F.I.N.D.s* — “The Book of New Family Traditions”

F.I.N.D.s* -- “The Book of New Family Traditions”Earlier this year, I stumbled across a wonderful book by Meg Cox, a kindred spirit.

“I dedicate this book to parents in families everywhere who know that their kids’ childhoods will zoom by in a flash and are determined to break those years down into memorable moments and deeply shared experiences.”

 “The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day” gives insights into how to create rituals around everyday events, as well as around holidays and family celebrations.

Hanukkah In A BoxAfter Hanukkah markdown: Hanukkah in a Box Family Fun Kit – now just $18.95.

 Don’t you love this tweet?  “Cousins we sent the Hanukkah in a Box Family Fun Kit sent it to us too! Guess they loved it!!!”

Why family ritual is important?

Meg lists “10 Good Things Rituals Do for Children,” including:

  • imparting a sense of identity,
  • teaching values,
  • passing on religious heritage,
  • keeping alive a sense of departed family members, and
  • generating positive memories.

She has chapters on pet rituals, chore rituals, weekly rituals and so much more.

When our girls were younger, we had rituals in many of these areas. For instance, we took mystery walks when they were in elementary school. That really just meant walking to the library, to a friend’s house, or to the bagel store. But it was a “mystery” to them.

Those years, my husband traveled a lot. So many of those evenings, the girls and I had a “picnic” for dinner. That meant eating on a blanket on the kitchen floor.

When the girls were older, they had chores to do while I was at work. They *hated* finding those notes, swinging from a ribbon suspended from a hall chandelier. But they got to be brilliant at cooking and laundry before they left for college.

Tailoring Jewish holiday celebrations

We are fortunate that Judaism gives us opportunities to celebrate holidays that have so much depth that we can customize them to our family’s inclinations: foodies, nature lovers, musicians, artists, loud-and-festive, soft-and-pensive.

Our goal is to share Jewish holiday celebration ideas that you can tailor for your family. We’re now planning our blog posts for 2014. If you have ideas you’d like us to explore, please let us know.

And for daily rituals, if you are seeking ways to jazz up the moments of everyday life, we highly recommend Meg Cox’s gem of a book.

Your turn: What are your best memories?

Stop for a minute. And jot down—or mentally tick off – the 10 best memories in your life so far. Aside from the births of children and weddings, what rises to that level for you? Please share your thoughts. (Hint: think about when you’ve brought out the camera.)

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 *Fabulous. Intriguing. New-to-me. Discoveries.


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