Wednesday, February 29, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Family Fun

Hi Friends! :)

I received the following note in my mailbag...

Dear Cindy,

Any suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day? I would like to do some fun things, but don’t really have any ideas. You are my “party go to expert”....

I'm so glad you asked, dear friend! Now that it is almost March, I am in St. Patrick's Day planning mode ~ and would love to share my family~friendly ideas with you!

(Sorry I look weird - it was a self portrait! I was trying to show you my new headband!)

I've already pulled out our St. Patrick's Day books. We've been reading The Story of Saint Patricks Day by Patricia Pingry for years!

I love sharing with my kids St. Patrick's love for God, and how he used the shamrock to share the Trinity with others (more info on teaching St. Pat here)

And how will we celebrate on St. Patrick's Day??

(I must confess - I'm going to be in Turkey this year on St. Patrick's Day - so this is what we'll be doing a few days before the actual date.)

Typically, I decorate the house the night before with tons of green party supplies from Party City. (I buy the bulk of my "party goods" the year before, when it's clearanced). It makes me happy to go to bed with everything ready for the big day! :)

In the morning, we start the day with green pancakes. Here's a fun picture from a few years ago....

Don't they look adorable?? (Sorry I still had my hearts of loving kindness hanging from the chandelier. I'll have to share that idea in another post...)

For lunch, I usually cut their sandwich into a shamrock with a shamrock~shaped cookie cutter, throw in a green napkin, cut green apples or grapes, green veggies, etc...

For dinner, here is the menu we usually have...

* Shamrock Shaped Pizza

* Green Fluff Salad (my kids favorite ~ with marshmallows & pistachio pudding mix)

* Lettuce Salad & Dressing

* Fresh Green Vegetables (cucumbers, celery, broccoli, snow peas, etc..)

* Green finger jello (shamrock shaped, of course)

* Cupcakes for the kids (Fun Recipe here or here)

* Key Lime Pie (this is a new addition. A few years ago, we invited friends over, and the mom brought this for dessert. My husband John was thrilled!)

(More yummy food recipes here!)

Other St. Patrick's Day party ideas...

Of course, we will have tattoos :) Here's a pic from a former celebration.... (My jewelry is from Claires. Super fun, but inexpensive!)

* We also have a Treasure Hunt. I place a shamrock under one of our guests' dinner plates. After dinner, I have everyone look under their plates. The shamrock under the plate has the first clue.

At the end of the treasure hunt, I have little black pots filled with candy gold for all the kids. (I originally saw this idea here). The kids LOVE it! :)

* As you know, it wouldn't be a party without BINGO. You can make your own St. Patrick's Day BINGO cards here.

* I'll print off lots of color sheets, word searches, mazes, etc.. You can get started here or here.

You might think, "Cindy, why do all this work for one simple day?".

Years ago, I coordinated a program for homeless teen moms. We happened to be out driving to appointments on St. Patrick's Day. I drove by McDonald's and saw a sign for Shamrock Shakes. We stopped in and I bought all the teens a Shamrock Shake.

You would have thought I gave them a million dollars. The teens were thrilled to enjoy a special shake, and asked me if I would do that every year for them.

Simple. Inexpensive. Took very little time.

And yet, my guess is that these teens will always remember that day. I know I will. (And yes, the next year I bought green shakes again for all the homeless teens!)

When my Jake was little and I was a single mom, every year on St. Patrick's Day, I'd take him to McDonald's for a shamrock shake.

Now that Jake is older, although our family has grown ~ I don't ever want to miss the chance to make an "ordinary" day more "extraordinary".

This year, thankfully, I am able to spend a little more time planning our "pre-St. Patrick's Day" celebration.

And I hope while I'm in Turkey...John will take the kids by McDonald's for a Shamrock Shake. :)

I have a feeling he will - I think my "celebration spirit" is rubbing off on him! What do you think??

May I encourage you to "mark this moment" in some little, special way. Your family will remember. You will remember. :)

And if you don't have a McDonald's nearby, a delicious Shamrock Shake recipe is here.

Happy early St. Patrick's Day!! Do you have any tradition or family fun ideas to mark this day?? I'd love to hear from you!!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Many blessings to you!!

P.S. For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to visit Kristen at We are that Family. You'll be so glad you did!

P.S.S. My celebration ideas are obviously very family-friendly. If you are looking for more "grown up" recipe ideas, All Recipes has some great looking recipes here.

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