Liturgical Living for Beginners: A St. Patrick's Day Tea Party Play Date, with help from me and CCC

This is a sponsored post. See my disclosure policy.

It's March! Spring is in sight (at least in California), we are mostly in the swing of Lent (however much that's possible, anyway), and around the Tierney gaff, it's time to get super excited for the upcoming feasts this month.

Because if there's anything better than a feast day, it's a feast day that falls during Lent. Amirite?

Getting started with liturgical living in the home can feel like a really daunting task. It did for me, anyway. But if you're just starting out, Lent is the perfect time to give it a go. We're all in this one together, after all. Lent is a great time to share a fast or a feast with family or friends or neighbors.

We throw a HUGE Saint Patrick's Day party every year . . . but I know that's not for everyone. And I didn't start out throwing huge parties for everyone we know. Before that I threw dinner parties, and barbeques, and . . . liturgically-themed play dates. Just a couple other moms, their kids . . . a couple of snacks, an activity, and a book or movie about the saint. If you've never done ANY liturgical living in the home, this is a GREAT way to start.

I'm going to talk you through it step by step.

- the guests -

Probably, you're going to want people to come to your party. So, you're going to want to invite them. I've done play dates like this for as few as three and as many as thirty kids. I think ideal is around six to ten kids. Evite is great for keeping track of people, but for something like this, I find a good old-fashioned email is just as good, maybe better. You can just type up the what, when, where and send it, or, if you're feeling fancy, you can make your own invitation image in Picmonkey, and email that.

Or you can use this one . . .

If you right click on it, and save the image to your computer, you can then pull it up in Picmonkey and type in the text you want to add, save it again, then email it out.

Or ya know, just print it out, write on it with a pen, and hand it to people. Up to you.

- the craft -

I like to have a little craft available to do as families are arriving. It can be a simple coloring page and some crayons . . .

found here

Or something a little more involved. Sarah at Two Os Plus More featured a very cute Trinity Shamrock craft last year, that would be perfect . . .

and Kristen at Drawn2BCreative has a great printable interactive St. Patrick paper doll, with snakes and everything!

- the snacks -

Kids like snacks. Everyone likes snacks. In fact, the food is where I'm always tempted to get carried away. There are always so many cute ideas out there. But too many choices is overwhelming for little kids, and a lot of work for hostesses. Usually one beverage choice plus water, and three to four food choices is plenty.

For St. Patrick's Day, I always like to serve tea, since it's so very Irish. And in our house, not to mention in Ireland, tea is not just for girls. Boys can drink tea, too.

found here
My own kids drink quite a lot of tea, but for their friends it's usually a fun novelty. I usually choose two different types of decaf tea, in flavors kids would recognize (like mint and lemon), and put them in two tea pots. If I'm feeling particularly brave, I serve the kids in real tea cups, or sometimes we ask guests to bring a cup and saucer from home. Sometimes we just serve our guests in sturdy disposable cups.

Sugar cubes and cream are always a big hit.

Of course, you could always go with limeade, or any green beverage, instead. Although that would make it rather less like a tea party.

For the food, I make Irish Soda Bread, from a recipe my mother in law gave me . . .

It's very similar to this recipe from King Aurthur Flour.
And shamrock-shaped tea sandwiches . . .

found here
Most of my kids actually LIKE cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. But I'd probably make some pb&j versions as well.

And some fruit-kebab rainbows . . .

found here
And a pot of gold(fish crackers) . . .

That's what *I* would do. But if you read my blog with any regularity, you'll know I am nothing if not an over-doer of things.

Green juice, goldfish crackers, maybe some grapes . . . would totally get the job done. Kids would love it. Give my kids store-bought shamrock cookies and they'd love you forever.

- the entertainment -

After snack time, I like to have some sort of saint-themed entertainment for the kids. We have quite a few of CCC of America's Saints and Heroes animated films, and Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle was the very first one we ever owned. The CCC films present kids with the stories of the saints in a fun, accessible way. Letting my kids watch these shows has been a really easy way to help them become familiar with the lives of the saints. St. Patrick's story uses a mix of history and legend to teach kids about the kidnapped boy, who grew up to become a bishop and missionary in the land of his former captivity.

It also features a ridiculously catchy song over the end credits that my kids sing to themselves for days afterwards anytime we watch it. Also . . . me. I'm singing it right now.

And, at thirty minutes, Patrick is the perfect length to hold the attention of even the littlest kids, who may be slightly hopped up on sugar cubes.

Update: I also put together a Spotify playlist of all our favorite Irish Folk music!

AND, because CCC of America is so very generous, they are offering all of my readers a pretty great giveaway.

ALL of you can use the code ALLYEAR40 to get Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle (or any other DVD in their collection) for 40% off the normal price, from now through St. Patrick's Day on March 17th. Just put the DVD in your cart as usual, and input the code at checkout.

And ONE lucky reader is going to win the complete eleven DVD Saints and Heroes Collection!


The Saints & Heroes Collection includes these films:
  • The Day Sun Danced: The True Story of Fatima
  • Francis: The Knight of Assisi
  • Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa
  • Bernadette: Princess of Lourdes
  • Columbus: Adventures to the Edge of the World
  • Ben Hur: A Race to Glory
  • Odyssey: A Journey Back Home
  • Francis Xavier and the Samurai’s Lost Treasure
  • Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle
  • My Secret Friend: A Guardian Angel Story
  • Juan Diego: Messenger of Guadalupe

And all you have to do to win is leave a comment here on this blog post telling me one way in which you plan to live the liturgical year in your home this month.

I'll announce the winner Monday March 9th.

Good luck, and a big thank you to CCC of America for sponsoring this post and lovely giveaway. These are movies I bought myself, long before I had a blog, and many kids over many years have enjoyed them. I'm really pleased to get the opportunity to share them with you guys!

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more St. Patrick's Day movie recommendations, a BUNCH of free printables, and, of course, a recap of the Hooley at the Tierneys 2015. I can only assume it will be great. We'll also be celebrating St. Joseph's Day and the Annunciation. I hope you will be, too.