Meet Wendy Lawton. Read her Meet-A-Parent (MAP) interview here.

traditions: tips / resources

    • Search your soul, your heart, and your memory bank for what is cherished. What values, ideas, and moments are most important to you? Make a list. Build traditions around the top of that list.
    • Traditions should be unique to you. Lather, rinse and repeat Step One.
    • Involve your family. What traditions do they want to continue, tweak, add? ‘Cause they’re, um, on this train, too.
    • Eat! Some of the best traditions involve food. Deploy your favorite recipes — from grandma, from auntie, from Julia Child, from your own Best Dish File — often.
    • Get creative. While food and holidays sit at the heart of many traditions, books, movies, the seasons, or school events can also anchor a tradition.
    • Think big — major milestones, complicated cakes — but also think small. One of my fondest childhood rituals was Saturday morning housecleaning and grocery shopping with my family. We spent time together, had fun, and were rewarded with homemade Sicilian-style pizza from the grocery deli at the end of our labors. What’s not to love?
    • Think generations. If you want to keep a tradition going, be sure your kids are doing the grunt work — cooking, sewing, sailing, whatever — with you. They’ll need to know how to do this clever stuff in order to pass the torch.
    • Be cheap and fast. Traditions needn’t be spendy or involved to be special (See Sicilian-style deli pizza.)
    • Just do it. Over and over. Traditions develop from occasions that are marked consistently, every weekend/year/work promotion/tooth loss.
    • Steal! If you’re still stumped by now, cadge someone else’s tradition. Number Six on this Simple Mom’s list kinda rocks.