Why I will never, ever set a leprechaun trap

Holidays at my house will not be extra special—I don’t need any more mom performance anxiety.

If you’re the kind of mom that sets leprechaun traps, I’m sorry but we can’t be friends.

No idea what a leprechaun trap is? Head on over to Pinterest; by the time you’ve hit LEP… the autocomplete will take you to endlessly scrolling pages of green glitter and gold coin bedazzled crafting nonsense.

The basic premise is this: You craft some kind of elaborate looking trap that you then convince your children has the potential to tempt a leprechaun and then contain him until the morning so that they can see this magical creature in the flesh. But, you say, doesn’t that lead to disappointment when they don’t catch one? Pinterest moms have that covered.

You just use the same tactics as you do with Elf on the Shelf leaving twee green footprints around, eating the Lucky Charms you left as bait, or filling the toilet with green “pee” with a green footprint on each side of the seat. Unfortunately, I’m not making this up, this is faked-up festivity gone mad, everything we mock about Pinterest times a thousand. (Kudos BTW to the mom who posted the leprechaun trap on Pinterest that was just a laundry basket held up with a stick, the bait a piece of crumpled green paper in a plastic flowerpot. We probably could be friends.)

Detailed DIY leprechaun trap

Photo: Pinterest

Harmless fun right? No. Frankly I don’t need more mom performance anxiety on my exhausted shoulders. I can barely manage to remember to stick a toonie under my children’s pillows for the tooth fairy. For anyone who thinks I’m a curmudgeon intent on taking the magic out of childhood, consider this: If you do this one year on a lark, you are essentially signing up to do every single year after that, and if you have more kids that length of time grows. Do you want to be devising clever leprechaun traps for the next decade? DO YOU?

Does every Hallmark holiday need to be celebrated like it’s the ultimate best time to share and be a family? Sure, they provide the excuse to do a cute craft with your brood. But think of your future: but there’ll be years where the kids still want to celebrate but don’t care enough to help. You’ll be sitting there desperately waving a glue gun, glitter in your chardonnay, long after they’ve gone to bed, regretting the day you started this ridiculous business.

Detailed DIY leprechaun trap

Photo: Pinterest

Perhaps the biggest issue I have with leprechaun traps is the same one that I have with Elf on the Shelf, and ultimately the tooth fairy and even Santa: I hate lying to my kids and I don’t want to spin a bigger web of lies by introducing more mythical stuff to lie to my kids about.

I’m into some holidays, I truly am. Christmas is a huge deal in our atheist household, and we do egg hunts at Easter. I love Thanksgiving too, though I’m unlikely to make a cardboard and craft paper centerpiece I will cook the best turkey dinner you’ll get anywhere.

Celebrations with our kids are important, but if we celebrate absolutely everything, it takes the glow off the holidays that really do matter to us, the ones we have loved since we were kids, and want to keep sharing with our own children.

This article was originally published online in March 2017.

Read more:
Why I think Elf on the Shelf is creepy
10 kid-friendly ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Why you should quit being a mommy martyr