Last year, my neighbor’s kid went OFF about going on a leprechaun hunt and finding gold in a leprechaun trap at school. Turns out the gold was just chocolate, and she was a little disappointed that they “missed” the leprechaun himself. They spent a lot of time on that leprechaun trap.
You guys. They had just had their 100th day of the school year celebration in January, then they did the whole Valentines thing, and of course, shortly after St. Paddy’s day, they celebrated Easter with some big hooplah (about spring, because it’s a public school, obvs). It’s like at least once a month, the school made a point of getting all up into some kind of make-believe celebration.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s all fine and good to talk about holidays and maybe do a little craft or incorporate the holiday into word problems and worksheets. But that’s apparently not good enough anymore (#backinmyday). No, now there’s an expectation of parents to participate, and we’re supposed to do it in a big way. I mean, sure, my kid isn’t yet in mainstream school yet, so I have like, 6 more months to worry about all this, but I’m hoping that by the time he is in school (or at least by the time he hits junior high), the schools will CALM THE FUCK DOWN because I don’t want to play this game.
“What game?” you might ask, and that’s a great question. See, there are some parents who get really into it. REALLY. Into it. And for the rest of us who don’t, they set a bar. A precedent if you will. See, if their kid comes to school talking about all the MAGICAL things these parents do, our kids feel bad. I don’t give a crap about looking bad to other parents, because I’m pretty sure my
potty-mouth sailor’s tongue will do that for me. No, I’m worried that one day, my kid is going to come home thinking that he’s somehow inadequate because a creepy little make-believe leprechaun didn’t leave him a pile of gold coins.
Resa, maybe YOU need to calm down – they’re just little ways to celebrate the holidays!
Ever heard of Elf on the Shelf? 23 days of Christmas, with a creepy little elf watching everyone’s every moves and reporting back to Santa. Like that ish isn’t enough, the Pinterati have hundreds of “creative” ways to make it magical for your kids!
AND THE FUN DOESN’T STOP THERE!
How about whacky hats for the 100th day of school that take 6 hours and $100 of materials?!
And GORGEOUS custom Valentines that take 3 hours of carpal-tunnel inducing labor and cost $4 a piece (times 35 kids in an overcrowded class of children who will rip apart your hard work to get at the damn candy, because let’s be honest: that’s all they care about)?!
And a week of setting Leprechaun traps that culminate in a pile of crappy chocolate wrapped in gold foil?!
This holiday one-upmanship is EXHAUSTING. Seriously, Christmas, birthdays, Easter, and the 4th of July are basically all I have the energy for, and even then, we’re lucky if the Christmas decorations are taken down by Valentine’s Day. I don’t actually even DO anything for the 4th of July – we just go to a family party and wear some combination of red and/or blue because basically anything we own that may have started off white is now some stain splattered version of greige.
Come on, Resa, you’re really overreacting – these parents are just trying to make things fun for their kids! Where’s your sense of wonderment? What about the magic of childhood?
I know, I know, childhood is just SOOOOO magical!
And it always was. Even before Pinterest. Even before someone decided that it was cute to drop jellybeans in the toilet and tell their kids it’s Easter bunny poop.
But really, we were totally stoked on life just to get an Easter egg hunt at home with our family on Easter. We wore green on St. Patrick’s, we exchanged store-bought Valentine’s cards & 1 piece of fun-sized candy, and we bragged about staying up on New Year’s even though we actually passed out at 10:30 because we couldn’t hang. Those were the good ol’ days, and apparently, our parents were monsters who deprived us of holiday spectacles EACH AND EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
Honestly, I think by overblowing these things, we’re really taking the wonderment OUT of childhood because we’re basically creating little wonders FOR them. Shouldn’t we encourage our kids to use their imaginations rather than constructing “imaginative” play? And what the hell is wrong with sticking to construction paper shamrocks? I mean, what’s next, hiring mariachis to come wake my kid up for Cinco de Mayo?
If you really want to revel in the magic of childhood, go watch My Neighbor Totoro. If you want to celebrate holidays and create traditions for your family, HELLZ YEAH, more power to you. But for Pete’s sake, please don’t expect me to trip balls for yet another holiday.
But in the spirit of St. Paddy’s, here are some fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day you may not have known!
- The color associate with the actual Saint Patrick was blue. This was changed during the Irish War of Independence, because the Britains wore red so the Irish chose its opposite, green.
- Saint Patrick became famous for converting the Irish to Catholicism. From the 5th century.
- The 3 leaf clover was the one considered lucky, because Saint Patrick used it to represent the Holy Trinity. It was also a clever way to re-appropriate the Druid tradition of triple dieties. It’s easier to convert people to a new faith when you basically just blend their traditions into your own. Boy, we’re just getting a fun little lesson on historical Catholicism, aren’t we? Yeah. Because this revered drinking holiday started out as a religious celebration.
- Remember how Saint Patrick lived in the 5th century? The holiday didn’t start until the 12th century, and it marks the day of his death. Ahhhhh, the unwitting morbidity of it all.
- Green beer isn’t a thing. That was a marketing ploy from the 80s by Budweiser because the only way they could compete with Guinness was with a crappy gimmick that just made their beer taste worse.
- Since St. Paddy’s falls right in the middle of Lent in most years, it’s associated with a little bit of a break from the associated abstinence. The Catholic church at one point even came out with a statement to take it a little easier on the celebrations, because it’s still a religious holiday after all. Clearly, it worked.
There. I celebrated. Now I’m going to go celebrate some more with my old friends, Jameson & Ginger. And no, I’m not coloring them green.