Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Book of New Family Traditions

Back in the day, it was common for me to kill time at Borders or Barnes & Noble. Today, I wonder around the library in much the same way, seeing what's there.

Yet, unlike Borders, the library offers a unique treasure...if there's something that looks interesting, but you're not sure if you'll like it or think it looks entertaining, you can check it out. And so, with that mindset, I came home the other day with The Book of New Family Traditions by Meg Cox.

I kind of expected this book to be a little cheesy, but was curious what it would hold inside.

My wife and I have a series of our personal traditions ("holidays" and rituals about our own relationship such as one called "Mexican Food Day" and another "1234 Day"). And with our kids we have established some early patterns and traditions, but I'm always game for a good idea.

It only took a couple quick flips through the book and I was suddenly starting at page one reading this book page by page.

In addition to having some great ideas, this book also reminded me of the important of rituals and traditions within a family, and how special those little things can be for enhancing family bonds, creating special memories, and teaching values.

Some of the ideas are certainly not my style (a Passover-style Thanksgiving , or require skills outside by gifting (embroidering signatures signed on a tablecloth), but others seem like ideas that match me and my family.

This morning, I had an early meeting (as I do on a semi-regular occasion) and had to leave for work before the kids would be awake. One of the idea's in the book was to create a ritual for such occasion where the parent draws a picture for the kids the night before and leaves it out for them in the morning as a little token of thought that they can come to expect. So last night, I drew them a picture and left it for them. It was simple, and I love the idea of doing this again next time I have an early morning meeting.

The cover or title may or may not grab you, but I think this book in the breadth of it's ideas and the variety of it's recommendations is an excellent treasure...I just might have to buy a copy for my book shelf to consult at different times of year or as my kids get older and other traditions or rituals might take on new meaning.

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