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How To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day In Style

Here are ways to embrace your green and let go.

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Colourful St. Patricks Day decorations
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Oh, how I used to love a room-temperature pint of Guinness early in the morning on March 17th , one of my favorite days of the year. St. Patrick’s Day was a day to imbibe and festively celebrate the Irish roots and heritage that I love so much.

Day drinking is not only acceptable but encouraged, and this Wild Irish Rose didn’t need to have her arm twisted. I spent my younger St. Patrick’s Days donned in all green and set out to do nothing but have fun and soak up all things Irish. Irish Car Bomb before the sun rises? Sure thing — sign me up. Jig on stage at the local AOH (Ancient Order of Hibernians)? Yup, I will do that, too (after enough whiskey, anyway). Those were the days, and I loved everything about them.  

While drinking is no longer part of my March 17th ritual, I still participate in the overall celebration and expose my children to the beauty of being Irish-American on St. Patrick’s Day. They sing and clap along to “Black Velvet Band” and “Drunken Sailor,” they jig on the dance floor of our local Italian (turned Irish for a day) restaurant, and together we toast to our heritage and cherish the camaraderie that can be found in pretty much any open bar or restaurant nationwide. In fact, one of the best things about March 17th is that you need not be Irish to enjoy the experience. Irish spirit can be found all around. Here are some special memories and ways you can enjoy the fun.  

Set a (whiskey) trap 

“We set a leprechaun trap in the kitchen every St. Patrick’s Day Eve. Some years, the trap is just a shot of whiskey left on the counter. Other years, we go all out by festively decorating a shoebox with a hole on top for the leprechaun to fall into. Lo and behold, we never seem to catch the guy, but we know he has been through our house as we find things in disarray as well as green (food coloring) in the toilet and gold-covered chocolate coins that must fall out of his pockets all over the floor.” — Linda, 51, Chicago   

Embrace your green 

“When my oldest son was quite young, he asked on St. Patrick’s Day, ‘Are we green?’ I told him ‘yes,’ and every year (he’s 48 with his own family) I send him a note reminding him that, Yes, we’re green.” — Steve, 72, Massachusetts   

Honor your Irish ancestors 

“For me, it’s all about my Grandma Laughlin’s crushed pineapple bread pudding. It reminds me of my grandma who passed away when I was in high school, to show up in a dream two days later saying, ‘You’ll find what you’re looking for in Ireland.’ Haven’t made it to the Emerald Isle yet, but the pineapple bread pudding reminds that I will soon!” — Cheryl, 49, California  

Hop point, hop point, hop point and hop back 

“My favorite memories of St. Patrick’s Days past all involve Irish music. I have fond memories of my mom (and 10 siblings) singing our favorite Irish songs like ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ on St. Patrick’s Day. My mom also proudly taught all of us the Irish jig: ‘Move your feet fast and keep your arms at your side totally stiff and straight,’ said Mom. I still do it today in my kitchen to my favorite Irish songs.” — Nanno, 72, Canton, Connecticut   

Pinch me, I’m not Irish 

“I remember my parents telling me that if I didn’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, I was likely to be pinched throughout the day. As the myth goes: Green makes you invisible to leprechauns, and they are known for pinching anyone they can see on March 17th. Needless to say, my siblings and I would lovingly pinch anyone not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day each year. I have a feeling that wouldn’t go over too well these days.” — Brandon, 46, Connecticut  

Indulge in the forbidden 

“One great reason why my family loved St. Patrick’s Day is because we got an exception for whatever it was that we had given up for Lent: We could have candy on that day! Or in later years, that glass of wine.” — Patricia, 72, Maryland  

Kiss me, I’m Irish 

“Kiss me, I’m Irish. There was something almost illicit about advertising kiss-requests at the young age of 10, and yet my siblings and I had the approval of our parents to do so. Proud of his heritage, my dad bought us “Kiss me I’m Irish” pins to wear to school on St. Patrick’s Day. My mom shared his pride, and together they celebrated the Irish family they created by encouraging us to ask for Irish kisses.” — Chrissy, 50, Connecticut  

If all else fails and you just don’t know how to best celebrate the day, you can’t go wrong with a Guinness, some Jameson and a loaf of delicious Irish Soda Bread. And remember, “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.” So stay socially distanced, raise a glass and toast your loved ones: “May your troubles be less and your blessings be more. And may nothing but happiness come through your door.”

Sláinte, friends.