The Leprechaun on the Shelf – A New Holiday Tradition?

Our daughter has come to believe our home is being visited annually by a Irish leprechaun, who clearly operates under similar rules to the ubiquitous Christmas Elf on the Shelf!  Each day she wakes to find what mischief he made while she slept. Maybe I’d better back up and explain.

Many of you may remember, my wife and I became friends back in 2004 when she was blogging about her adventures as an American expat in Ireland… and I was blogging about whatever nonsense popped into my head back here in Dallas. That’s right, we met reading each others blogs.

Leprechaun on the Shelf

Click to view this cute little guy on [affiliate link]

It was an unlikely long-distance romance, but fast forward 12 years and I’m married to that wonderful woman, and we have a lovely 7 year old daughter. Because my wife is Irish-American, she goes all out decorating the house for Saint Patrick’s Day. It’s quite festive, with no shortage of green!

One of the decorations is a stuffed leprechaun doll that our daughter’s Irish grampy gave her. Our daughter wondered aloud if the leprechaun might move about the house, hiding in different places much as our Elf on the Shelf does. So I started moving him… and a new holiday tradition was born!

Wee Green Leprechaun Footprints

Another thing my wife started was leaving wee green leprechaun footprints leading to hidden ‘treasure” such as gold wrapped chocolate coins for our daughter to find when she wakes up on Saint Patrick’s day. Our 7 year old told me yesterday that Saint Patrick’s Day is one of her favorite holidays!

We have a nice collection of children’s books for each of the holidays. I’ve read to our daughter every night before bed since she was a baby. For Saint Patrick’s Day the books include some with historical and religious content, as well as, of course, as some fun leprechaun tales.

How do you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?


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  1. On one hand, I appreciate your dedication to teaching St. Patrick’s Day – and for people of Irish decent, it’s important to have tradition and history. On the other hand, I’m not a giant Elf on the Shelf fan, so I’m just happy that this is something YOU came up with and not the Elf company finding new and sentimental ways to make money off another holiday!

    1. I totally understand, Zach. I probably should have patented it and made a fortune, but you’re right. We don’t need any more of our holidays commercialized in this fashion… green beer notwithstanding.

  2. So fun!!! I wanted to do the same thing so I googled and up you popped. Where did you get your leprechaun? Thx!

    1. Hi Monica. We received it as a gift from our daughter’s Irish grandfather. I’ve added a link above to where you can get one on Amazon if you’d like. Glad you posted this. Forgot to move him last night. Oops. 🙂

  3. What a nice little guy. I like that leprechaun. The small footprints are just sweet. When your daughter is older, 12 or 14 at least, maybe she will like the books of Brian Froud. I adore them.

    Best greetings from Germany!

    1. Hi Ursula. Yes, his art is quite whimsical. I’m sure she will like them as well. Thanks so much for dropping by all the way from Germany!

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