Passover has always held such a special place in my heart because it was the one holiday every year where our family all gathered together in celebration. The tables were always larger for Passover than any other holiday, and it was comforting to celebrate with family and friends that we didn’t get to see as often during the rest of the year.
Last year when Passover arrived, we were just a few weeks into quarantine life and our zoom Seder really didn’t give me the same warm feelings that our family’s in-person Seders had in the past. So this year, I have made extra effort to bring more holiday spirit into our home as we get ready to celebrate Passover, even if we are still missing a few family members and friends around the table.
The first thing I made sure I did was to bring out all of our Passover books to read with my little ones. We have collected quite the pile of favorite books, and I was pleased to find many more holiday stories at our local library. Each night before bed, I read a story or two to share a bit of the holiday spirit with my kids. Reading is one of my favorite ways to teach them about the holiday and what types of rituals, foods and customs they have to look forward to,f from finding the afikomen to eating lots of matzah and putting our chametz (leavened bread products like cereal and muffins) away until the holiday is over.
Having my kids help out in cleaning out the chametz, by the way, has been a great way to talk about what we can and cannot eat during Passover. In our home, we try to put all of the foods that we aren’t supposed to eat away and stock our pantry with kosher for Passover foods so that it is convenient to grab what we can eat and makes choosing snacks or meals that much easier.
I also love having the kids help me make some of the kosher for Passover meals and treats. I always have better luck at getting them to eat new foods when they help make them. Together we make batches of Passover rolls, matzah granola, egg and veggie muffins and, their favorite, chocolate toffee matzah. Having them help me prep all of this also helps makes meal times much smoother.
Another way I add some special touches to the holiday is by decorating. Each holiday, I pull out some of the items we use to put on display. For Passover, I pull out our Seder plate and wine cup along with our matzah covers and any artwork that our kids have made for the holiday. This year, my kids helped me decorate a beautiful table runner, wine bottle label and napkin rings using materials and direction from an art kit we received from Oops I Crafted. My little ones are so proud to have their artwork displayed in our home and on our table during the Seder. It really makes them feel a part of the holiday preparation and makes them excited to begin celebrating.
So while our Passover Seder might still look a bit different this year, I know that it will be filled with warmth and new memories of our time spent together creating holiday magic.