Since my heritage is more than half Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is a rather big deal at our house. We celebrate the feast day of Ireland’s patron saint with prayers, reading a children’s history of the great man, corned beef, and plenty of shenanigans; we also attend the local St. Patrick’s Day parade which, this year, actually takes place on the day itself.
Of course, we’ve told the tribe about leprechauns, the legendary wee folk of the Emerald Isle. They know that fairies and the like are just make-believe, but they’re still at an age where that doesn’t detract from the fun. Each year, we build a “leprechaun trap,” in hopes of catching one of the tiny fellows and getting him to leave behind some “gold,” generally of the chocolate variety.
If you’ve never made a leprechaun trap, it’s very simple. Cut a hole in a box. Cover the box with green paper, leaving a flap over the hole so the leprechaun can enter. Let the kids decorate the box with crayons, paint, stickers, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Leprechauns are fond of flowers, pretty flying creatures, and shiny things.
Once the trap’s been constructed, set it either near a window or a bathroom, then put the kids to bed. Once you’re sure they’re asleep, you get to play leprechaun.
The opening in the trap is small enough that the poor wee fellow can’t escape without lightening his load (in other words, put the loot in the box). I should point out that your children will know if a leprechaun has visited your house before they even check the trap, because he will have lightened his load in another way, too.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Saint, Patrick, who rose from being a slave to one who dedicated his life to Your service. Help us teach Your blessings that there is no higher calling than teaching Your law of love to those who have not heard of it. And thank You for the fun and chocolate with which they celebrate one of Your most faithful servants.