Friday, March 10, 2017

A Meaningful Celebration of St. Patrick's Day!

I pretty much like to celebrate everything.
Snow, losing teeth, baby animals, an accomplishment...
and certainly, holidays!

However, St. Patrick's Day has not exactly been an important one for me.  Clearly, Easter & Christmas are the best because of their religious significance.  Others have a cultural base or a historical base that resonates with us.  But St. Patrick's Day?

When I recently stated that I'm not Irish & feel no connection to this holiday, my father corrected me that I actually do have an Irish heritage.  Even so, I am not connected to this holiday!

And yet we've done all the regulars...
~St. Patrick's Day books from the library, (always about pots of gold & leprechauns).
~Reading an online article about who St. Patrick actually was.
~Wearing GREEN. 
~Making & eating real Irish food as well as St. Patrick's Day-themed food.
~Making shamrock crafts.

Oh, and of course allowing my pre-teen daughter to Irish step dance at bars!  You know, the regular stuff...

A couple of years ago, during my last year of homeschooling, when the kids were 11 & 13 years old, I wanted to go a little deeper.  (No shocker there if you know me!)  I was quite surprised to find very, very little in my research.  There are many articles about St. Patrick & they all say variations of the same thing.  There is information about the symbolism of St. Patrick's Day.  And there are pictures of green beer & American St. Patrick's Day parades & frankly just not much else. 

No suggestions on how to have a meaningful celebration of St. Patrick's Day

So I came up with a missionary theme for this St. Patrick's Day.  It makes sense.  St. Patrick was a missionary who converted many Irish people.

I purchased the book St. Patrick:  Pioneer Missionary to Ireland by Michael J. McHugh and we read it aloud at Tea Time.  Reading this book was a good resource for who St. Patrick was.

Taking the missionary theme a step further, I bought the kids each a missionary biography.  They often like to read before bed.  Micah read Brother Andrew:  God's Secret Agent  by Janet & Geoff Benge.  Noelle read David Livingstone:  Africa's Trailblazer by Janet & Geoff Benge.  Biographies are powerful!  YWAM Publishing has a long list of biographies in their "Christian Heroes:  Then & Now" series.  We have read a number of them and they are very good.  We also love the missionary stories that CEF puts out.

If you choose to celebrate St. Patrick's Day from a missionary angle, there is no end to how you could do that!  Write letters to missionaries.  Pray for them.  Send care packages.  Learn about the missionaries that your church supports.  Let your children choose a country, or a time period, or a profession, and see how that applies to missions.  (And don't forget to wear green and eat fun food too!)

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