I love Pesach, and I love Seder nights. (Some people call me crazy, but I think I’m one of the few people who prefer doing Pesach in the United States so I get to do two seders, instead of just one in Israel!) However! It can be very, very stressful to plan, host, organize, serve, cook, prepare, and clean up a Seder (let alone two!). So, what should you do if you want to minimize the amount of stress you’re having if you’re hosting a Seder or two this year? Well, one option might be to go on a kosher Passover vacation, where they have dining rooms and delicious catered food, and then the only part of the seder you’ll have to worry about is who’s sitting next to whom! However, in case you’re staying at home, here are a few helpful tips for reducing the stress in your Seders:
- DELEGATE. This one seems obvious in theory, but it can often be very difficult in practice. My instinct (and I’m sure many others out there have the same instinct themselves) is to try to do everything myself. This can give a sense of control and command, but it often comes at the cost of increased stress and worry and an outsized sense of responsibility. So try to get everyone involved! Trust other people to help out with other parts of Seder preparation, whether it’s something big like the recipe for the beef or something small like making the place cards. Find age-appropriate tasks for little children to help with. You should keep an eye on it to make sure no one is going too far astray, but getting more people involved is a good way to reduce stress!
- PLAN OUT THE SHIFTS. I remember a Seder a few years ago when everyone helped a little bit at the early parts of the Seder, but when cleanup (and dishwashing!) time rolled around, everyone already felt like they had done their part. Everyone was full of food and wine, and was tired, and either wanted to continue with the singing (right after dessert) or go straight to bed (late at night when the seder was finally over). But someone still needs to wash the dishes! So divide up the labor upfront when you can, and organize it so that one or two people aren’t stuck with all the dishes at the end (or whatever the least enviable chore is at your house). Another helpful tip is to rotate between the two Seders, so different people have different tasks on each night. It’s a small thing, but it can definitely make your Seder planning less stressful!
- HAVE FUN! It’s supposed to be a fun night and a celebration of freedom, so don’t get too nervous in the first place! It’s not a formal and fancy dinner party, it’s a night (or nights) full of singing and family and thanking Hashem for all His wonders. Try to keep the happy mood of the night in mind, even if it might seem stressful at the moment.
Staying hope to celebrate Pesach doesn’t have to be stressful, but if you want to eliminate all stress involved, you may want to consider taking a Passover vacation for you and your family. If you decide not to stay home this year contact Leisure Time Tours to plan your perfect Pesach vacation!