I don’t need a calendar to know that March holds one of my favorite holidays. Every March 17 everyone becomes Irish for the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. My mom was Irish, so as little kids my brothers, sister and I were taught the importance of this holiday. As I grew older I began to see the importance of this holiday in an entirely new way, typically by looking down through the vast emptiness of a beer mug. Now the days of celebrating with reckless abandon have been replaced with a more civilized approach. Don’t get me wrong, beer is still an important element, it’s just quality over quantity. Here’s an approach to celebrating St. Patrick’s that will let you enjoy the day with the one you love (and remember it all the next morning)! To start this tradition, go old school and spend some time at Lansing’s Irish Pub and Grill. Doors open at 8 a.m. and will shut long after most of us have laid our heads on our pillows. Throughout the day you can enjoy corned beef and Irish stew with soda bread, as well as Reuben sandwiches and, of course, plenty of green beer to wash all that great food down. The Glen Erin Pipers Band, from right here in Lansing, will make appearances throughout the day. One of the best parts of this holiday is the people — reach out and make some new friends, Irish or not. Okay, part one is in the books. You’ve gotten your Irish on, and it’s now time to push yourselves in a new direction from the same old, same old. I mean how many bars, green beers and under-fed, over-served Irish wannabes can you take in one day? Now is the time you head home for dinner and movie, Irish style. Two movies stand out; watch both or settle on one. Score brownie points with your aul’ doll and go with the John Ford classic The Quiet Man. Starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, this 1952 award-winning love story is Ford’s ode to the Ireland he loved. Your second choice is the hilarious 1998 comedy Waking Ned Devine. Centered on the people of a small Irish village and a winning lottery ticket, this film will make you laugh and truly understand the meaning of the word “friend.” For dinner there is no corned beef in sight! Irish crusted cod and colcannon are two Irish dishes easy on the prep and long on the flavor. You’ll want these wonderful dishes more than once a year! So, there you have it; blend some old traditions with some new traditions and you’ll start creating new and fun memories that will make any relationship stronger!
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.