Make holiDAYS fun

Well, we are all about holidays and fun at our house.

You should have special days, or dare I say, any day into a holiday (which means holy day) to make memories for those you love. Last weekend my daughter had a new boy friend come for a visit, so I put on my creativity brain and quickly made a fun message in a bottle(s) scavenger hunt on the beach. I filled a couple glass, wine bottles with a few inspired quotes and about 4 or 5 messages done in morse code. My husband and I ran to the beach to hide them and left giant arrows made out of drift wood to help them find them. So FUN!! We even found a wood 2 x 4 piece of wood and propped it up on a large tree that drifted out of the sand and looked like a large walking plank. We told them, “look for the 2 x 4 wood plank and walk the plank!” The two of them found a different piece of wood (probably a 2×3) barely off the ground & they took a video of one another walking back and forth on this tiny piece of wood. My husband and I laughed really hard & told them, “Wrong plank!” The two of them kept looking for the other plank and message in a bottle. They finally found both bottles, but in the end had the morse code messages upside down (imagine how I missed that detail 😉 Morse code upside down can be confusing. They finally figured out the messages and had a great time!! LIFE IS A GREAT OCCASION FOR FUN!

Another FUN time this weekend!—St. Patrick’s Day!! Why?? Here’s why…wearing green, Lucky Clovers, Blarney stones, Irish jigs, many would say the Pubs, the Irish stew, leprechauns, the rainbows, the pot of gold…Oh, my. Here is what I have learned about the traditional holiday, how to celebrate it and all the fun you can create!!

Ever since my daughter was a wee pup we would make traps in our house to catch the leprechauns. She always LOVED anything mythical and magical, so everything was very FUN and memorable at our house.

LEPRECHAUNS, GREEN, RAINBOWS & pots of gold, Oh my: apparently, somewhere down some line of time, wearing green was magically suppose to make you invisible to the crafty, naughty little leprechauns who like to pull pranks and steal a pinch!! Now, for the rainbows and pots of gold story…Folklore depicts leprechauns as mistrustful creatures who detest humans. According to legend, leprechauns found the abandoned gold and buried it again so no human could ever find it. The old folktales tell us that there is a pot of gold hidden where the end of any rainbow touches the earth.[chandlerchevcad]

ST PATRICK: St. Patrick’s given name was Maewyn Succat. It wasn’t until he became a priest that he adopted a new name – Patrick, after Patricius (which relates to the Latin root meaning father). St Patrick was NOT a Saint and was also NOT Irish. St. Patrick was born in Britain in either Scotland or Wales (accounts tend to vary on that point) BUT Apparently, as a teenager, St. Patrick was kidnapped by a pirate raiding party and sold into slavery in Ireland. As a slave, he looked after and herded sheep for many years before fleeing to a monastery in England. While there, he became a devout follower of Christianity and ordained a Bishop, after which he returned to Ireland as a missionary. [gocity]

Poor kid. I already love him a little more after learning his history and the life he came from. Imagine being kidnapped, sold into slavery, finding a closeness to God after all that and then going back to the country where you lived in slavery and trying to teach the people. Wow. He must be a saint.

THE LUCKY SHAMROCK: Is more a religious tool than something lucky. As the stories go, St. Patrick supposedly used the iconic shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity while preaching. With each leaf representing Christianity’s Holy Father, Son and Holy Spirit, it was a symbol that showed how they could be three different spiritual entities and yet all part of the same whole.

SHAMROCK & Four-leaf CLOVER: Though shamrocks and four-leaf clovers are both associated with St. Paddy’s Day, the two are not, in fact, the same thing. The important difference: a shamrock is a clover that only has three leaves, which is far less rare to find than a four-leaf clover and therefore not as lucky. In fact, there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover, so shamrocks are much more common. However, four-leaf clovers aren’t just considered lucky because they’re so rare.

Interesting facts: The leaves of four-leaf clovers are said to stand for faith, hope, love, and luck.

Abraham Lincoln always carried a four-leaf clover with him but reportedly forgot it at home the night he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

The word shamrock comes from the Irish word seamrog, which means “little clover.”

St. Patrick used a three-leaf clover as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland, which is why shamrocks are associated with the holiday.[womansday]

THE BLARNEY STONE:

‘There is a stone there, that whoever kisses, OH! He never misses, to grow eloquent’.

The term ‘blarney’, meaning beguiling but misleading talk, gained currency during the 16th century as the MacCarthy of the day attempted to fend off the demands of Queen Elizabeth I.

Legends about the Stone’s origin emerged, each as plausible as the next. It was said to have been the stone used by Jacob as a pillow when he dreamed of the ladder extending up to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it, and that it was brought from the Holy Land after the Crusades.

For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to gain the gift of eloquence. Among those said to have kissed the stone are: Sir Winston Churchill, Stan Laurel (while Oliver Hardy waited for him downstairs), Ronald Reagan, Sir Walter Scott, Sir Mick Jagger, Katherine Jenkins, Eddie Redmayne, James Nesbitt and Joe Manganiello. [blarneycastle.ie]

More than 300,000 people come to kiss the Blarney Stone each year, in the hopes of gaining more eloquent speech. [sacredsites]

So many stories, possible origins of the stone…Did Moses, Jacob, the Scottish Kings or St. Columba first use the stone? Probably this will never be known. The most commonly accepted story of the stone is that, in gratitude for Irish support at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 (a Scottish defeat of the English), Robert the Bruce gave a portion of the stone to Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster. Installed at Cormac McCarthy’s stronghold, Blarney Castle, it became known as the Blarney Stone. A century later, in 1446, King Dermot McCarthy then installed the stone in an enlarged castle he constructed. [sacredsites]

ACTIVITIES to bring out some IRISH LUCK:

Lots of family crafts and games for a younger family—there are tons of sites for these. In this post I am digging deep to find alternative activities and games for an older audience. We don’t drink, so if you are looking for drinking games—you can find plenty of those on other sites. Here are some ideas to spark a fun St. Patrick’s holiday at your home.

PLAY IRISH MUSIC: Some singers to put on your St. Paddy’s Day playlist: Hozier, Enya, Niall Horan, Bono, Sinéad O’Connor, and Van Morrison, to name just a few. [WomansDay]. For a late-night singalong, there’s nothing like belting out the early aughts hit “Breathless” by The Corrs, but if you’re looking for traditional Irish songs, we found the most beautiful renditions of classics including “Danny Boy” and “Molly Malone.” Queuing up tunes to dance to? Bangers from Celtic punk bands The Rumjacks and Flogging Molly will get you moving, as will upbeat pop hits like “Galway Girl” by Ed Sheeran featuring Celtic folk band Beoga (fun fact: Sheeran’s paternal grandparents are Irish).  [CountryLiving]. “Hall of Fame” by The Script featuring will.i.am. Also Cranberries. “The Ballad of Ronnie Drew” by U2 and others. Snow Patrol. “Try a Little Tenderness” by The Commitments. The biggest hit from the biggest rock band to ever come out of Ireland With or Without You U2 Or Beautiful Day “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice. Don’t forget Enya. “C’est La Vie” by B*Witched

GAMES

Irish games: Rings, Croquet supposed to have come from a game called Crookey in Northern Ireland, Quoits, Darts, some other games that came from Ireland…Hurling and Gaelic football, but the games below could also be played at your family party.

Road bowling: an unusual and exciting version of bowls that it particular to Ireland. It is played with a steal shot, which is tossed under arm by the player down a twisty road. The player who gets to the finish line with the least shots wins. The whole course is called a score. It only really survives in Cork and Armagh, but there are pockets in other countries. [masterofgames].

Rounders: the American games Baseball and Softball are both descendants of a game played by Irish immigrants. Today in Ireland it’s modern form is called rounders and it’s a very popular activity. [masterofgames]

Lots of other traditional Irish Games can be found at this link https://www.connollycove.com/traditional-irish-games/

Find the gold coin: hide a specific number and invite guests to go on a gold coin hunt. Whoever finds the most wins the grand prize! Make it a pot of gold, some green cash, a green artichoke…anything green and great!

Irish Slang Words: Break into teams and give each team a “Irish Slang” word to see if they can decipher. If they get the word, then the team gets a number of points. Whichever team gets the most points wins. Here is my list. Bad dose (Severe illness) . Bang on (Right, accurate, correct) . Banjanxed (broken) . Boyo! (male, juvenile) . Bucketing down (raining hard) . Bunk off (skip) . Chancer (lighthearted Irish insult for someone who takes risks) . Craic (Fun, gossips, goings-on) . Crack on (Continue on) . Delira and excite (Delighted and excited) . Deadly (Brilliant, fantastic, great) . Dosser (Someone not working or is messing about) . Effin’ and blinding’ (Swearing and cursing) . Fine thing (good looking man or woman–attractive) . Gaff (home) . Gammy (Crooked or odd-looking) . hames (complete mess) . Holy show (disgraceful scene) . Howya (hi. hello) . Jacks (toilet) . Jo maxi (cab or taxi) . Kip (dump of a place and also a sleep) . Knackered (exhausted or tired) . Bangers (drunk) . Manky (dirty, filthy, disgusting–my hair feels manly) . Minerals (soft drink) . Mot (girlfriend) . Savage (common term for great, brilliant) . Scarlet (very embarrassed) . Shattered (exhausted) . Thick (extremely stupid) . my personal favorite….GRAND. [taken from Irelandbeforeyoudie]

Irish Jokes for some standup comedy time together.

Bono and the Edge walk into a bar in Dublin. The barman exclaims, “Not U2 again!!!”

What do you call a fake Irish stone? A shamrock.

Did you hear Ireland is the fastest-growing country in Europe? Its population is always Dublin.

After examining him, an Irishman goes to the doctor and says, “You have some problems with your heart, but if you take these tablets, I think it will be okay.

“So the doctor gives the man the tablets, and the patient asks, “Do I have to take them every day?” No,” replies the doctor, “take one on a Monday, skip the Tuesday, take one on Wednesday, skip the Thursday and go on like that. “Two weeks later, the doctor walks down the street and sees the patient’s wife.” Hello Mrs Murphy,” he says, “how’s your husband?”

“Oh, he died of a heart attack,” says Mrs Murphy.

“I’m very sorry to hear that,” says the doctor, “I thought if he took those tablets, he would be all right.”, “Oh, the tablets were fine,” says Mrs Murphy, “It was all the bloody skipping that killed him!”

Some fun Puns too! Irish you were mine. I’m Dublin over with laughter. That dance was a jig mistake. When the dance is over, the jig is up. That’s a bunch of ba-larney. You’re my lucky charm. Irish I may, Irish I might. Don’t give into beer pressure. You shamrock my world. I’m a clover, not a fighter. Drink happy thoughts. I’m pure gold. People are always after me lucky charms. Gold riddance. You’re my pot of gold. Get clover it, babe. Let’s have a shamrockin’ good time tonight! Shamrocks and shenanigans for all! Burst into cheers!

GET CREATIVE: Color doodled shamrocks, create or find coloring pages with Irish patterns or words. You could also paint rocks from a river or beach and make your own Blarney Stone in hopes of finding your own voice and being able to speak eloquently. [like the Irish tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone] OR maybe you take some time to make a special poem like some of the great Irish poets.

FOOD: There are a zillion recipes for the traditional Irish brunch or big meals of Stew and Soda bread. Find something that your family will enJOY. Whether you do Irish eggs, potatoes, hashes or stews…create it with love and it will all turn out to be the best occasion. LOVE is the key ingredient in anything you make. Make it with LOVE.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! Make every day an occasion. Life is too short!

Peace. Love and Light. -H xoxo