If the idea of hosting a Passover Seder feels overwhelming, stop and take a deep breath.
We’ve got some resources that should make it much easier for you – and more fun.
Passover 2016 is from sunset on Friday, April 22 through nightfall, Saturday, April 30
Start by imagining what kind of Seder would work for your family.
Our family is an interfaith group that has about 45 minutes of Seder in them – not including dinner – before there’s a rebellion. (I lead the Seder. So I watch the body language to get a sense of how I’m doing.) I’ve learned this. From trial and error.
Make the guest list
Then make a list of whom you’ll invite. Sometimes the group of guests will help direct other decisions you make, like the length of Seder, foods you serve, and formality of the setting.
If your father-in-law is coming and will lead the Seder, for example, will that set the tone?
The number of guests might also inform how you have to set up. Can you fit around your dining room table or do you need to add extra tables?
Are you more formal or less? Even when we were first married, my husband and I knew we weren’t silver-and-china kind of people. That has never changed.
We use our white plates on a solid tablecloth with floral cloth napkins that we save especially for Passover. And we try not to exceed a number that will work with the quirky Seder reenactment we do – because everyone needs to get up from the table and move from room to room.
For many families, though, the norm is 20+ people at long tables. We know of someone who purchased her home specifically to be able to host a huge Passover.
Plan the dinner menu
I do pay attention to what kinds of foods will be successful, given the varied ages and backgrounds of people joining us.
We often have a number of little ones, so lots of courses with many plate changes would not be a good decision.
As we describe in “Celebrate Passover: How to Plan a Fun, Simple Seder,” we prepare mini-Seder plates for every guest, including bits of all the ceremonial foods, as well as some nourishment to help us all get through the first part of the Seder.
For ideas on entire menus, search the web for “Passover menu ideas” – and you’ll find over 8,000 links, including Pinterest boards. You’ll know from the sources which are likely to be more complex recipes – and which focus on ease or gluten-free or paleo.
To get helpful, hand-holding advice for the actual meal preparation and Seder preparation, check out our idea-rich 36-page e-book called “Celebrate Passover: How to Plan a Fun, Simple Seder.”
For $4.97, you get a three-part bundle with the digital book and two free MP3 audio tutorials, available for immediate download.
Here’s what one Mom told us:
Ellen Zimmerman’s guide “Celebrate Passover” removes the angst of hosting a Passover Seder and replaces it with warm encouragement, smart tips and easy-to-share educational tidbits. She gave me confidence to host a Seder that focuses on enjoying being with family and creating memories.
Click here to learn more about the audio tutorials.
Don’t need the basics? Check out our Passover Seder Steps Follow-Along game.
I have vivid recollections of various Seders (Sedarim) from over the years. In college. During grad school. With kids. Hosting bigger groups. How about you? What are your memories of Seders past?
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