3 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Your Kids by Jennifer Deibel {+ giveaway}


3 meaningful ways to celebrate st patrick's day with your kids


Have you ever stopped to think about why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Did you know that Patrick was a real man, who brought the gospel to Ireland? Or did you think Paddy’s Day was just an excuse to wear green, pinch people and talk like a leprechaun?

It might surprise you to learn that although St. Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s national holiday – akin to the Fourth of July – the celebrations in Ireland are much more subdued than here in America. If you came to my village, you might be taken aback at the quaintness of the day. There are no green rivers, no food dyed green and absolutely no pinching. In fact, when our friends in Ireland heard about that tradition, their response was, “That’s just mean!”

However, we can still observe the day in fun, while taking time to explore the deeper meaning of the holiday. Here are some of my favorite, most meaningful ways to celebrate Paddy’s Day with my kids.

1) Read/Watch the Story of Patrick and Decorate Shamrocks.

The story of how Patrick came to Ireland is packed full of action, adventure, and high calling.

My kids love this video from Veggie Tales. The history is great, and it’s entertaining. The accents are … ahem … slightly less than authentic, but it will give you an idea of how God used Patrick to lead a nation to faith in Christ. For the older kids and teens, this written version of Patrick’s story is as informative as it is interesting.

One of my favorite things Patrick did was use the Shamrock to demonstrate the Trinity. Just like the shamrock has three parts but is one plant, so God has three parts – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – but is still one God. I like to display shamrocks around the house in March to be reminded of the Truth of God’s character.

Here are several shamrock templates you can print and decorate. Or make your own!

2) Make Irish Brown Bread and Share with the Needy in Your Community.

One of the staples of the Irish diet is brown soda bread and a nice, hot cuppa tea. This brown bread is very simple to make and it tastes like nothing I’ve ever had. It is simple enough that you can make several loaves – one for your family and some to share with the homeless/needy in your area. Or take some to the first responders or emergency room staff in your area.

sheep-in-the-valley-1

Here is the recipe I use, given to me by my Irish friend:

Irish Brown Bread

1 ¾ Cup all purpose flour
1 ¾ Cup whole wheat flour (you can use all whole wheat if desired)
3 Tbs toasted wheat bran
3 Tbs toasted wheat germ
2 Tbs old fashioned oats
2 Tbs packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 Tbs chilled butter, cut into pieces
2 Cups buttermilk (or 2 cups plain milk with 1 Tbs vinegar added; let sit for 5 min)

Preheat oven to 420 F (215 C). Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl; mix well. Add butter, rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles fine meal. Stir in enough buttermilk to form a soft dough (you may or may not use all 2 cups). Transfer dough in a pan that has been lightly greased and floured. Bake 40 minutes, or until bread is dark brown and tester comes out of the center clean. Turn bread out of pan and cool on wire rack. Best served with fresh butter.

3) Use the Claddagh to Share God’s Love with Others.

You may have seen this symbol on a ring or plaque.

claddagh

Photo by: Tenon Tours

The history of the Claddagh [CLAD-uh] is steeped in tradition and romance. The heart represents love, the crown loyalty, and the hands friendship. The original intention of the symbol was a promise of undying love and devotion from a man away from home, to his betrothed.

However, when I look at the Claddagh, I see Jesus. After all, what better display of love, loyalty and friendship than Christ taking our sins upon Himself and dying on the cross in our stead? As you go about your day, look for ways to share that good news with others. You could make cards with this symbol, and include a verse that explains God’s love, loyalty and friendship – John 3:16 comes to my mind. I can think of no better way to honor Patrick’s service and sacrifice than to carry on his legacy of sharing God’s love and hope with others.

So, go ahead and wear your green shirt, eat your corned beef and cabbage – though in 8 years in Ireland we were not once served that – and utter your “Top o’ the marnin’ to ya’!” if you must. But, this year, take some time to celebrate the legacy of a man God is still using to draw others to Himself and His Son.

{Prayers that Changed History Giveaway!}

prayers-that-changed-history-3dcoverFor more information on St. Patrick and other important historical figures, check out Prayers that Changed History! 

One prayer can change everything, says bestselling author Tricia Goyer in Prayers That Changed History.

Martin Luther. Sojourner Truth. Helen Keller. St. Patrick. We read their stories, and of other people like them, in history books and hear about the amazing things they did to change the world. But one part of the story is often left out: Each one of them wouldn’t have accomplished what they did without prayer.

In Prayers That Changed History, the stories of twenty-five notable people are presented along with how prayer changed their lives and changed history. Following each historical example is a biblical story that ties to that person’s life and actions, as well as ways you can use the power of prayer in your life as well. Because God isn’t done changing the world yet, and he would love to use you to make history.

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{More About Jennifer Deibel}

unnamedJennifer is your typical gal walking out her faith, loving her man, raising 3 kids and working. After 10 years in Europe, the next adventure for her family awaits right here in the United States. She has been married to the love of her life, Seth, since 2000 and is extremely blessed to be mom to two delightful girls, and one hilarious little boy. She has a deep interest in creative family worship, marriage enrichment, and the art of figuring out unfamiliar grocery stores in foreign languages. Jennifer passionately loves the Lord, her family, music, dance, writing and chocolate – though quite honestly not always in that order. She believes this world needs more women who stick together, so let’s connect and walk this road side by side! You can find Jennifer at This Gal’s Journey, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Read full privacy policy here.



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Comments

  1. Justina Wilson says:

    This sounds like a book I would love and be honored to win. Being Irish ( My Great Grandparents ) came from Ireland and to learn not only their prayers but actually feel My Great Grandparents thru them. Priceless!

  2. Katrina Morgan says:

    We are watching the St. Patrick Veggie Tales video. I like the shamrock & the meaning behind it..

  3. Stephanie H. says:

    I will be making Reuben sandwiches for my family on St. Patrick’s Day!

  4. I don’t know that we will get to incorporate this year, but I love the idea of the Irish brown bread as my kids love baking!

  5. Sarah Storm says:

    All of these ideas are great. I’m very sick with the Flu. No St. Patrick’s celebration for us, but I’m sure we will find a reason to laugh and be joyful just the same. Always a silver lining somewhere. Thank you for the Giveaway 🙂

  6. Joann Noll says:

    We will be watching the Veggie Tales movie and going over what the Shamrock symbolizes!

  7. vera wilson says:

    Maybe check at the library for a book to read about St Patty’s Day.

Trackbacks

  1. […] So, I was honored and super excited when Tricia Goyer asked me to write a post for her blog about meaningful ways to celebrate Paddy’s Day with your kids. You guys know me, and know that I’m all about simple, stress-free, fun and grace-filled. So, that’s what you’ll find in these 3 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Your Kids. […]

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