Tom Watson's Blog

Life & Stuff - Links From Around The Web - Week of 2/19

Tom Watson - Saturday, February 25, 2012

Each week I will highlight some inspiring, encouraging and/or humorous blog posts that I stumbled across and enjoyed. I hope you’ll find them enjoyable as well. Happy Reading! 

Better Than The Average Man

Tom Watson - Saturday, January 21, 2012

Instead of the usual link round-up, I'd like to share this fantastic infographic with you this week.

BETTER THAN THE AVERAGE MAN from The Frugal Dad

average man infographic

Source: http://frugaldad.com

Life & Stuff - Links From Around The Web - Week of 1/9

Tom Watson - Friday, January 13, 2012

Each week I will highlight some inspiring, encouraging and/or humorous blog posts that I stumbled across and enjoyed. I hope you’ll find them enjoyable as well. Happy Reading! 

Life & Stuff - Links From Around The Web - Week of 1/2

Tom Watson - Saturday, January 07, 2012

Each week I will highlight some inspiring, encouraging and/or humorous blog posts that I stumbled across and enjoyed. I hope you’ll find them enjoyable as well. Happy Reading! 

Traditions Should Create Joy

Tom Watson - Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We've spent quite a bit of time focused on traditions this past month. I hope you've found some helpful insight and fun ideas you can implement with your own family. 

As we wind down the Christmas countdown, remember to keep in mind that traditions are very personal things. What works for one family may not work for another. In fact, that is part of the beauty of traditions. Make each tradition your own in the way that works best for your family.

In Man Shoes, traditions are a focal point throughout the book. The most appropriate story that I share for this time of year is the time when I "shot" Santa. The familial traditions surrounding that story are certainly unique and personal to our family, which is part of why that particular story has become so memorable.

"A tradition is only as good as the joy it creates. Experiencing happy traditions will encourage your children to pass them on to their children." (Man Shoes, p. 170)

If you've been holding on to certain traditions because you like the way they work for another family or because you think it's something you should do, consider if it really creates joy within your family. If it's just another obligation to cross off of your to-do list during this busy time of year and it isn't really creating any happy memories for anyone in your family, maybe it's time to let it go. It's okay to let go of joy-stealing obligations and instead, make room for joy-creating traditions. Remember,  easy and simple traditions are best

Do your family's traditions create joy? What happy traditions are you excited to carry on this year?

Traditions Should Create Joy

Tom Watson - Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We've spent quite a bit of time focused on traditions this past month. I hope you've found some helpful insight and fun ideas you can implement with your own family. 

As we wind down the Christmas countdown, remember to keep in mind that traditions are very personal things. What works for one family may not work for another. In fact, that is part of the beauty of traditions. Make each tradition your own in the way that works best for your family.

In Man Shoes, traditions are a focal point throughout the book. The most appropriate story that I share for this time of year is the time when I "shot" Santa. The familial traditions surrounding that story are certainly unique and personal to our family, which is part of why that particular story has become so memorable.

"A tradition is only as good as the joy it creates. Experiencing happy traditions will encourage your children to pass them on to their children." (Man Shoes, p. 170)

If you've been holding on to certain traditions because you like the way they work for another family or because you think it's something you should do, consider if it really creates joy within your family. If it's just another obligation to cross off of your to-do list during this busy time of year and it isn't really creating any happy memories for anyone in your family, maybe it's time to let it go. It's okay to let go of joy-stealing obligations and instead, make room for joy-creating traditions. Remember,  easy and simple traditions are best


Life & Stuff - Links From Around The Web - Week of 12/12

Tom Watson - Friday, December 16, 2011

Each week I will highlight some inspiring, encouraging and/or humorous blog posts that I stumbled across and enjoyed. I hope you’ll find them enjoyable as well. Happy Reading! 

We've been taking a lot about traditions lately here on the blog, on Facebook and during the most recent #ManShoes twitter party this past Tuesday. So, it's only fitting to highlight some posts talking about Christmas traditions from other bloggers.

Life & Stuff - Links From Around The Web - Week of 12/5

Tom Watson - Friday, December 09, 2011

Each week I will highlight some inspiring, encouraging and/or humorous blog posts that I stumbled across and enjoyed. I hope you’ll find them enjoyable as well. Happy Reading! 

  • Do you want to take the snow play with your kids beyond the usual snowman but aren't sure how to go about it? Check out this post from Man of the House on How To Build An Igloo
  • Watching our kids go from tiny babies to little kids to bigger kids isn't always easy. The post On Parenting, Kites and Balloons from Dad-O-Matic offers a great perspective.
  • I love this letter from a father to his son - these are the moments that need to be remembered and cherished. Read it over at Rookie Dad
  • Need a laugh? Check out this post from Dad's Who Change Diapers. What's your super power?

So, what have you been reading or writing this week? Leave your favorite links in the comments so that I can check them out!

The Importance of Easy & Simple Traditions

Tom Watson - Wednesday, December 07, 2011

If there's one thing that keeps people from establishing traditions, it's probably a lack of time or resources. But there's nothing that says a great family tradition needs to be elaborate or expensive. In fact, I think a great argument can be made for simple traditions being the most memorable.

There are two key components I recommend when implementing new family traditions:

  1. Make it easy. Traditions that are easy to remember and easy to implement are most likely to become a permanent part of your family. 
  2. Keep it simple. Elaborate traditions are much more difficult to sustain year after year. Remember, traditions should lead to great memories and that will only happen if they are not viewed as a burden in the execution.
Put simply, simple and inexpensive traditions are best. You are creating moments that your family will want to relive and cherish forever. Those feelings come from the special time spent together, not from the process put into it or the money spent. These rituals can tie a family together and help it stay strong. You can read more about my feelings and various traditions I've established with my own family in my bookMan Shoes.

This holiday season, I encourage you to celebrate existing traditions and create some new ones. I shared some ideas for fun holiday traditions that meet the above criteria in my last post. I hope you'll consider implementing some of those ideas, as well as your own, so that you and your family can build memories that will last a lifetime.

Establishing Traditions

Tom Watson - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Traditions offer parents and children a chance to share time together in a unique way, seperate from the day-to-day routines. Establishing traditions with our families is very important all throughout the year. However, the holiday season may be the time of year that best lends itself to the establishment of traditions worth cherishing for years to come.


In Man Shoes, I share some of my family's traditions, as well as tips and ideas for implementing your own traditions. I've always had a creative approach to building unique traditions around special events like Christmas, as clearly outlined in Chapter 10 when I share the story of shooting Santa. Traditions have the ability to strengthen bonds and unite families.

Here are some of my thoughts and tips on building traditions within your own families:
  1. You don't have to shoot Santa, but you do need to create and celebrate your own traditions with your family, which will lead to many great memories.
  2. Traditions can only be successful if you consistently sustain them over the years.
  3. Simple and inexpensive traditions are best.
  4. A tradition is only as good as the joy it creates. Experiencing happy traditions will encourage your children to pass them on to their children.
(Shared from Man Shoes, p. 174) 

I'm sure you can see all of the potential opportunities for creating traditions throughout the holidays. Hopefully you already have a few of your own in place, even if you don't realize you've built a tradition. Activities as simple as leaving cookies and coffee (instead of milk) for Santa, or eating breakfast in pajamas on Christmas morning become traditions that everyone looks forward to year after year.

If you have been wanting to establish some traditions this time of year, here are some ideas to help get you started. Make them your own with a unique twist that fits your family perfectly and before you know it, you'll be enjoying the same activity with your grandchildren!

  • Make decorating a family affair, both inside and outside. Task the kids with deciding where the lights should be hung and how the manger pieces should be arranged. Let them be a part of the whole process as much as possible, and be flexible with their suggestions.
  • Choose a few holiday movies that are family favorites and spend a night having a movie marathon. Sip hot chocolate, snuggle under blankets and most importantly, make sure everyone stays up past bedtime!
  • Bundle everyone in their pajamas and pile in the car. Take along a thermos of hot chocolate and some Christmas cookies (or grab some fast food that's suitable for eating in the car) and then drive around your city "oohing" and "aahing" over the decorated homes.
  • Make Christmas presents for the birds and squirrels by spreading peanut butter on pine cones and rolling in bird seed. Together, hang them from trees in your yard. Then, watch the thankful animal feast from the cozy comfort of indoors.
  • Perform a dramatic retelling of "Twas The Night Before Christmas," putting your own spin on the tale by personalizing it with family names or activities. Or, help the kids practice and perfom their own version.
There are no rules to establishing traditions - just think of what your family loves and find a way to make it special and unique. What traditions do you already have in place with your family?