Lives disrupted, many churches and synagogues closed…life as we know it is dramatically different this year as we prepare for these important holidays. But while in-person religious services may be cancelled, Easter and Passover definitely are not. There’s always a plan B.
We can’t gather the way we would like, but one way or another, we can – and should – celebrate with loved ones.
I don’t know about you, but I am unwilling to let this crazy virus ruin what is usually my favorite time of year. It’s time to think outside the box. I admit I am not particularly motivated to begin the preparations as I grieve the loss of our usual traditions – however, I know I can create new ones, at least for this year. My revised menu is much less elaborate than in the past, and though modified to feed three instead of twenty, planned with the same love of family and friends as always. Anyway, it’s not about the food – it’s about sharing the holiday together.
Keep in mind:
Family is not cancelled.
Friends are not cancelled.
Singing is not cancelled.
Laughing is not cancelled.
Most importantly, hope is not cancelled. Let’s love, support and motivate each other through this difficult time.
Tips to host a warm and wonderful celebration while quarantined
Whichever holiday you celebrate, Easter or Passover, you can connect with your guests online.
Schedule a zoom meeting with your guests
How to host a zoom meeting
How to join a zoom meeting
Send an invitation to guests via text or email in advance.
The host can invite the guests and make sure everyone knows how to connect. Since no space limitations exist for online participants, remember to include people in your event who perhaps are not normally at your table, but might be isolated and need support. Walk them through the online setup if they need help.
- Include the menu and recipes with the invitation so you can virtually share the same meal if you like.With all the panic shopping, you may not be able to get everything you want and need – that’s OK. Get what you can and improvise the rest.
Put on your pretty clothes
Dress up as you normally would for the holiday to make the day a little more special (at least from the waist up…no one will know if you don’t wear pants!)
Worship through technology
Many places of worship are streaming their services and/or Seders online. Join your congregation virtually.
Specific for Easter
Easter is one of the most religious and highly observed holidays on the Christian calendar. Services are often followed by a family meal and fun activities for the kids. No reason you can’t still do an egg hunt in the house or in the yard as long as everyone observes the social distancing rules! Also, many activities are available online such as an online egg hunt, Easter egg coloring and Easter crossword puzzles. More games for the whole family found here!
Specific for Passover
A Passover Seder requires some advance organization due to the unique foods and traditions observed during this time.
A few helpful suggestions:
***Send out the Haggadah in advance to ensure everyone has the same one. Hagadahs are available online from various organizations: examples are Chabad.org and jewishboston.com. Feeling creative? Make your own at haggadot.com.
***The leader can call on the person who reads next, just as you would “go around the table” at an in-person Seder
***You may not have all the special items needed for this holiday. No worries, you can make due. For example, if you don’t have a Seder plate at your house, use a regular plate. Draw or download a picture of a shank bone, which can be hard to find under normal circumstances. Squish trail mix into a charoset-like paste if you don’t have the real thing.
***Don’t be stingy on the wine (and you can use whatever you have in the house this year) – we don’t judge
The uncertainty is temporary
If these past few weeks already feel like 40 years of wandering in the desert, remember this too shall pass. We will get through this difficult situation by pulling together as a community.
Focus on what’s important.
Show the love.
Your holiday will look different this year. And that’s OK.