This I Believe

Erin - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

My Second Christmas

I believe St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday, even if we don’t get off of school.

Ever since I was a little kid I have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day like a second Christmas. Just like Christmas, my family starts building up for St. Patrick’s Day the day after Valentine’s Day by taking down the crimson red hearts and replacing them with shiny Shamrocks and signs that say: Erin Go Braugh. My mom and I usually start making Irish Soda bread, from the family recipe, and start playing Irish Drinking Songs CD’s, just around that time too.

Well as for me, I am an Irish Dancer at the Trinity Academy of Irish dance. My life is Irish Dance during the St. Patrick’s Day season. The shows I perform at usually start around the middle of February and do not stop until the beginning of April. For example: last weekend I danced at the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Queen pageant. There was at least 100 people there clapping along with the music and enjoying themselves, while having some corn beef and cabbage with a nice slice of Irish soda bread cheesecake on the side.

As much as I love the preparation of St. Patrick’s Day, the actual day is the best. Before I got to high school, my parents allowed me to miss school for the day. I would get up extra early and my mom would let us have Irish Soda bread with chocolate chips for breakfast. Then I usually got dressed up in my Irish sweater, and wore around 10 gold and green beaded necklaces to complete the look.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I usually have many shows that I dance at. My favorite places to dance at are pubs. I absolutely love getting up onstage to dance in my shiny solo dress, with Celtic designs, for a bunch of people who have had one to many Guinness’s. They are usually the most fun crowds, who actually get into the music and clap right along with the other Irish dancers and I. I also love parades. I have done many St. Patrick’s Day parades. My favorite parade memory would have to be last year during the Downtown Parade, when I got to teach crazy Paul Konrad of WGN how to do the jig.

Just like Christmas, some people get into St. Patrick’s day, and some do not. Some people may celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by getting St. Patrick’s Day cookies from the local supermarket or even just simply wearing green; but I do not think it is that strange to be extremely proud of my heritage. My life would be pretty boring between January and April if St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t there to make my Irish eyes smile. I think I have so much St. Patrick’s Day Irish spirit to go around, others might just want to dye their hair green and do a nice jig.