Secretsofmommyhood

Posts Tagged ‘Holidays

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St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I absolutely adore it! After visiting Ireland when I was in college, I fell in love with Ireland and this wonderful holiday even more. When I lived in Chicago one of my favorite things to do was don my green shirt, go into the city to watch them dye the river green and then walk with the enormous crowd of people down to the parade route and enjoy the St. Patty’s Day parade. I just love all things Irish! Heck, I even married a man who’s half Irish. I don’t know…maybe it’s the Shamrock Shake I had for lunch talking, but when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, I get really excited.

Last year I wanted to do something to get my children into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. We decided we would make our very own Leprechaun trap to catch ourselves a Leprechaun on St. Patty’s Day. This was such a fun craft and very easy to make! We enjoyed it so much we are setting our trap out again this year.

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The first thing we did was to get an old shoe box and cover it with green construction paper. I like using the construction paper because it’s easy to paint on. If you were to use wrapping paper it might not be as easy of a surface for the paint to stick to. After covering the box with the paper, I used a spray adhesive (you can find these at Wal-Mart or any craft store) to spray the different sections of the box and then sprinkled green glitter over it.

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Next, my son painted pictures of a rainbow, pot of gold and shamrocks onto the box. After that we glued some gold coins to the inside of the lid. The reason for the coins on the inside of the lid is because when the Leprechaun tries to take those coins off, the lid will come down as he does and trap him inside. That’s how you catch him! Well, if you can catch him…

After we decorated the box, we made signs to lead the Leprechaun to the box and a ladder to help him climb in. Both were very simple to make. I used white cardstock to make the signs and glued them to a craft stick. I then put some mounting putty on the bottom of the craft stick so it would stand up. For the ladder, I cut bamboo skewers to the size I wanted and used wood glue to attach the pieces.

Then, I put a pot of gold and some Leprechaun bait inside the box. The Leprechaun bait is just some Lucky Charms cereal inside a cupcake wrapper. And lastly, I taped a craft stick to the inside of the box to prop it open when you put the lid down.

 

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The night before St. Patrick’s Day, set up the trap with your children before they go to bed. After they go to bed, take the Leprechaun bait and the gold coins out, leaving the empty containers (and the coins attached to the lid) inside. Write a note from the Leprechaun and put a few gold coins with the note (you can find different options for notes on Pinterest). You can also leave some other signs that the Leprechaun was at the house. Such as leaving Leprechaun footprints like THESE, putting green food coloring in the toilet and two footprints on the toilet seat, and making a mess in the room with the trap. You can even sprinkle gold and green glitter about, use food coloring to make the milk green…there are so many options! Just have fun and enjoy!

**Side note: We were planning to repaint our table, which is why I put the painted footprints directly on our table. However, I wouldn’t recommend that if you have a very nice table. The paint won’t come off so easily. You can cut out and use paper footprints instead.**

I hope you have as much fun with this as my family did.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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holiday-traditions

The holidays are a time when family and friends come together to celebrate thankfulness, love, and the birth of Christ.

It’s also a time when many families create special traditions they carry on for years and pass down from generation to generation.

Here are some of my family’s favorite traditions. Maybe they are some you do also or maybe they are ones you can add to your roster. Either way, I hope you enjoy them.

 

Making Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies are a MUST in my family. I have the fondest memories of time spent with my mom, sister, grandmother, and aunts all crowded into my grandmother’s kitchen making dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies. I don’t get to be with my family anymore when they make the cookies, but I do get to pass this tradition down to my boys. I love spending time with them as they help roll out the dough, cut out shapes, and decorate cookies. Of course, their favorite part is eating the cookies and decorations in the process, but hey, that’s part of the fun!

 

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Every year my husband pulls out the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and we put it up and decorate it. At first, this was actually a hard one for me because I have many breakable ornaments; ornaments that also have a lot of sentimental value. And you can imagine glass ornaments + tiny fingers = broken ornaments. But now that the boys are a little older, it has become such a fun tradition for us. My boys love decorating the tree with the ornaments (well, the ornaments I let them hang up. You know, the ones that aren’t breakable) and then watching the tree light up as we plug it in for the first time. The look on their faces is pure magic.

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Making a Gingerbread House

This actually started out as a tradition my husband and I did with his nephews every year. Then when our boys were born, we added them to the mix. Even though my nephews are teenagers now, they still enjoy helping their younger cousins build a gingerbread house. Of course, most of the candy ends up in their stomachs instead of on the house. Their favorite part is smashing the gingerbread house the next day and then eating it. Boys. I tell ya.

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Christmas lights at the zoo

This year we started a new tradition with our boys. Our local zoo has a Christmas lights display, complete with thousands of lights, Santa Claus, hot chocolate and S’mores, and a place to write letters to Santa. It was pretty cold out so we bundled up and headed out to meet some friends and take in the holiday cheer. It was wonderful walking around and seeing how excited the boys got looking at the lights in the shapes of animals. My oldest also enjoyed the hot chocolate as well. He called it “coffee.” I think it made him feel grown up. Everyone really enjoyed it and I’m sure this will become a new tradition we will do every year.

(Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures. It was difficult getting good pics with all those sparkling, glaring lights.)

 

What are your favorite holiday traditions?


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