How we do Passover

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Funny things always seem to happen at my family’s Passover seder each year. Like the time my aunt got wasted, raised her glass, and gave a drunken salute to her sister’s ballz, or the unbelievably embarrassing time my parents played matchmaker with someone who not only lived on the opposite coast but was ten years my junior.

This past Monday, my family kept the shenanigans to a minimum but the revelry was very much intact. I tried to follow along as best I could from my faded blue Maxwell House haggadah, waited for my cue to pass around the water to wash hands (a role I take seriously). I ate entirely too much food, laughed a little too loud, and was only heckled a little bit to eat the egg. It’s fine, really, and I’ll take all the help I can get (ha!).

We had a new little face at the dinner table this year—my cousin’s baby, who turned two on the first night of Passover. That evening, my cousin and his wife made an announcement—that they were expecting their second child. We toasted and cheered and played with the little one, soon to be an older sister.

Sometimes getting together with the family is enough to put me over the edge. And by that I mean, getting together with the family tends to put me over the edge. Thank Buddha for Ativan (kidding, kinda). Anyway, a few glasses of wine later, I’m usually in fine form; pensive and grateful for these lovable weirdos at the dinner table with me.

And so it was this year. I thought about how much we’ve grown as a family. How much we’ve all been through—the musical chairs we’ve played over the years, the traditions that stuck, the marriages that sadly ended, the awkward nuances that only this family understands because, come hell or high water, we are all in on this journey together.

I thought about the baton that would one day pass to the younger generation. Would we make our ancestors proud? Could I host a dinner for this many people one day? Is it possible for me to cook enough food to feed a small army, and what’s the point of serving gefilte fish if everyone turns up their nose anyway?

Does your family celebrate Easter or Passover (or both!). Tell me about some of the traditions in your family.

16 Comments… add one
Beth April 12, 2017, 10:36 AM

Oh I love reading about family traditions and stories! Happy Passover to you! I hear you on family being enough to put you over the edge at times though. We try to split our time between our families for holidays, this year we are doing Easter with both – which will either be great or a disaster. We’ll see which! I know there will be wine which always helps! 🙂

Kim Airhart April 12, 2017, 10:54 AM

Happy Passover to you, sweets! Guess what? I almost spit my coffee out reading the first paragraph of your post. I think I might be in love with your blog and the way you write.
I love reading about people’s families and how their dynamics work. I could write some doozies about my fam.

Tamara April 12, 2017, 1:11 PM

We had our seder last night. Like you, I sit in pensive thoughts, or giggles, thinking about all the quirks and what we’ve all been through. And I mean our family, or the Jewish people as a whole! Perhaps I do need some Ativan or wine.

Jessica Bradshaw April 12, 2017, 2:47 PM

New babies are always a fun addition to the table. I love your traditions. We go to church and then out to lunch after. This year, I am sort of organizing it and am in charge of finding where we will eat. It’s stressful because I am a planer and my in-laws are not, so it’s been crazy. I know the time together will be nice though. Have a great Easter weekend!

Divya April 12, 2017, 2:49 PM

I LOVE learning about other peoples traditions and family gatherings. Everyone does things a bit differently and I’m always curious to see what things stick and what things disappear over time. Thanks for letting us glimpse into your life! <3

ShootingStarsMag April 12, 2017, 4:43 PM

I’m glad you had a nice Passover, even if it does get a bit much being with all the family. I don’t really celebrate anything in a religious sense, but my family does Easter in general. Not much this year – maybe cook out if the weather is nice.


Rachel G April 12, 2017, 6:58 PM

We celebrate Easter–in the USA it was with big family dinners on Easter Sunday. We don’t have that much family to get together with here–but this year I know we’re going to a Good Friday service and I’m not exactly sure what Easter will hold. Holiday get-togethers which truly get ALL of the extended family together are so fun…but they don’t happen so often when everyone lives far apart! Our extended family will all be together for my sister’s wedding in June–that will be quite the event!

alexandra @ my urban family April 12, 2017, 7:54 PM

It’s so fun to hear about other’s holiday plans. We just celebrate Easter – but I’m really looking forward to seeing family on Sunday – and then again a few more times soon. It is kind of nice just having the one day to celebrate though, since we have split families and it ends up being a few days, one with each side.

Dominique April 12, 2017, 8:58 PM

Aw, I love family get together’s! I’m hoping we’ll manage to squeeze in a brunch or dinner sometime this Easter long weekend. Our family isn’t too big on Easter celebrations, but Christmas is a big one for us and at other times of the year we go on family trips together. I’m so glad everyone gets along so well! Hope you have a wonderful Easter break xxx

Trish @ The Trish List April 12, 2017, 10:04 PM

Ohh I loved this! I love hearing about family get togethers and traditions! Sounds like you have a fun living family. Happy Passover! I will be in yoga teacher training on Easter, so no family this year. But maybe in a few weeks!

Lindsay April 13, 2017, 8:23 AM

I loved reading about your family traditions. 🙂
We are heading up north to see Jeff’s dad tomorrow morning and his dad is cooking us Easter dinner on Saturday. It’s his very first (as you know) cooking on his own so he’s a bit excited about it all. And then we’re coming home Sunday night and Monday, I booked off, so we can go have a dinner with her, too. 🙂 I can’t wait.
Short week this week, short one next week. It is certainly good times indeed.

P.S. Your aunt, although embarrassing I’m sure, that is definitely hilarious and something about her you’ll never, ever forget. 😉

lisa thomson April 13, 2017, 6:55 PM

This sounds like a lovely and kind of raucous tradition 🙂 Your family sounds fun, Charlotte. Always a surprise or two, I’m sure. I don’t really celebrate Easter since my children are grown and flown the coup. I recall when my kids were about 5 and 7, they found a box of Easter baskets and decorations. They were pretty confrontational with me when they announced they knew that I was the Easter bunny. My son was downright belligerent. LOL. Have a lovely celebration Charlotte!

Akaleistar April 13, 2017, 8:13 PM

Love reading about your Passover traditions!

catherine gacad April 14, 2017, 1:12 AM

i’ve been to one passover seder and i absolutely loved it. i really love experiences and being able to witness others’ wonderful traditions.

San April 15, 2017, 4:03 PM

I love to hear about families and their traditions and it seems like you are a fun bunch! 🙂

Dean April 17, 2017, 12:46 PM

This post just made me miss Texas. I no longer have that extended family craziness that I *sometimes miss. Right now I’m missing it.
Although, our family of five can sometimes feel like 20. We’re pretty loud and competitive, so game nights are like family nights back in Texas with my loud, loving and rambunctious full family.

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