The leprechaun is making quite a name for himself lately. Traditionally, most of us celebrate St. Patrick’s Day quietly with an Irish-inspired meal and green cupcakes, while others — mostly the younger crowd — celebrate the day a bit more raucously. Either way, St. Patrick’s Day is usually a nice little rest area between Valentine’s Day and Easter. No longer.
The leprechaun has been sneaking around for centuries and has been portrayed either as an impish creature who plays tricks on gullible people yearning to be rich or as a cute little elf who gives a reward at the end of a rainbow. This humble little elf is making major strides in becoming as celebrated as Santa and the Easter Bunny.
I noticed the trend two years ago when my daughter was in day care. Both centers she attended announced ahead of time that the leprechaun was coming, there was to be a party, and to dress your child in green. The first time it happened, I thought this would be nothing more than a fun day with a party and green clothes, but once home, my child regaled me with tales of green footprints, a scavenger hunt and chocolate gold coins. The next year was a bit bigger, with kids trying to find the Leprechaun himself. Ever since the tradition has grown. Last March, I even broke down and bought some chocolate gold coins for my child to find because she was so excited that the Leprechaun was coming.
Yes, the little leprechaun is getting big. Just how big is anyone’s guess, although I admit I would be fine if the little green man just handed out edible coins and left it at that. And when the tooth fairy comes my way, I’m going to ask her to lower her rates.
Theresa Davis is a former early childhood educator and has worked in childcare centers for more than 15 years. She is also an adoptive mother, living and taking care of her family in the Capital District