Is St. Patrick’s Day Worth Your Money?

Posted on March 6, 2013 on 6:50 pm by .

Is there a point to buying St. Patrick’s Day accessories when it’s a one day, non-American holiday? Mass spending for St. Patrick’s Day places the occasion on equal footing with Christmas, New Years, and birthdays as a time when it is appropriate to thoughtlessly throw your hard earned cash at a one day festivity. St. Patrick’s Day isn’t an American holiday, outside of it being the binge drinking celebration of the year, at least outside of the second previously mentioned holiday and the 21st installment of the third one. Is it right for Americans to essentially celebrate, “And on the 7th day, God made alcohol to help with the rest,” day? You could argue for it, but it seems to overlook the more meaningful details of the holiday, specifically the death of St. Patrick.

This is what happens when a highly populated city serves all their 21+ residents green beer and forgets to put out enough porta potties... or it's the Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day.

This is what happens when a highly populated city serves all their 21+ residents green beer and forgets to put out enough porta potties… or it’s the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day.

For Americans, St. Patrick’s Day also means the celebration of the integration of the Irish culture into our own, and that’s what all the parades and green rivers celebrate. Unfortunately, I think a lot of us forget to take a step back and acknowledge this culture blend in some meaningful way in between swigs of Jameson. So, is St. Patrick’s Day worth the spending? Allow the leprechauns to explain.

Suppose we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day merely for the purpose of showing our undying support for leprechauns. Leprechauns have come to symbolize Irish-American culture. The little fellas represent good luck and a positive, care-free spirit. Leprechauns have given added importance to clovers, which are a major part of the legend of St. Patrick (he used the clover to explain the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit… holy cow!).

While dedicating a day to little green men may sound wrong, I don’t see how this causes us to lose any of the meaning of the holiday. We have merely taken it, twisted it, and done with it what we’ve done so well, or poorly, depending on your judgment, to pizza, cars, and weddings. We’ve Americanized it and mass-produced it.

Obviously, leprechauns are one of the more shallow things to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for, but if they’re why you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, then I say it’s a day worth splurging on. Why not celebrate a mythological creature on a day when everyone is so plastered that the world appears to be a mirage?

Seriously, though,  the bottom line is that people celebrate holidays for personal reasons and make them their own. It’s good that Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for different reasons than the Irish. Holidays are like words. They need not have just one definition.

Mr. Fluffles! That wasn't a mouse!

Mr. Fluffles! That wasn’t a mouse!

Furthermore, if a holiday doesn’t inherently belong to a particular culture, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. By embracing St. Patrick’s Day, Americans are showing how open to outside influences they are, and obviously gaining the perks of Guinness and Lucky Charms cereal in the process (Beer and marshmallows deserve a time and a place to be celebrated, too).

In conclusion, while I clearly haven’t advanced past fifth grade transitions, I implore you to indulge your love for consumerism this St. Patrick’s Day (Consumerism is to Americans as sharp teeth are to vampires, so don’t see it as a bad thing, although it’s okay if it scares you.). Parade yourself around in green suspenders. See who can get the drunkest using your breathalyzer (while not getting too wasted, of course). Dress your iPad up in green while providing it the protection it needs from all the beer spills, food crumbs, and drunken attempts to use it as a football.

Embrace your inner leprechaun, and don’t leave it to the luck of the Irish to ensure that your St. Patrick’s Day is one to remember.

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