What does a TCK do with St. Pat’s Day?

St Patrick's Day Parade San Francisco 2012

*photo by David Yu via flickr

Today was Saint Patrick’s Day. In Asia it is not really celebrated. So, for the past fifteen years or so, the day usually went by just like any normal day in March. Some days that was filled with reheated coffee and mountains of laundry. Other days it was a classroom of kids from all around the world. Some days in March I was putting sunscreen on my kids at the zoo. Other days I wore gloves while I taught because the small electric heater just didn’t put out enough heat.

As the kids got to be school-age, I still didn’t really pay attention too much because they were in local school. Then they started attending an “American” school. I  didn’t anticipate the holiday; I hadn’t worn green on March 17th intentionally in years.

This year though, my kids are older. They don’t attend an “American” school, but a homeschool-coop. Many of their classmates, though, are American with both parents being American. So, when my Facebook newsfeed filled with St. Pat’s parades and such I looked at the calendar and saw that it fell on a school day. I remembered some of the traditions, especially the one about not wearing green.

My mother-protection mode kicked in.

This morning I told them to wear green. They looked at me strange, but at breakfast I explained the holiday. Call it a crash-course in holiday tradition. I didn’t care. I just didn’t want my kids to get pinched because they didn’t wear green, but more importantly I didn’t want them to get pinched and not understand what was happening.

Results? I found out my kids were the ones to start looking for the ones who didn’t have on green. Can someone say, “Backfire?” *throws hands up in the air* 

Your Turn: Have you ever held a crash-course on holiday traditions from your passport country? How did it turn out? Please share in the comments below.

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Christmas Traditions Broken

I’m sure you have certain traditions in your family that you just do at certain times of the year. Our family is no different. Christmas has become a time of traditions for our family.

Here is a small sampling of our traditions:

  1.  Make Christmas cookies
  2. Put up the Christmas tree and stockings the weekend of American Thanksgiving.
  3. Drink hot chocolate with straws while enjoying the lights of the Christmas tree.
  4. St. Nicholas Day..kids clean their shoes and we put fruit and candy in them.
  5. Open presents from our German family members on Christmas Eve.
  6. Open presents from our American family members on Christmas Day.

The kids pretty much remember them, so we have kept them. Except for this year…

  1. We didn’t get our tree up until mid-week after Thanksgiving.
  2. We forgot St. Nicholas Day! That morning we told the kids that we’d do it “tomorrow.” Well, that didn’t happen either (and probably will not happen this year).
  3. Haven’t made ANY Christmas cookies, yet.

I think about beating myself up with all that I’ve NOT gotten done, but then I think about what we are doing and what we are going to do. And more importantly, what Christmas is all about in the first place.

  1. We started reading from the Jesse Tree Advent devotional. Something I have really enjoyed. I hope to sew together this tree and ornaments to go along with our readings for next year. A new tradition in the making…
  2. We are going to make cookies together this weekend and during the first week of vacation. There is still time.
  3. Christmas Eve will be shared with some dear friends of ours. We will have our traditional Christmas Eve meal…brauts, baked potato salad, red cabbage, and Christmas cookies!
  4.  Christmas Day will come and we’ll hear the wrapping paper rip, the shrills of delight from the girls, and watch our three little blessings enjoy being blessed.

I may not have accomplished all that I have wanted to this year in regards to traditions, but I’m enjoying the simplicity of things because of it. Maybe that was how it was intended to be in the first place.
Simple.
Simply a Babe born.                                                                                                         Simply laid in a manager.

Simple.
I like that.

What are your family traditions during the holiday season? Have you dropped some of those traditions or started new ones? Please share below.

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