If you plan to hoist a pint of Guinness in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, don’t count on the luck of the Irish to get you home safely. Don’t drink and drive, allow friends to get behind the wheel after toasting or ride in a car whose driver has overindulged. If you’re out on the town, instead designate a sober driver or have an alternate plan before you begin celebrating; most towns now have ride-share services that can take you home safely. And if you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party, serve plenty of snacks and nonalcoholic beverages as well as green beer, and ensure everyone imbibing has a safe ride home.
You can keep the kids busy during St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of Irish-themed craft projects, Country Living says. Help them paint rocks to look like gold nuggets at the end of the rainbow, or create paper shamrock pots. Green party hats are a must for any kid-friendly celebration, and you can get them to help decorate with shamrock garlands. And just like you’d set cookies out for Santa, try creating a leprechaun “trap” featuring green-frosted cupcakes and gold foil-wrapped chocolates. Remember, you can usually find lots of craft supplies and inspiration at thrift stores supplied by ClothingDonations.org.
For a low-key St. Patrick’s Day, have a few friends or family members over for a Irish-themed party. “Serve corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew,” suggests WikiHow, along with green beer tinted with a few drops of food coloring. Then, stream a movie to match the theme such as The Quiet Man or Michael Collins (Leprechaun if you’re a horror fan). Or get involved in the nearest St. Patrick’s Day parade by marching with a local civic group, helping design a float or simply cheering the festivities and Irish heritage from the sidelines.
Whether you’re Irish or just Irish for the day, the first step in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is to wear something green. If you don’t have anything suitable already, look no further than the local secondhand or thrift store. Supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org, they’re a great source of inexpensive, lightly used garments — including T-shirts that feature the Gaelic toast Sláinte (“Health”), sayings such as “Kiss me, I’m Irish,” or the Guinness harp logo for a visit the corner pub, for example, or more work-friendly kelly-green polo shirts and neckties.
Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional dish to serve on St. Patrick’s Day, although like many ethnicities’ signatures dishes, it probably developed among early immigrants who were making their way in the New World. Regardless, the simple, hearty meal is a great one to share among family and friends. If you don’t want your house to take on that distinctive odor, however, many veterans’ organizations serve corned beef and cabbage annually to support those who have served.