Self-made traditions are one of the best joys in life. As my girls were growing up, we always enjoyed eating what we call "the curly chips” from the chip bag. These were the chips that folded over during the baking process. We loved the extra crunch they gave, that just couldn’t be beat by layering a few chips together. 

I would put aside some of these curly chips and, when I packed their school lunches, sandwich one chip carefully between a folded napkin inside of a plastic bag. This ensured the chip didn’t break before their lunchtime, and it quickly became a gesture to let my girls know I loved them and was thinking about them.  

One day in years past, I came across a curly chip and decided to mail it to my daughter who was attending a university out of state. I went to the store and found the perfect little box, took it to the post office and found some light weight bubble wrap to keep it safe. It had just enough room to gently hug the ever-so-important curly chip—because the goal was to get the chip to her in its perfect condition. That was the thought in the back of my mind: do not let the chip break! For this was the real gift; the gift of extra thought, and extra love, which makes the chip’s journey the real message.

Nowadays, an unbroken curly chip saved for a family member or friend is the ultimate way we show love and affection. It can have no rough edges or imperfections along its edge. It must be in perfect curly shape and form. When I get my new bag of chips the first thing I do is search for a few curly chips. I set them aside and begin deciding who I am going to give them to.

After you do this a few times, everyone catches on, and you soon see curly chips appearing around you. My daughter’s best friend sometimes texts her a picture of a curly chip—and the thought works just the same. This gives us such a simple, easy way to spread our positive energy. The person who receives this curly chip can't help but smile and feel good.