How to Host Your First Passover Seder

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Growing up, Passover was never my favorite holiday. It meant a time-consuming dinner where I would have to wait a long time before actually getting to eat, followed by a week of not being allowed consume any of my favorite foods. It wasn’t until I went to college and had to spend Passover away from home for the first time that I realized how important the holiday really was to me. Of course, the holiday has a lot of religious significance. But what I missed the most was being with my family and getting to take part in our Passover Seder traditions.

Sometimes, however, it’s just not possible to go home for Passover. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite traditions, though. Even if you can’t make it home for Passover, you can still host your own Seder and celebrate those traditions you love. Plus, you might even make some new ones. This year I’ll be hosting my first Passover Seder. Read on for tips on how to host a Seder you won’t forget!

Step One: Decide Your Guest List

Passover Seder
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So you’ve decided to host a Passover Seder—awesome! It can seem super daunting to put together such a large and complex meal by yourself, but if you plan it in advance you’ll be able to get everything done in a timely manner. Your first step is to decide whom you want to invite. If you have Jewish friends living in your area that’s a great place to start, but don’t worry if you don’t. You can still ask your non-Jewish friends if they’d be interested in seeing what a Passover Seder is like. Chances are they’ll be happy to learn more about your traditions and won’t turn down a nice meal!

*This article contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated for any purchase made by clicking on them. Thank you for supporting Miss Millennia Magazine!*

Step Two: Plan Your Meal

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Once you’ve got a guest list you can figure out how much food you need to make. Then you can start a shopping list. If you’re worried about the time it’ll take to make everything or the cost of all of the food, ask your friends if they’d be willing to bring a dish! There’s nothing wrong with a potluck-style Passover Seder, as long as the foods are all unleavened. Plus with a potluck, you’ll be able to try some great new food.

If you’re stuck deciding what to make for your main meal, why not ask a relative for their favorite Passover recipe? That way you can have a taste of home at your Seder, even if you can’t actually be home. If no one has a recipe that appeals to you, you can check out a Jewish cookbook for ideas, like this one on Amazon. Don’t stress too much about the specific dish. It doesn’t have to be what you always eat on Passover if that dish seems too daunting. As long as you enjoy it, that’s what matters. And who knows, you could be starting a whole new tradition!

Step Three: Start Cooking the Day Before

passover seder
via Pexels

The key to not getting too stressed about cooking everything is to start the day before the Seder. Anything that will keep well in the fridge can be made in advance. That way you can split up the cooking. You don’t want your kitchen to get too overwhelmed in one day. Then, you can stay relaxed on the day of. Enlist some friends or roommates to help you cook as well. That will turn all of the cooking into much less of a chore and you’ll make plenty of great memories while doing so.

If no one is available to help out, try Skyping or calling a relative while cooking. That’s an easy way to keep your family involved in your Passover plans even if you can’t physically be with them for the Passover Seder. Plus, they can offer tips while you cook!

Step Four: Decide What Prayers to Include Before the Passover Seder

passover seder
via Pixabay

Every family does their Seder differently. Some families read everything in their Haggadah, while others stick only to the highlights. When you host your own Passover Seder, you get to choose exactly what you want to include. Figure out beforehand what parts are most important to you. That way, you won’t have to worry about making decisions the night of the Seder. And since you’re making the decisions, you’ll know exactly how long it will take before you get to eat!

Also, don’t stress if you don’t have your own Haggadahs. If you can’t borrow some from a family member, there are a few different online options you can use. This one has the prayers in Hebrew with the rest in English, while this one is all in English. There are also some inexpensive Haggadahs you can order off of Amazon if you’d like. It doesn’t really matter what kind of Haggadah you end up using, as long as it’s meaningful to you!

Step Five: Don’t Stress Too Much About Everything Being Perfect

passover seder
via Pixabay

Let’s just be honest with ourselves. If it’s your first time hosting a Passover Seder, it’s not going to be perfect. Even if it were your twentieth time hosting a Passover Seder it wouldn’t be perfect. If you’ve ever been around people putting together their Seder before, you’ll know that things don’t always go according to plan. So try not to stress too much about everything being perfect. As long as you’re sharing your meal with people you care about, that’s all that really matters. I promise nobody’s opinion of you is going to change if your chicken turns out slightly burnt or your voice cracks on one of the blessings. It might even provide you with a funny story one day!

Step Six: Enjoy Your Passover Seder

Congratulations, you just put together a successful Passover Seder. No matter how it turns out, you can be happy knowing that you brought people together for a meal that means something. Enjoy the food, the tradition, and the people you’re with.

It can be stressful putting together your first Passover Seder. But if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to planning a successful night that will be filled with fond memories, meaning, and good food. Chag Sameach!

*This article contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated for any purchase made by clicking on them. Thank you for supporting Miss Millennia Magazine!*

Resources: Jewish Federation, Chabad

How to Host Your Own Passover Seder

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