will not stay at home with QVC, but rather work the weekend she usually uses to recuperate from her 60+ hour work week. My sister will likely get glammed up in her Emerald green knee socks to celebrate the "Irish way" with her college roommates. And Chuck and I, being frugal and broke as we are, will sit at home, maybe drink a few beers and pop in The Boondock Saints.
Looking back on those traditions, I'm filled with a bittersweet nostalgia. But I'm so incredibly blessed to have such beautiful memories from my childhood and only can only hope to make St. Paddy's Day as special for my little ones as my Mom did for us.