One Christmas after I got married, my mother-in-law shared her special dessert, Cranberry Surprise Pie. We loved it, and I asked for the recipe. I made it every Christmas while we were overseas for years. Our two children loved it as a special part of the season. In fact, it was on our Christmas menu for years overseas. The next time we spent Christmas with my in-laws, I brought the pie. My mother-in-law expressed such delight, because she had never made it again after that one year. She had a tradition of trying new foods each Christmas, and her new food became our family tradition!

Carol Rose,


Years ago, when my wife, preteen daughter and I had an Irish setter, Shana. As Saint Patrick’s Day approached the first year we owned Shana, my wife prepared an Irish meal in her honor. Making Irish soda bread became my job. And so it was for years to follow. Today our daughter is grown and has a family of her own, and Shana has long since gone to doggie heaven, but the Irish meal continues — accompanied, of course, by my Irish soda bread. Now I bake two loaves: one for my wife and me and one for my daughter’s family. There’s not a drop of Irish blood in the family, but there is an Irish setter in my mind wagging her tail and watching me put Irish soda bread in the oven for her family to enjoy.

Robert Plumb,


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