Long before I became a Celebrant, I had a little glimpse into my future work. Some years ago, I became aware of a terrific, fun book called The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everyday. The book was written by Meg Cox, who is married to the fellow who was my boss at the time. Meg’s own journey into motherhood left her wanting for ways to observe life’s big and little moments in The meaningful and innovative ways. She ventured out into the world, trained as a journalist, and gathered ideas and advice about how American families observed religious holidays, birthdays, family celebrations, daily activities, and much, much more.
Meg begins her tour of rituals by emphasizing what we all know intuitively: people young and old need rituals. Anthropologists have never found a human culture without ritual, and psychologists show that early comfort rituals with infants give them a sense of security and well-being, key to their healthy development.
The book gained much-deserved attention in the popular press. Indeed, the quest for meaningful family rituals was evidenced by online communities of moms trading ideas and inspirations of how their families embraced special day and every day traditions—the variety and creativity are astounding! The repertoire of this book’s rituals is extraordinary beginning with “traditional” holidays—New Year’s, Mother’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and more. She complements these familiar holidays with new-fangled daily, weekly, and monthly rituals, along with children’s rites of passage. This little book is a treasure trove of easy and fun ideas representing what is simple and transformational in the lives of families. Thanks! Meg, for such a wonderful book and one of the catalysts for my own journey into the world of celebration and ritual.