Kids & Family

3 Holiday Traditions You Can Still Celebrate Despite Coronavirus Rules

It's a time of year when we all want to be together. So now what?




It's kinda weird. Easter and Passover are the holiest religious holidays of the year, a time for worship, and spending time with family and friends. And yet we can't do any of those things this year because of the shelter-at-home and social distancing rules of the coronavirus pandemic.


Or can we? It's important to try and maintain some normalcy says Audrey McClelland, mom of five and former cast member of TLC's parenting show What She Said. "This is going to be the Easter that (our children) remember for the rest of their lives," she told USAToday "We need to make this special."

Worship

Few if any churches or synagogues are open. But many houses of worship are turning to the internet, social media, and even video conferencing to bring people together.

Churches may be empty, but many are offering online services.Debby Hudson

My church has been hosting church services on our Facebook page for the past month, and there will be Easter worship too. Chances are if you go to your favorite church's or temple's Facebook page, you'll find a service or mass online.

If you have clergy in your family, maybe you could try a Zoom service. That's how my Sparkt colleague Jenn's family celebrated Shabbat last Friday, with live streaming from the synagogue where her cousin is a Rabbi.


Family Meals


Jenn's family also used Zoom to have a family get together Wednesday night, just before the Seder meal that's the traditional start of the seven days of Passover.


Even Jenn's 94-year old grandmother, who lives alone, was able to get on. "We struggled a bit to get her on Zoom initially but she is perfect at joining now," Jenn explained. "She is super sharp and was so happy to see her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren!"

Jenn's family didn't attempt to have a group Seder meal on Zoom. But she did use the internet to prepare the meal herself for the first time.

Jenn & her boyfriend shared the Seder meal and its six foods with symbolic meaning.

New York party planner Seri Kertzner says it's not out of question to try a Zoom Easter dinner from multiple locations. "You maybe all sit down and eat together, and you have a computer at your table," she told USAToday. "You would never in a million years do that, right? But this case is different. That's a way to invite your family into your table."

Would video conferencing Easter dinner from multiple houses work for your family?

Of course a Zoom Easter meal would never work in my family because we all talk at the same time. But Kertzner says it could be successfull if you pick a moderator and everyone agrees to speak one at a time.

Easter Egg Hunts


An Easter egg hunt would be the ultimate violation of social distancing with dozens of kids diving all over each other to grab as many eggs as possible.


An outdoor public Easter egg hunt is a no-no this year.Denisse Leon

Event company owner Erin Sprinkel says if there are kids in your house, this is the year to go overboard with an indoor egg hunt. If it's just you and your significant other, hide eggs filled with love notes and ideas for things you'll do together post-quarantine.


My neighborhood is having a "safe" egg hunt, and you could do it too. You simply color large paper Easter eggs and put them in your windows. Then families in the neighborhood can go for a walk and look for them.


Invite your neighbors to put colored pictures of Easter eggs in their windows for passersby to find.

Jodi Durr, who runs the Christian-focused parenting blog Meaningful Mama, also reminds us not to forget about people in retirement and nursing homes who might need to connect during this time, whether by phone or videoconference. She says Easter can offer hope to Christians during this pandemic.

"Easter is the celebration of Jesus' resurrection after His death for our sin," Durr said in a statement to USAToday. "This year has only reaffirmed the hope we have no matter how dark things seem; as He proved Easter morning, He is the light amidst and after the darkness."
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