Small gifts & family rituals

Given recent events, I suspect this holiday season may be financially challenging for many of us. My family circle has already discussed just buying small gifts for the children, and even giving each other gently used presents—things we already have in our own homes, such as books or stuffed animals—that others would appreciate. Of course, home-baked treats always make a meaningful gift and provide a wonderful way to spend time together during this busy season. For home-baked suggestions, check out Delicious Living’s free holiday online cookbook.

In harsh economic times like these, it seems to me that simple family rituals, such as baking or making gingerbread houses together, stand out more than gifts. According to a 50-year research review that was completed by the American Psychological Association in 2002, rituals are linked with marital satisfaction, children’s health, and stronger family relationships, among other benefits. Jennifer Trainer Thompson’s recently released “The Joy of Family Traditions,” supports this research and offers ideas to bring your family together, as the author told Delicious Living recently, “The search for meaning and identity through ritual is ancient. But in today’s hectic world it’s more important than ever.” Check out, to find out the tradition of the month and more.

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