Family traditions are one of my favorite things – the rituals, the memories, the nostalgic feelings of family traditions provide me so much joy. I was raised in a Catholic family and we celebrated holidays in a big way. All the major holidays were big deals in my family and celebrated way more than birthdays, so holidays are super important to me. One of my favorite things about my husband is that he is Jewish, and I have spent the last 7 years not only getting to celebrate the major holidays I grew up with but also celebrating all the Jewish holidays. I was pretty familiar with Hanukkah and even Rosh Hashanah, but full disclosure, I knew nothing about Passover. I vividly remember going to my future brother and sister-in-law’s house for Passover the first time. I was super excited to attend and learn about all the traditions of Passover. I won’t lie – I was also intimidated because I was hosting Passover the second night to a big crowd, and somewhat terrified about that experience. Ok fine – I was more than terrified. I sat at the table soaking it all in, completely mesmerized by all the prayers, songs, new to me foods, the wine (so much wine), and all the traditions. I also fell even more in love with matzo ball soup that night.
A Newbie Hosts Passover
We got home after the first night and my husband had to give me a pep talk that I would be fine, and I am overthinking this (per usual). He went to pull out a seder plate which I didn’t even know we had and said don’t forget to use this and he went to bed because he had to be up before dawn. I think I stayed up until about 2 AM doing research on all things Passover so I didn’t feel so clueless. I may not be an expert on Passover, but I am an expert on hosting a dinner party. My favorite thing about hosting a dinner party is using all my fancy china, glassware, linens, and making beautiful floral centerpieces. Setting the table is my favorite part and I am meticulous about it. It brings me so much joy, especially for Passover when you can use all those beautiful Spring colors.
I don’t slave away in the kitchen all day or stress about food at all because we order all of our holiday meals from Catering by Michaels. I love to cook, but there is nothing better than hosting a big holiday and not having to grocery shop, meal plan, time everything out, start cooking days before and be stuck in the kitchen all day. The food gets delivered right to my door and the only thing I worry about is what time to put everything in the oven. If you have never ordered catering for a major holiday, I highly recommend it. My first Passover was a great success, I set up the Seder plate with all the appropriate things and had my husband handle all the prayers and traditions.
The food was delicious, and everyone had a great time. For me, holidays are all about spending time with those you love and being together, and you can’t mess that up, even if I am still a little nervous about the Passover traditions.
Holidays in a COVID-19 World
Last year, we didn’t do anything for Passover because we were at the beginning of the pandemic and there was way too much unknown. This year, while we still won’t have a big celebration with our family and friends, we do plan to celebrate the two of us, just like we did for Thanksgiving, Christmas & Hanukkah last year.
We think it is still so important to celebrate even if in a small and mighty way. Instead of setting my big table this year, I will set our kitchen island up with our best china, flatware, and glassware for two and of course beautiful floral centerpieces, and we will order the small group dinner package from Catering by Michaels. We will zoom with our friends and family and toast to this hopefully being the last holiday apart from those we love most.