In the car after school today, my older son said to his little brother, "I wonder what the Leprechaun is going to bring us tonight?" Whoa, wait a minute; tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, but what Leprechaun? My son went on to explain that a little boy in his class told him that on St. Patrick's Day a Leprechaun visits homes and brings gifts and treats for children to wake up to in the morning. I'm Irish and I know nothing about a Leprechaun bringing gifts, but I do know that this tale needs to be stopped. The last thing I need is another imaginary overnight visitor bringing trinkets to my kids; I have enough trouble keeping up with the well established ones, like the Tooth-Fairy and the Easter Bunny. I needed to squash this fabled Leprechaun and squash it fast.
I let my son know that I had my doubts about this so called gift-giving Leprechaun. It all sounded a little too "Charlie Brown" to me. But to be fair to the mom of the boy in my son's class, who obviously has a cute little tradition going on over at their house, I didn't want to just say its not true. So, I did what most modern day parents do to answer a challenging question; I Googled it, I consulted Wikipedia. My son and I read through several sites on the origin of St. Patrick's Day and Leprechauns and as I suspected, nowhere did we find anything about Leprechauns bringing children gifts. Instead we found a lot of sites on how to catch a Leprechaun and get his gold.
After sifting through all of the information, I successfully turned my son's interest from getting Leprechaun gifts into setting a trap to catch a Leprechaun. We spent the rest of the evening decorating paper Trader Joe's grocery bags with rainbows, clover, and gold, as instructed by many sites, to bait the Leprechaun. And we now have two elaborate Leprechaun traps set up in our house, complete with entrance only stairs built from blocks for the little guy, and bells to sound the alarm when he gets stuck in the bag and can't get out. So, beware Leprechauns, we don't want your gifts here, we're after your gold.