We're not really Irish at chez Green Girl. Consequently, we don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day as part of our heritage. Growing up, the holiday was an excuse for people to go to the bars and act really obnoxious whilst drinking green-dyed tap beer. I've been to Ireland and trust me, Irish people don't walk around wearing all green and drinking green-dyed Bud Light. But somewhere down the line, Family Fun Magazine or Parent Magazine or some other commercial entity decided that St. Patrick's Day should be another opportunity for kids to get candy. "Build a leprechaun trap and you'll get a pile of chocolate coins!" "Leave shiny stuff out and you'll get a pile of chocolate coins!" "Wake up St. Patrick's Day and you'll get a pile of gold coins!"
And the peer pressure to recreate St. Patrick's Day as another major holiday has grown. My friends in the suburbs describe the neighborhood pressure to help their kids devise leprechaun traps and the lavish gifts left in them the morning of St. Patrick's Day. My sons went to a day care where the teachers enthusiastically booby-trapped the room and and thus discovered chocolate coins in every nook and cranny. Now the public schools, both classrooms and playgrounds, abound with insane pressure to Make Much of this holiday. Build traps. Booby-trap house. Leave notes. Leave tiny green hats/socks/shoes in strategic places. Hide candy. Hide coins. Hide toys.
I've ignored this holiday, hopeful that the brain child of Family Fun Magazine (or wherever these ideas generated) would die out.
I admit I underestimated the power of peer pressure.
Last night Mr. B and Mr. G built traps. With no help from me they baited them with money and karate trophies (shiny! gold! the leprechauns will try to steal them! then we'll catch them and steal all their gold! we'll keep the leprechaun as a pet!). They went to bed dreaming of the chocolate coins they'd certainly discover the next morning--as well as the candy at school where their teachers promised the leprechauns would also visit.
At chez Green Girl we "do" Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. We don't "do" St. Patrick's Day.
So how did you handle it, Green Girl?
Well you might ask. I tore holes in their traps and stole the cash and trophies. I left a trail of glitter behind.
What? No candy? No treats?
Nope. Leprechauns are troublemakers. I don't want them in the house. The cat might eat them and get sick. They leave a mess. Besides, if I cave now, I'm stuck messing around with stupid traps and candy for the rest of their childhood. I'd really rather not get involved.
My kids woke up and found the mess and were upset not to find candy. Mr. B actually had tears welling in his eyes, he felt so disappointed. Then they got even more upset to find the leprechauns had stole their bait.
They're busy devising bigger, better, stronger traps for next time. They noticed the torn traps and figured out that they leprechauns had visited but escaped. They've deduced why they have no chocolate and that's why their stuff disappeared.
Green Girl-1 St. Patrick's Day-0