In the annual scheme of holiday celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day ranks high as the perfect, carefree occasion. Unlike some holidays that can be fraught with gift-giving pressure and tense family dramas, St. Patrick’s Day exudes an undeniable charm with its primary focus on boisterous camaraderie and unbridled indulgence in Irish food, music, fun, and drink.
How ironic then that this festive holiday that celebrates Irish heritage while simultaneously heralding the arrival of spring has become synonymous with such accoutrements as faux leprechaun costumes, dyed green carnations, and plastic shamrock decor. Rather than create an inspiring homage to Irish history and tradition, these items, albeit amusing, have become all too commonplace and lack the imaginative creativity that is the hallmark of the Emerald Isle.
Whether you envision March 17 to be an ideal occasion for sipping a rare malt whiskey in a Georgian manor house or for belting out the Unicorn song in a beer-drenched pub, perhaps it’s time to reclaim the simple charm of St. Patrick’s Day and infuse some fresh style back into the festivities. Here are some new ideas for incorporating natural elements into your own Irish-themed party design and décor this year.
1. Potato wreath. To proudly declare your Irish heritage to the world, place an unexpected, yet very appropriate, sign of welcome on your door. This potato wreath, rendered in 25 pounds of basic white Idaho spuds, makes a strong statement, offering an unmistakably Irish greeting as well as providing enough potatoes for a hearty and satisfying meal later on.
2. Cabbage bouquet. Continue the Irish theme in the entry hall, with a bouquet of decorative kale cabbage that hints subtly at the corned beef and cabbage meal to follow. This bouquet, composed in an abundant, overflowing style of floral and vegetable elements, adds color, style and another iconic Irish motif to your holiday decor.
3. Green bouquet. If green is the color of envy (and St. Patrick’s Day), your friends will turn a bright shade of chartreuse when they see a set of trendy and modern all green bouquets on your Irish holiday table. This bouquet of green flowers – roses, calla lilies, hydrangeas, bells of Ireland, and viburnum – is placed in a basic container that is covered entirely in Kelly green ribbon, further accentuating and complementing the overall Irish theme.
4. Polka dot mums. Enhance the décor of your Irish table-setting with an inexpensive burlap or fabric tablecloth that is decorated in green polka dot mums. Green “Kermit” mums are inexpensive and long-lasting and can survive out of water for the evening or longer. Simply cut off the stems and glue the flower heads onto the fabric surface in a jaunty polka dot pattern.
5. Candles and flowers. Candles and flowers are a classic combination and provide the finishing touch to your Irish table setting. In addition, the Claddagh, a16th century Irish candle decoration symbolizing eternal love and friendship, provides a perfect St. Patrick’s Day motif. Decorate silver candelabra with flowers and greenery for an elegant look or even insert candles (securely, of course) in bouquets for an earthy, woodsy feel.