A New Tradition for YOU: StoryCorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen

Chocolate turkeys and scratch-off lottery tickets. That’s how you knew it was Thanksgiving in my family. A Russell Stover chocolate turkey stood proudly at each place setting, and under each dinner plate, my Auntie had hidden a lottery ticket. Each year we completely forget about the lottery tickets—my family is full of good eaters!—until my […]

I Smell Presents! Why Birthday Traditions Matter More than Ever

Like many traditions, I don’t remember when this one started. It was at least 10 years ago, though it could have been longer. I have a foggy memory of wanting to slow down the unwrapping of birthday gifts to make the sensation last a little bit longer, though maybe it was because my kids had […]

What “Gone Girl” Can Teach Us about Birthday Traditions

“Gone Girl” and my son’s recent 13th birthday have something in common.  Beyond handsome leading men (admittedly, I’m biased), a central plot element to both the movie and birthdays in our house is a scavenger hunt. In the movie (remarkably faithful to the book by Gillian Flynn), one of the first scenes shows a treasure […]

Easter Traditions: Green Beans and Jelly Beans

Easter 1991 was the worst Easter of my life.  It was also what I like to think of as my first grown-up holiday on my own. I had my first real job and I was living in my very own apartment.  Though I had made the eight-hour drive home to see my family at Thanksgiving […]