How to Preserve Easter Traditions During Coronavirus
Birth2Work Curriculum Director, mother, grandmother
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This is a year of change for families in this country and around the world. In previous years, this week has always been celebrated with family and steeped in Easter traditions based on family beliefs and religion. Just last year, millions of families gathered together during this Holy Week for the Passover Seder meal or for Easter dinner following Sunday services. Members of all beliefs have their own sacred times to come together with symbolic foods and ceremonies that have been family rituals for generations.
This year, we will need to rethink the way we honor our holiday traditions. Even though most of our houses of worship are closed we can watch services online like these from the Archdiocese of New York.
We can also still have sacred services at home. Home is where values and beliefs are modeled, taught, and practiced. All of our personality and social behaviors were developed through daily interactions with our parents, grandparents, and caregivers during our formative years. We learned to honor their traditions and beliefs through years, and perhaps even decades, of family holiday gatherings.
One of my first memories was a big, white coconut-covered cake that my grandmother made for Easter dinner. I remember my grandparents and great-grandparents being there at most of our family celebrations in my early years.
As time went by and older generations passed away, our traditions helped to remind us of those who were no longer there but left us to carry on their sacred family rituals. Most parents continue the celebrations of family that they learned in their youth and plan to pass them on to their children and grandchildren.
Adjust Easter Traditions or Make New Ones
Now that things are very different and most of us are working and learning at home, we can use those same methods of interconnectivity this week to reach out to our family members and our extended family. We can honor our Easter traditions by sharing them through Zoom connections or with FaceTime. Start the conversation with some amazing kid-friendly Easter-themed jokes like this.
Instead of lamenting traditions that aren’t possible this year you can also make some new traditions! Below are some of our favorite cookbooks and memory journals for family gatherings this week and beyond:
To record treasured family recipes for future generations
For comforting food in stressful times
To help support your children in cooking with the family
For a fresh take on comfort foods for the family
In most beliefs, the concept of serving others is very important. As we stay at home alone or with our families, we are putting others first by foregoing interactions with other people in an effort to mitigate the spread of this pandemic. Our hope is also to help keep vital healthcare professionals safer by slowing the spread of the virus. This is one way that we can try to be a positive force during this very dangerous time.
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