The fact that I'm Irish helps out a great deal.
I was always proud of my Irish heritage. I have my mom to thank for that. She instilled a healthy belief in leprechauns and rainbows, and convinced all of us kids that we should be proud to be among the Lucky Irish. Now, I realize that that's just PART of what it means to be Irish -- but as a child, it was quite enough. And it really shouldn't surprise you then, when I say that St. Patrick's Day was always a big deal around my house.
I recall that our lunches that day contained all sorts of "green" stuff (including sweet treats that would NEVER have passed inspection on any other day), and Mom always made a traditional Irish "boiled dinner" that night (corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots). My parents didn't usually drink, but on St. Patrick's Day they hauled out a bit of beer (dyed green for our amusement). It got to be a very big deal. And I can't remember a year when I didn't come home (from college or otherwise) to celebrate with my family.
A few years ago, I took over the traditional Irish dinner. Yeah, yeah -- I know that corned beef isn't traditional. And I'm fully aware that green beer isn't all that "authentic" either. But, it's all done in good fun, and I can't really picture it any other way.
Go mbeannaí Dia duit.