Our family will be marking the day with a "traditional" meal of corned beef and cabbage. St. Patrick is also the patron Saint of our parish, so this Feast day is made that much more special. However, I won't be drinking green beer, nor will I be subjecting myself to any "everyone is Irish today" pub parties.
It strikes me as odd that this day, meant to honor a great man and Saint, has turned the way it has. Whether you accept the traditions associated with his life or not, there can be no denying the good he did. (As much as some of these stories cannot be proven, they cannot be disproven either.) Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery in Ireland, he grew to love the Irish people. Late in his life, he was around 60 at the time, Saint Patrick returned to the Emerald Isle to teach and convert the people he had grown to love so much. Certainly that is worthy of our respect.
So, celebrate the memory of St. Patrick. Enjoy a drink or two and some good food. There's nothing wrong with bringing a little revelry into the world. I like a good party as much as the next guy. (And I certainly appreciate a good Irish drinking joke.) Drink your green beer if you must. Dress up in silly clothes. Dye your water fountain green. But please, remember the reason for this feast. Take a moment to honor the man and all the good he did. In our house we'll raise a toast, and a prayer, to St. Patrick in honor of his deeds, and in reparation for the abuse of both his name and his faith that is so prevalent today.