How to Preserve Easter and Passover Traditions in the Age of COVID-19

I want to confess something, which is a good start for a Catholic during Holy Week.  My confession is I love spring holidays.  It has to do with growing up in Pennsylvania where the winters are long and dreary.  The first signs of spring, you got it, daffodils and other tubers were such a welcome sight.  The smell of the earth following an April rain was glorious.  Now I live if Florida, these memories are even sweeter (and probably a bit embellished by the passage of time and distance).

I do not mean to sound like a Hallmark channel holiday movie.  I am trying to conquer up happier times and memories as we live through our Stay at Home orders.  Most of us are consumed with updates on COVID-19 and how the ‘curve’ is responding.  Planning and anticipating the spring holidays is the distraction we need.  Here are my five recommendations for bringing joy to our celebrations:

Visit at a distance

Our vulnerable loved ones would love to see your smiling face.  I know that some nursing homes and assisted living facilities will schedule family visits.  How?  You bring your lawn chairs and sit at a safe distance in the parking lot while your family member comes out to visit.  In some cases that visit may have to be at the person’s window so be prepared and flexible.  You can do the same in your own neighborhood.  Be together but stay separate.

Keep the same holiday schedule

Wake up for a sunrise service on TV.  Check with your faith community ahead of time to see when and how they are broadcasting services and participate. Keep the Passover traditions by conducting Seder rituals.

Plan and prepare the holiday meals together

In fact, you can make the season favorites ahead of time and deliver them to your loved one’s porch for a surprise. No doubt, many of us are living with a limited pantry right now. Please know that food assistance is available in most communities.

Send cards and other greetings to substitute for the hugs and kisses you remember

I know that I treasure the homemade cards and arts & crafts.  These deliveries bring moments of joy to those feeling lonely and isolated.

Arrange an online and/or smartphone family call

You are making glue that holds your family together. Reach out and share a smile and stories of life in your own home with your family.   Why not schedule the call while everyone is enjoying their holiday meal to enhance the holiday spirit.

These are not the only options for a modified holiday.  Send me a note with your creative ideas for celebrating the holidays at info@reunioncare.com.  If you send a photo, I will post it on the CreditForCaring Facebook page (with your permission of course).  Happy Spring, Happy Easter and Happy Passover Holiday.  Stay together while staying apart.