Every St. Patrick's Day, the leprechaun comes and delivers chocolate coins to the little children I know.
Except that one year when chocolate coins were nowhere to be found and the children hated the leprechaun for one full year until he restored order via chocolate currency the next year.
But I digress.
So there I was, at Litchfield Candy Company, discussing the upcoming visit of the leprechaun with owner Elmer Odell.
If you're a last minute holiday maven like me, here's some easy, fun ways to make St. Patrick's Day special for the little ones. I'll also tell you about the shenanigans that can and will ensue, unless you take heed to my warnings!
The Leprechaun's Gold
Chocolate coins and loose, green glitter cast about outside are a perfect celebratory treat for the Irish holiday. In the past, the leprechaun left coins in small, green pails on the stump of a tree, then cast his magic green glitter about.
Note: If you're going to put chocolate coins outside, do not put them there at 4 in the morning before you go to work, so the children will see them when they wake up in the morning.
Here's what they will really see -- chocolate coin wrappings strategically peeled off by the neighborhood raccoons.
This makes children mad. That is not the desired response.
Be Slightly Frivolous, But Not Foolish
You can actually take the holiday a little too far. One year, I told children that a green light we could see through the trees was the leprechaun holding a lantern as he merrily bounded away. It was really a green traffic light we could see through the trees.
Needless to say, they were terrified and cried. This is also not the response you want.
At the candy shop, Elmer sees a lot of parents coming in looking to buy sweet treats and go the extra mile for holidays. He told me about this one woman who dipped Q-tips in green food coloring to make tiny leprechaun footprints on a table. Cute, right?
Then she also put green food coloring in the toilet, because obviously leprechauns don't know how to flush. Not so cute, right?
And here's where it all went awry. The mother overturned bowls of cereal and knocked over leprechaun-sized tchotchkes around the house. And the children said," Why didn't our dogs bark while the leprechaun was making a mess? Are you sure it was the leprechaun? I think somebody broke into our house. We should call the police."
This is also not the response you want.
There you have it, folks. Be slightly frivolous but not foolish and have a happy St. Patrick's Day!
Got any holiday tips for St. Patrick's Day? Tell us more in the comments section.