In all honesty, the only time of year I truly feel like “the more the merrier” is Passover. I invite colleagues and neighbors and people who have never been to a Seder and people I take Pilates with and anyone who is nice and even vaguely interested. Passover is my absolute favorite holiday and I want to share it with everyone.
Cooking for my first hosted Passover Seder in college was a real turning point for me. Not only was my prep day the first time I skipped a class in college (please do not dwell on the extreme dorkiness of that fact), but the whole planning/cooking/hosting experience of that Seder convinced me that food should be my thing in life. So since that moment, Passover has always been a big deal for me, and I’ve managed to distill a few of my best little tidbits of advice.
Always invite at least one person who has never been to a Seder. This is a really special way to experience your traditions and the story of Passover anew.
Always have plenty of fun spring flowers — now is the time to buy a little clutch of sweet peas or a few mini daffodils.
Though reading the Haggadah (the text that guides you through the seder) is bound to take a while, leave time and space during the reading and meal to discuss current events that mirror the story of Passover and anything else that comes up.
Make your Passover plate yours by adding symbols that speak to you and your family. We always add an orange to act as a reminder for those who may be marginalized in the Jewish community (and beyond).
Buy wine you enjoy drinking. Wine is an important part of the Passover Seder so don’t rely on an overly sweet classic to tide you over during the four customary glasses.
As with any successful hosting event… delegate! Ask guests to bring things that were traditional in their Seders growing up. (I scored with an addition of beet horseradish last year because of this rule! Woohoo!) Keep it relaxed, but ask for specific things (i.e., dessert, a salad, condiments).
What are your Passover traditions? I’d love to hear your stories!