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Can We Just Chill With the Green Milk and Leprechaun Traps?

Photograph by Twenty20

In the tradition of the over-the-top holiday celebrations parents are now expected to provide for their kids, none are as asinine as leprechaun traps. I guess if you grew up with them, you'd feel differently, but I grew up with very little fanfare regarding St. Patrick’s Day. It was pretty much wear green or risk being mocked and pinched by your peers. And that's the way it should be.

I’m not a total Scrooge. In fact, I'm a Christmas fanatic. But ... St. Patrick’s Day? Really? Who is this holiday really for? I don’t enjoy having to “keep up” with everyone else’s holiday traditions or have my kid whining that they're the “only one" in their class who didn’t get to catch a leprechaun—whatever that means. I wish we could all chill out a little bit with the crazy preparations for each and every holiday.

The beautiful thing about having traditions as a family is that you can choose to have them—or not. One thing I've learned as a mom to three boys is that if you start something, your kids will most definitely expect that it will happen every time from then on—forever. I was hesitant about introducing an Elf on the Shelf for this very reason.

For some of us, it’s just not what we're good at or how we want to make memories with our children.

No one's handing out medals for the best leprechaun trap and your kids won’t hate you forever if that's not one of your family traditions.

The world is already giving us so many messages about what it takes to be a “good” mom that it's impossible for any of us to live up entirely to all the qualifications. Every week at my kid’s school, it seems there is another “special day” to celebrate. It sometimes feels like we're trying so hard to make everything so special for our kids that nothing is truly special at all.

Some moms are amazing at finding holiday projects on Pinterest and they love to do it. I think that's awesome and don’t look down on them in any way. I just want moms like me out there–who are feigning surprise that no leprechauns showed up at the house–to know that they are not alone.

We all have different strengths and must do what works best for our family. No one's handing out medals for the best leprechaun trap and your kids won’t hate you forever if that's not one of your family traditions. Just like how they'll still love you if you don’t have an Elf on the Shelf or if Santa doesn’t visit your house. You do you and all will still be OK.

At the end of the day, I will not be bowing to the pressure of the green milk or leprechaun traps. I’m too busy working on an exit strategy for our Elf friend that my husband unexpectedly brought home one Christmas.

Instead, I want to work on putting more thought into what traditions I want our family to have and making those really count. And if that makes me the Grinch or Scrooge of St. Patrick’s Day, then so be it.

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