Today is my favorite holiday! Hold up, my second favorite holiday; I’m a Halloween fanatic. Third favorite, my third favorite holiday (Flag day).
My Irish blood swims around my veins and spits out through my red hair and pale skin; naturally, I have a love/hate relationship with the holiday which manages to both celebrate and demean my Irish heritage.
St. Patrick’s Day can (and should be) a family holiday. Never mind the drunk parade. Never mind the girls puking in the street and the bros who drink Michelob Ultra out of a skinny can with a coozie. There is more to St. Patrick’s Day than drinking and fighting and acting like an idiot.
Because truth be told, (pause for serious effect), the Irish are the most humble, down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. Their representation deserves some balance.
Here’s my Top 5 things to do on St. Patrick’s Day (that don’t include drinking and fighting)
Side Note: By “drinking” I mean getting sloshed. Every non-alcoholic hand should have at least one Guinness in it before the night is through.
1. Cook Irish food! Get out of here with Corned Beef and Cabbage. Try something new. My wife made a Guinness & Kerrygold French Onion Soup with Guinness Chocolate Pudding for dessert. No joke. It was the greatest moment of my mouth’s life.
2. Learn and sing some Irish folk ballads. One of the best parts of visiting Ireland was hearing all the folk music, on a nightly basis, in the pubs and streets. There’s this great website called Google; you can also check something called Youtube. “The Wild Rover” is one of my favorites.
3. Movie marathon. “Waking Ned Devine” is a classic as is “The Commitments” and, of course, my favorite, “Once.” Feel free to mix in Boston movies too. You can’t ignore classics like “Boondock Saints” or “Fever Pitch.” (Joking about Fever Pitch).
4. Gather a group for storytelling. Storytelling is one of the greatest Irish traditions. Find someone with few good stories to tell, someone who can paint a scene and set a plot with words. In the “olden” days, Irish wayfarers would travel town-to-town just to tell stories.
5. Take time to learn about St. Patrick. He was a pretty awesome guy. Got rid of snakes and stuff. My blogging friend, Michael, wrote up a great article called, “Patrick, Apostle of Ireland.” Start there.
Any tips or traditions to add? Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
FYI: The picture at the top is from my ’09 trip to Ireland. Yes. I know.