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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Ianko

How to Spend Easter in Isolation? Adapting Tradition to Social Distancing

With quarantine, self-isolation, and other restrictions on movement, people are looking for new ways to observe the spring holidays. These include family-only egg hunts, online Easter church services, new takes on Easter baskets, virtual Passover dinners, and more.

Despite the recommendations, some people are planning to get together with their extended family. This will not help contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Here are some ways to adapt tradition to social distancing that will.

A New Take on Easter Baskets

We’ll start with Easter baskets, one of the most famous traditions associated with this holiday, and the topic of basket fillers. This Easter, why not place a roll of toilet paper in the basket and let your family’s imagination take over?

You’re bound to come up with hilarious ideas for goodies for your loved ones. This year, fill baskets with outdoor activities and games for the whole family.

If you’re not creative types, check to see if a local business is offering pick-up baskets or just buy some chocolates.

Easter Greetings

Previously, we offered greetings in person. This year, we can do so by mail. If you have watercolors or markers at home (buy some if you don’t), use them to create encouraging letters for friends and family, health workers, and teachers.

You might know the new coronavirus can linger on surfaces like metal and plastic for up to 72 hours. Studies have shown it can’t survive on cardboard for more than 24 hours. What does this mean? Mail and packages are quite safe unless the carrier doesn’t follow safety guidelines.

How can We Dress up This Year?

Don’t worry – you can still dress up for Easter. Many photographers are taking pictures of families at their front door from a distance. There is no difference in the quality or the experience. If you can’t afford a professional photographer, get your kids to set up a tripod for a nice holiday picture.

Dressing up is an important tradition, especially at this time of a pandemic. It’s much better to observe it than to get depressed over having to stay in your pajamas.

Host a Virtual Gathering

You can use apps like Zoom to get together with your extended family and have a meal and a drink. Your kids can see their relatives. You can play games together. It’s just like being with them in real life without having to clean up after your extended family afterwards. You will still enjoy their company and be able to have conversations.

A Spin on Dyeing Easter Eggs

You can experiment with marbling and natural dyes. You can also get simple dyeing kits from the supermarket. Alternatively, you could take part in a virtual egg decorating contest.

Attend an Online Service

Look for a drive-in or online church service in your area if you have no intention on missing service on Easter Sunday.

New Take on the Egg Hunt

You might have heard that a neighbor is organizing an Easter egg hunt. The COVID-conscious take on the traditional egg hunt involves people hanging pictures of Easter eggs on their windows or front door.

Walk your kids around the neighborhood to see which houses have eggs. If the responsibility seems too much, take turns doing this with your partner or spouse. Your kids can keep track of how many they discover without physically touching them because the eggs are numbered. They just write the numbers down.

Reinventing Holy Week

Holy Week starts in the week preceding Palm Sunday and includes Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper, Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. This year, churches are commemorating these events via online services. Another option is Stations of the Cross, through which people walk maintaining a safe distance from one another.

This should be obvious, but it isn’t: a safe distance is 6 feet from other people in EACH direction. Some people think the measures apply only in a forward and backward direction, but the virus can travel sideways too.

The More Things Change…

How do we reinvent Holy Week? This is a period of contemplation. It is at this time that we typically give rein to feelings of sorrow and isolation and allow ourselves to express them. 2020 is a great year to do this – when has isolation ever been more relevant? Holy Week gives us space and time to let the waves of emotion wash over us.

Holy Week is also a good time to embrace solitude. You could put your thoughts on paper, writing a prayer of anger or of regret. Your children may need time and space to express their feelings too. They need to know that there is no right or wrong way to feel. It’s OK for them to be sad about not seeing their friends, but happy about not having to go to school.

Honoring Passover Virtually

Is their any way to honor Passover Seder virtually? According to experts, to Jews Seder is about taking part in the actual service from start to finish. The Seder is an occasion, on which extended families and guests typically get together. You can celebrate it on Zoom with relatives who may be in different states or countries.

Not having to prepare must-have Passover foods can be an advantage. Simply order traditional Seder fare like charoset, matzoh, herbs, onions, and radish. According to a CNN report, groceries and food deliveries are quite safe during the outbreak. Check for lists of possible substitutes if you can’t find these exact foods.

Families hosting virtual Passover celebrations can decide which people will read the questions and the roles to be taken on by different family members, among other things.

Final Thoughts

You are sure to find new ways to cultivate and celebrate hope as you reinvent cherished Easter traditions amid the pandemic. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment. You’ll have more time in 2020 to dive into conventional Easter and Lenten activities like baking, gardening, and spring cleaning. With school-age kids at home, why not transform these into home economics lessons?

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