My husband and I started a family tradition, 30 years ago, of hosting a Shenanigans Party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with our Murphy relatives. We served Irish stew along with a variety of green foods. We drew names to exchange gag gifts – I remember my sister-in-law giving me a copy of Cowsmopolitan Magazine (it’s a real thing!) because we had recently moved to a small town and the cows from the farm behind our yard often visited us.
My mother-in-law bought shirts with the Murphy crest on them for all who were born with the Murphy name and, for those of us who married into the family, she had shirts made that said “Murphy’s in-Law,” a play on “Murphy’s Law.”
Irish roots run deep in my father-in-law’s family, and he always got the biggest kick out of the Shenanigans Party each year. The grandchildren were taught how to dance an Irish Jig, and we always took family photographs, complete with silly hats, shamrock glasses, and green mustaches.
The tradition eventually died down, as loved ones passed on and the children grew up.
Now that we have four grandchildren of our own, it seemed like a good time to rekindle the tradition. So, last year, we introduced our grandchildren to their first Shenanigans party. We all had so much fun, and got some awesome photographs to mark the event.
As St. Patrick’s Day was approaching this year, I was happy to hear my grandchildren ask me if we were going to have “that party where we wear funny hats and eat green things again.”
And, so, we did! We had a couple of family members who couldn’t participate this year, due to illness, but I’m happy to say that the Murphy Shenanigan’s Party tradition officially continues with the next generation.
I love family traditions.