The Book of New Family Traditions

Cox, Meg. The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everyday. Running Pr. May 2003. c.128p. ISBN 0-7624-1442-1. pap. $12.95. SELF-HELP

Cox (The Heart of a Family: Searching America for New Traditions That Fulfill Us) packs her book with simple, encouraging ideas for getting back to the basics of family life. Establishing rituals is not always quick and easy; some of these ideas are time-consuming, but they are uniformly peppy and easy for committed readers to absorb. Though free rein is afforded creative readers, basic recipes for creating rituals abound. The first of four topical sections, “Holidays,” is arranged by date and suggests ideas for adding zing to the holidays (like celebrating Big Bird’s birthday on the first day of spring). Sections then focus on “Family Festivities and Ceremonies” (e.g., birthdays or special school days, travel, and vacation), “Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Rituals” (e.g., mealtime grace, full-moon walks, and kids cook night), and “Rites of Passage” (like graduations). Like Julie Tallard Johnson’s The Thundering Years: Rituals and Sacred Wisdom for the Journey into Adulthood, this is a great choice for public libraries. Highly recommended.

This book was reviewed in Library Journal. 128.9 (May 15, 2003): p107; the galley was shredded on March 30, 2012.

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