Growing Up with Leprechauns!

I was nothing but a wee babe the first time I dragged my sister out of bed on a magical March 17th morn.

“Patty! Wake up!” With thoughts of Irish jigs and golden treasure, I shook my little sister who still slept while curled up in our shared double bed. She rubbed her eyes and brushed her auburn hair from her face.

“Let’s see if the leprechauns came last night!”

We padded out from the bedroom of the small apartment in our matching zip-up pajamas. As soon as I entered the living room, something bright caught my eye. It glimmered in the early morning sunshine and it beheld the brightest gold I’d ever seen!

“Found one!” I snatched the gold chocolate-filled coin from the top of the end table.

Patty echoed my excitement and toddled over to the other side of the long sofa. “I got one too!” She grabbed the precious gem on the matching table that an errant little person had left behind.

“Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!” Dad said. He towered over us and his strawberry crew cut made him look even taller. He leaned against the wall while sipping a cup of hot coffee and wore the wool fisherman sweater my mother had knit for him. He smiled and watched all the shenanigans.

My mom joined in the hunt and gathered the coins in her apron. Her violet eyes sparkled under a crown of raven black hair. She had explained the day before, “The leprechauns are coming tonight. They travel all the way from Ireland and will be carrying a huge pot of gold with them. Some coins may fall out and left behind.”

Once it seemed that we had found every last one of the coins, we began looking for the wee folk themselves. Patty and I searched everywhere. We peeked in closets, behind the sofa, and the scariest place of all, under our bed. We could not find any sign of the elusive creatures.

Soon the only trace of them was the gold foil that contained the delicious chocolate. I remember saving them in my jewelry box, believing they were the most precious of all metals. As I wound the key and let the old lullaby play, I was on top of the world!

After regaling my friends of our encounter with leprechauns, I didn’t understand why they hadn’t gotten a visit. Mom explained that they probably weren’t as Irish as us. We were McCartans after all.

Just as I began to doubt my belief in the little people, my brother Joe was born. The Leprechauns started dropping those gold coins on Saint Patrick’s Day once again!

Many years later, the same scene played out with my own children. They ran from room to room giggling while gathering up those coveted gold coins. As they got older, they seemed to be hidden a bit better. Sometimes I would find one propped up against a brass vase at the end of May!

Try this new St. Patrick's Day Tradition! Click for a very simple and fun idea! Saint Patrick's Day fun, Culture, holidays, family traditions, tips #saintpatricksday #stpattys #stpattysday #stpatricksday #familytraditionsNow that they are in college, the leprechauns leave a bag of coins for each of them on the kitchen counter. I even save a little stash for myself. I have always been a collector of precious metals.


*Bags of gold coins can be found in the kosher food section.

Have you ever heard of “Irish Diplomacy?”  

 It’s the ability to tell someone to go to hell, so they look forward to the trip!

How are you planning to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?

 ~Erin Go Braugh~

Photos by Susie Lindau

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

Wearing It Proudly!

A Day in Dublin, Ireland!

90 thoughts on “Growing Up with Leprechauns!

Add yours

  1. Arrived here through a random selection. Thought that I would leave my mark, in appreciation.

    Love the gold coins. A lot better that throwing cabbages.


  2. Thank you for every other magnificent post. Where else could anybody get that kind of
    info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week,
    and I am at the look for such info.


  3. Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?

    I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems
    different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!


    1. Thanks, Ritu! I have to pick up a couple of bags today since we’re going on vacation with the kids and their significant others. The Leprechauns will stop by Lake Tahoe a day late! Ha!


  4. Crap! Should I have hid gold coins? I’m reading this while simultaneously racking my brain on if any of my friends do this with their children. I would get worst parent of the year if we were the only ones not doing this. LOL!


  5. I didn’t have a leprechaun tradition as a child, though my ex and his girlfriend have tried to bring the Irish magic into their home. For a week i’ve Been hearing about the three wishes my son will ask if they catch the Leprechaun. And how he somehow remembers out toilet having green water…
    I loved reading about your family adventure and how you carry on the tradition. It’s not a big thing in my house, but I’m grateful that My son gets to experience the magic in a totally different way at his dad’s.


    1. I saw the green toilet water on Pinterest! Ha! Sounds like he’s having fun!
      I got a hold of green food coloring when I was in high school and dyed everything in the fridge green, including the mayo. My dad finally threw it out in June. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love family traditions like this. It seems like a lot of these traditions are falling by the wayside. We need to bring them back to life! Thanks for sharing your memory and tradition with all of us!


  7. St Patrick’s Day now is heavily dominated by sport. I’ve just sat down to (hopefully) watch Ireland beat England and win the Rugby Grand Slam. On Monday (the bank holiday, it’ll be the culmination of the school sporting year, football (soccer), hockey, GAA and Rugby. The Ulster Schools Cup is the second oldest rugby competition in the world after the Calcutta Cup Eng v Sco, so we take it pretty seriously. I love it!

    Come on you boys in green!!!!!


  8. I don’t have a single drop of Irish blood (would it be green?) in my entire body. But I heart this gold-coin idea to pieces! Question. Now that everyone in my house is a Grownup, do we get Real Gold Coins???


  9. I love that you continued the tradition of spreading a little magic on St. Patty’s Day. My kids are still young and believe in the magic of the holidays – thankfully. There’s nothing better than seeing the magic in your children’s eyes. Great post!


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