It took me years to realize that a lot of people use St. Paddy's Day as an excuse to party and get drunk. The day still has happy connotations for me of being a kid in school and making sure I was wearing my green so I wouldn't get pinched. Just in case you forgot to wear green, though, you could also pin on a green construction-paper shamrock!
Now, I use it as an excuse to reflect on my Irish heritage, dream about visiting Ireland someday, and think about some of my favorite Irish-related things.
Favorite Irish author: Maeve Binchy. I believe I've read all of Binchy's books to date, and there's not one I haven't enjoyed. Her breezy, humorous and casual style gives the reader the feeling that you're chatting with a good friend, but don't be fooled--her storytelling ability is impeccable. Among my favorites: Circle of Friends, Tara Road, and Light a Penny Candle.
Favorite author who writes about the Irish: B.J. Hoff. It's no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I'm a major B. J. Hoff fan. Her Emerald Ballad series hooked me, and I've continued to be impressed by her absorbing tales which often feature Irish immigrants. When asked why, B. J. replied:
"Well, who’s more interesting than the Irish, after all? There’s no danger of ever running out of stories about them!
"Seriously, I love writing about the people who built our nation—our ancestors—and there’s really no way to do that without writing about immigrants. And since the Irish immigrants played such a hugely important role in settling America—and since my own family tree is exceedingly 'green—' I chose years ago to focus on Irish characters."
Check out B.J.'s About the Irish page on her website for some interesting facts.
Book that started my fascination with the Irish: The Red Knights of Hy Brasil, by Christine Savery. I blogged here about locating a copy of this beloved childhood book. I fell in love with mysterious and charismatic Shane O'Coghlin, one of the book's main characters, and in fact the book began my lifelong love affair with all things Irish.
Also blogging about St. Patrick's Day:
--DK Raymer at A Flyover Blog
--BJ Hoff at Grace Notes
--Mrs Fussypants (you HAVE to check out her video!)
--Sherry at Semicolon
--Kay at Loop de Loops in La La Land
Let me know in my comments section if you're blogging Irish today, and I'll include you in this list!