Passionate About Iowa City
and the Moms Who Live Here.

St. Patrick’s Day Must-Haves

Growing up at our house, St. Patrick’s Day was always a big deal. Our family always celebrated by wearing green, eating the traditional corn beef and cabbage dinner, and watching John Wayne’s movie The Quiet Man. Then the annual party began to grow. It started out small by my parents inviting a few neighbors and work friends. As my brother and I got older, we invited our close friends. Now we still gather, old enough for a green beer, with spouse and kids in tow. Some years we have over 40 people!

St. Patrick’s Day has a special place in my heart. It’s an easy, no-stress holiday to celebrate with your family, so here are three things to help you make it a great holiday.

St. Patrick's Day

Wear Green

If you don’t want an Irish fanatic to pinch you, I suggest you wear green. Almost any shade is acceptable enough to get you out of being pinched. I also recommend that it’s the most ridiculous outfit possible. Shamrocks, funky socks, suspenders, hats, whatever you have! I may have a tote devoted to our Irish gear including a great scarf and hair accessories. Extra points for Kiss Me I’m Irish pins.

st patrick's day

Eat Green Food

We enjoyed corn beef, cabbage and potatoes every year. We added more green (besides cabbage) with lime Jello and my mom’s famous pistachio pudding dessert. Sometimes a neighbor would bring green rolls or green deviled eggs that never lasted very long. Eventually we needed more food and branched out to add healthy and vegan options like kale salad, a veggie tray, and vegan Irish stew. There are endless possibilities with some imagination and a little green food coloring.

Embrace the Culture

The fabulous part about this holiday is there’s so many ways to enjoy it! When I was little I was happy to watch Darby O’Gill & the Little People.  The soundtrack for our dinner party was The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. There’s a lot of fond memories in those songs.

Can you plan an Irish dance party with your children and jig together? (Hint: Try out the St. Patrick’s Day or Celtic stations on Pandora.) Check out an Irish book from the library! Or make and color your own shamrocks! If you still want more ideas, here are some great St. Patrick’s Day activities to do with kids.

Is the celebration culturally accurate? OK, maybe not all of it. But for us, it is an opportunity to embrace our heritage. I’ve grown up to love St. Patrick’s Day, and I hope my son keeps the tradition!

st patrick's day

Erin Go Bragh!


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