Creating Family Traditions ©

By Rita Emmett

Published in Care Packages for the Home: 
Dozens of Ways to Regenerate Spirit Where you Live
By Barbara Glanz

My parents, who were both born of people "from the old country", leaned over backwards to be as American as possible. As a result, they tossed out all the wonderful old traditions; so when my children were small, I decided to create some traditions of my own.

The evening before St. Patrick’s Day, I would casually make a bowl of red gelatin dessert & put it in the refrigerator. Then, after the children were in bed, I’d run over to a neighbor’s house, give her the dessert, race back and make green "Jello Jigglers". We called them Knox Blocks. (For those not familiar with them, it’s a special way to make a gelatin dessert that you can pick up and hold in your hand BUT if you drop it, the thing bounces all over the house).

Early the next morning, I’d wake up the children by hollering that I caught a leprechaun. As soon as the first child came running around the corner, I look at him or her and -- of course everybody knows that the only way a leprechaun can escape is if you look away --- that little Irish elf would immediately disappear. So even though I caught one every St. Patrick’s Day morning, my children never saw him because it’s a mother’s natural instinct to look at her child when they come running and hooting and hollering into a room.

Then we’d all go through the house together to find out what the little mischief-making leprechaun did to us this year. Sometimes he’d turn our milk green (with food coloring). It looked terrible on oatmeal, pretty cool on Rice Crispies and tasted just like regular milk.

Some years he’d set our places at the breakfast table with pots and pans, and put the dishes on the stove. The pranks were always silly, always harmless but EVERY SINGLE YEAR he changed red regular gelatin into green bouncy stuff.

Maybe this tradition doesn’t exist in Ireland, but now my children are married and have children of their own ... and you’ll never guess what happened at their houses last St. Patrick’s Day.


Want to write a book? Go to Rita’s web site and click on The Writer’s Room. Take a look at Rita's The Procrastinator's Guide To Authorship: Stop Putting Off Your Success. Find a free article about writing proposals in The Writer’s Room

Don’t procrastinate in going there now.

Rita Emmett, author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook and The Clutter-Busting Handbook, is a professional speaker who presents Keynotes and Seminars nationwide. She can be reached at 847-699-9950 and email is

To subscribe to her free monthly Anticrastination Tip sheet with quick short tips & ideas to help break the procrastination & clutter habit, click here Subscribe

Back to Articles

Home Page


Call now to schedule Rita Emmett to present to your group

Contact Rita at:
847-699-9950 (phone)
847-699-9951 (fax)

Copyright © 1999 - 2012 Emmett Enterprises