I’m a sucker for holidays, especially during the gray months. Any excuse to add a little zing of color and some tasty treats — I’m in! Maybe it’s my time in the classroom, but these little reasons to celebrate can turn even the long march (<—see what I did, there?) toward Spring a little more festive. If you’re looking for ways to green up this month, try:
In Like a Lion Party
I don’t know how I feel about it since we’re currently on tornado/flood watch, but you can have fun with this throwback from grade school. Our local crafts store has foam lion and lamb masks, or you could make your own using these printables. Pass them out to your class or even at the office at the end of a meeting. Bonus points if your team’s mascot is the lion!
Again with the masks! If you don’t know about Purim, it’s a Jewish holiday about laughing in the face of fear. In my opinion, this one is like Mardi Gras, trick-or-treat, and New Year’s Eve combined. When I’m teaching a class, I like to tell the story of Esther — rich with purpose, patience, and hope in dark times — and pass out the masks and party horns. Every time I mention the name of the villain, Haman, the crowd boos and toots the horns. A holiday like this one can be as light or as creepy as you make it, since it has aspects of both life and death. Like I said, if there are masks, colors, and snacks (little cookies shaped like purses, are you kidding?!), count me in.
Math nerds, or any old nerd, unite! Even if you’re looking for an excuse to eat pie, as has been the case with my students over the years, this is a wonderful day. I’m not suggesting you stand up and recite Pi for half-hour shifts or anything, but cutting the symbol for pi in the top crust? YES. At work or school, invite others to bring in a pie for a massive dessert table at lunch time or for an afternoon break. How many math holidays do we get, anyhow?
St. Patrick’s Day
I’ll be transparent, here. Green is my favorite color; I’m wearing it pretty much everyday, anyhow. (I think the last time I was pinched on March 17th was 1991.) Bring all the green! Shamrocks on the desk, in the window sill, pinned on the lapel — I never get tired of it. Epicurious puts out St. Pat’s menu ideas each year. For a fun twist, try Corned Beef and Cabbage Chowder with a thick slab of soda bread on the side, or Cheesy Bacon & Kale Potato Skins. Watch The Quiet Man. Soak up the rays of diffuse gray light while hunting for four-leaf clovers in the back yard. Welcome the green indoors with an easy, DIY Terrarium.
The vernal equinox falls on a Monday this year, which makes it easy to have a casual Sunday brunch or a low-key supper Monday evening. Here, our daffodils and hyacinth are already popping, so I’ve been snipping a few and bringing them in. Alternately, grab a grocery store bouquet and divide into several smaller groups for an instant springtime lift. We’ll be full of gratitude for winter’s quiet season of rest, but ready to greet longer days and busier weekends. If the weather foils your plans for a picnic (or even–fingers crossed–open windows!), watch a perennial spring time movie and unroll the picnic blanket in the living room. Pack a basket of sandwiches and a few San Pellegrino sodas and you’re done.
We often overlook March, that verdant green stretch between Valentine’s sugar rush and Easter’s season of renewal and rebirth. Don’t let this month slip by unnoticed. Enjoy the in-between weeks by focusing on one of March’s gems.
Do you have a special March tradition?