As mentioned before, St. Patrick’s Day has never been a HUGE holiday in our house, but we do love to celebrate it. One thing I have been amazed with as a mother is that it doesn’t necessarily matter how fancy my desserts are, or how much money I put in to the activity. What they care about is that it is something new, out-of-the-ordinary, and fun.
Thanks to Dave Ramsey, we have been putting all of our excess income towards financial goals, which usually means we don’t have any money in the budget for St. Patrick’s Day, especially if we want to do anything fun for the kids for Easter. However, we’ve still been able to enjoy a lot of fun traditions with St. Patrick’s Day that don’t break the bank, or really cost us anything extra at all.
Here are some budget-friendly ideas that our family has done through out the years.
1. Green Eggs & Ham – Our family has kept up this tradition every year since Jack was a toddler. When I think of green food, I automatically think of Dr. Seuss’ book “Green Eggs & Ham”. We decided to make it a family tradition, and our kids love it. The easy recipe? We cut up some ham slices and mix it in with scrambled eggs with a few drops of food coloring. If we’re feeling extra ambitious we pair it with some homemade breakfast food (turkey bacon, hash-browns, toast, orange juice), but we’ve done it on its own too and its delicious. If we’ve been invited to a St. Patrick’s Day dinner, we still celebrate our St. Patrick’s Day tradition of green eggs & ham by having it for breakfast or lunch. Really, you can make a lot of different food that would work for St. Patrick’s Day. Just add green food coloring to it (pancakes, mashed potatoes, etc.) to make the meal fun for the holiday.
2. Send out a fun greeting to your family and friends. Send out an email, post a picture to your blog, or include a fun picture on your Facebook account. I found this bad boy (aka the picture above) on our family blog from 2007. (Isn’t it great seeing dated design or photography work to remind you how far you’ve come since then?! Wow.) If you have design software you can design a fun greeting card up yourself. There are plenty of free digital scrapbooking kits that you can download, or you can just send out a simple email with a picture of your family wearing the traditional green colors. Just add a fun St. Patty’s Day message and you are good to go.
3. Celebrate the holiday with family & friends. Our family has been lucky enough to be invited to St. Patrick’s Day parties pretty often since our marriage, which makes it pretty easy for us to stay within our budget. We usually bring a dessert or dinner side, and they provide the fun. We have also invited families to our house for dessert & games if we haven’t already received an invitation.
4. Green frosted brownies & green milk. We love brownies. We love milk. I always have high hopes of making something cute and fun for the kids, but every year I end up making brownies because I know they will taste good, they are inexpensive, easy to throw together, and can quickly be ‘dressed up’ by green colored frosting and sprinkles. Sprinkles and food coloring can be used year-after-year, and have been a great investment for our family. I’m a big fan of keeping things simple & fun, and this is an excellent dessert option because of it. If you don’t want brownies, the same advice can be used for other desserts, such as sugar cookies, cupcakes, and more. Just add some frosting and your kids (and husband) will love it.
5. Looking for a healthy dessert alternative with out any of the artificial food coloring or sugar? Make a yummy green smoothie. If there is any day of the year for kids to enjoy a healthy, delicious green smoothie it is St. Patty’s Day. Our kids were skeptical of green smoothies every time I tried to introduce it to them before, but I decided to try again on St. Patrick’s Day, and low and behold? The kids guzzled them down. Yes! Another bonus? They are much more willing to drink them now because they know they actually taste good.
These are just a fews things our little family has done on St. Patrick’s Day through out the years. What are some of your favorite family St. Patrick’s Day traditions? I would love to hear about them in the comments!