So St Paddy’s is not too high on your typical South African’s celebratory list, although that depends on who hang with, and also if you don’t count the usual celebratory pubcrawl down Long Street. But it is up on our list. – however small it may be.
And by the way, when I say “our”, I actually mean “my” list. Thankfully, hubby just smiles and goes with it – mostly, I think, because he knows how much our kids get a kick out of it all.
You see, thing is, Mike’s great grandfather was Irish…and that’s enough for me to unleash the green beast. The tiny little green beast that brings with it festivity, silliness, reasons to hunt down pots of gold in your backyard, get caught up in the thrill of the hunt, don the craziest & greenest of outfits and believe that one day you will find that elusive end of the rainbow.
I don’t know about you, but when my dad told me about that leprechaun, the pot of gold and that rainbow that we were looking at through the car window that day, I was, “damnit man, why are we still here?! Screw crèche! Let’s head north towards that rainbow and put foot to metal“. I was convinced we would find it. If only we would just go. We never did.
But now, with my girls in tow, guess where we’re headed this St Paddy’s day? You got it! North. Towards that rainbow, and I’ll be damned if we don’t come back with a pot of gold or two!
So what can one expect on a rainbow bound road trip like this? Well one things for sure, lots of green, some gold and bright lovely rainbows – in any shape of form. Now, if you’re keen to join us on this metaphorical trip of ours, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Green it up
One of the easiest and most obvious ways is to dress up in green. Just a touch, or full blown- what ever blows your hair back, babe.
Think stockings, accessories like green headbands or ribbons for the hair. Or how about little green shamrock hairclips? Not going to be an easy find here in SA, so for an easy tutorial on how to make your own hair clips, see here. (just substitute a felt shamrock for the Halloween design used in there.)
2. Get festive with props
It might not be as big here is SA, as in other countries, but don’t be fooled it is still celebrated here. Thankfully, King Cake has cottoned onto this, and is now really stocking up on it like the champs they are. So think hats (from R34-R84), shamrock bunting, confetti, signs, cutouts, whatever you can think of, King Cake most likely has it in stock for you this year.
We really loved our leprechaun hats, shamrock beads, and sunnies. Not to mention my tights – one of the few times I get to be gawdy and not feel ashamed about it.
Another easy way to bring some fun for the kids. Not much is needed, the novelty of having your face painted is often fun enough for the littles. Last year Pax refused much of the painting, whilst Morgy relished every bit of it – and returned the favour to me. (wish I could find those pix!) But if you do nothing else but one thing, this one is an easy one win as well.
Face paint is that golden low hanging fruit for all you hectically busy parents out there who really want to get into the spirit of things, but are just not sure how you’ll get around to it.
Just google some designs and get a painting with some hypo-allergenic face paint.
Using a neat little trick that an ol’ buddy of mine showed eons ago (Thanks B! I knew it would come in handy some day), I think I managed to get those little cogs in their heads turning. They were trying to figure out who’s prints this could be – its way too small for either of them. It HAS to be that little leprechaun!
So even as sneaky as they think they are, those little buggers sometimes forget to activate their magic cloaking dust and still leave prints…Oops! So look out for them very carefully!
5. Set traps:
But tracks and all, those leprechauns remain sneaky little buggers, and are never willing to part with their pot of gold. The best way to find the secret path to the end of the rainbow is to catch that little guy and either get him to tell you, or follow him home. Neither has been done. Yet. But we will keep trying. You could be the first! : )
So think of fun ways to catch these wee little men. Use props from the kitchen, toy box or party store. You can get as creative as you wish or simple as you’d like. Just try and catch them already!!!
For more fun ways to catch a leprechaun, check this site out here.
6. Hidden treasures
Like I’ve mentioned before, scavenger hunts are a sure win in any kids book, seriously. Now to add a different twist on things for St Patricks Day, these little sneaky leprechauns have realised that we humans have cottoned onto their pot of gold hiding spots. So they’ve taken to new hiding places . Like oh say, green little magical rocks! They are pretty easy to make, and only take 3 ingredients to make them. And ONE ingredient to magically reveal the gold coins INSIDE the rocks! For that quick and easy how-to, see here. (watch this space)
When your leprechaun traps fail – as they usually do- take heart in the little note that leprechauns often leave. They’re meant to taunt to you (what else would you expect from a leprechaun, right?), but silly little fellows don’t realise they often leave clues…Like oh say those rocks!
7. Green Slime
Leprechauns love hanging out in slime, for them, it’s much like a cross between a jumping castle and swimming pool. And, it just happens to be one of the best ways to lure in a sneaky ol’ leprechaun! For a quick and easy how-to on that, see here.
8. Green Food Think Green smoothies, yes, but dont forget your ordinary and humble staples like spaghetti & rice that can be jazzed up into green rice. Or if you’re feeling particulalry inspired, try rainbow rice or spaghetti.
Sprinkle some edible green glitter on porridge, ice cream, whatever.
Think green crumpets, pancakes, macaroons. Oh, pretty macaroons in a mint green! Can you just imagine? Im not a macaroon fan, but boy are they aesthetically pleasing!
You get the picture!
And there you have it, some of the ways we sprinkle some green happy dust in our home round about the 17th of March.
Here’s hoping that this fun little list brings some sunshine to your world, complete with happy rainbows and all.
So I don’t know about you, but I’m about to river dance my way through the Emerald Isle, all the way to that rainbow, and I happen to have some fun company too. Here’s to having the luck of the Irish with you all the way through to St Patricks day, and beyond!