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Leprechaun traps, decorations and 'Green Eggs and Ham' help make a family friendly St. Patrick's Day

POSTED: March 16, 2017 9:01 a.m.
Sharon Palmer/

Sam-I-Am reads "Green Eggs and Ham," by Dr. Seuss, to his children, Kayla, Layna, Hanna and Aaron on St. Patrick's Day.

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Aside from the widely practiced tradition of wearing green and pinching those who don’t, St Patrick’s Day traditions can be as varied as the individuals who celebrate the holiday.

In our household, the most important part of any holiday, including St. Patrick’s Day, is decorating. Rainbows, leprechauns and shamrocks appear everywhere in the house, almost magically, accompanied by gold-foiled covered chocolate coins. Corned beef and cabbage are on the menu for dinner, and Lucky Charms are our traditional breakfast. Some of us attempt to speak in Irish accents during the day and, of course, we wear green. Sometimes the patch of green is small or hidden to trick others into pinching us, but it’s always there.

My brother’s family celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with an annual reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” read by my brother, Sam-I-Am. When my nieces and nephew were school aged, my sister-in-law dyed all their food green for St. Patrick’s Day every year. This was once a concern for my niece’s teacher because she thought my sister-in-law had sent my niece to school with moldy sandwiches.

At one of our local elementary schools, several of the classes set leprechaun traps. A leprechaun trap consists of a student-made basket or box placed upside down in the middle of the classroom, propped open with a ruler. Sometime during the day, usually at recess time while the students are outside, a leprechaun springs the trap while escaping it and leaves a bag of treats for the students as an apology.

The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is a good reason to create fun family traditions while honoring the beautiful country of Ireland. These traditions can be as unique as the people who create them. Top of the mornin’ to ya.
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