The celebration begins the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. Or whenever Easter Sunday is. Gather hours before sundown for cheese and mixed drinks. Don’t be shy with the vodka.
Confiscate the Easter basket from the children and explain that, absolutely not, two chocolate bunny ears and one white chocolate egg does not a dinner make. Offer more mixed drinks. Check the Seder Ham. Worry that it resembles the diseased organ in heart transplant surgery.
Return to guests. Referee an argument in process over whether rennet-free cheese contains fewer calories. Top off the mixed drinks. Seder the Ham check.
Suddenly remember your planned side dish and race to the stove to begin sautéing Easter potato latkes. Spoon the potato batter into the greased skillet in perfectly consistent circles. Open the porch door to release the smell of burnt oil.
Notice the sun has dropped behind your neighbor’s house. Explain to your guests that you don’t give a rat’s arse about that fussy Seder at sundown custom because those people probably didn’t have electricity, let alone two standing lamps from Pottery Barn.
Hurry the process along by carelessly pouring latke batter into the skillet, unleashing shapes that resemble the western territories. Tell your husband to finish carving the Seder ham or his Jewish ass is grass.
Complete the latkes and settle around the table. Begin reading the Haggadah. Note the jacket cover is pink and looks like it was purchased at K-Mart.
Remove a piece of matzoh from your linen Pier One matzoh cover and break it in half. Return one half to its cover and hide the other half for the children to find after dinner. As the oldest member of the family, assign
your father the task of asking the four questions to the youngest family member:
- Why is this night different from all other nights?
- Why do we eat bitter herbs?
- Why do we dip our herbs twice?
- Why does the Easter Bunny schlep those heavy baskets when he weighs aproximately a pound?
Dip the parsley in — wait — suddenly remember you never removed the parsley from the fridge. Efficiently correct for your mistake by placing the sandy parsley directly on the Seder table. Dip the parsley in salt water to remind us of the tears of the Jewish slaves. And also to remind us why we only tolerate salt water mixed with parsley once a year.
Serve the ham and latkes and charoset. Explain to your relatives that the reason the charoset apples taste so plain is that you found the recipe in the 30-Minute Seder cookbook but you only had five minutes so you neglected to add the cinnamon. Or the walnuts. Or the wine.
Eat roasted eggs and bang shank bones and pass the mint jelly for the ham.
Pour four glasses of wine to represent the four stages of the exodus. Pour a fifth cup of wine and place it on the Seder table as an offering for the Prophet Elijah. Pour a sixth and seventh glass of wine for you and your now cross-eyed mother.
Return the wine bottle to its position on the table and realize you’ve just crushed all the matzoh piled underneath. Screw the unleavened bread deal, return to the kitchen and emerge with Potato Rolls and salted butter.
When the meal is complete, send the children to find the hidden piece of matzoh. And the plastic hollow eggs from CVS with jelly beans inside. Brew a pot of coffee and distribute Cadbury Cream Eggs and discuss Uncle Harry’s outpatient toenail removal.
Happy Easter and a very Chag Pesach Sameach.
Alwyn saysApril 10, 2009 at 7:46 am
I have been to this Easter Seder, I think. Brilliant.
kristin saysApril 10, 2009 at 7:49 am
One of the many things that sort of blows about being an adult (and moving far, far way from your mother): No one to make an Easter basket for you. I make them for my husband and my MiL, and I always get some stuff for me so at least I still have the chocolate, but no one is putting together my basket and hiding it for me to find on Easter morning.
I miss my mommy.
Me saysApril 10, 2009 at 8:11 am
kidsmom saysApril 10, 2009 at 8:35 am
Slice of life. (clapping)
Lizzy saysApril 10, 2009 at 8:35 am
This is the very reason I can’t be Jewish. Waaaay too many rules and not enough room in my wine soaked brain to retain them.
The Domestic Goddess saysApril 10, 2009 at 8:42 am
Now, THAT’S the way to blend tradition! Ham during the sedar!
Seriously? Awesome fun.
vuboq saysApril 10, 2009 at 9:16 am
Your Seder/Easter dinners sound a LOT more fun than the ones I’ve been to …
Carrie saysApril 10, 2009 at 9:38 am
I love this! ! I can so relate to your children, as I have a jewish father and a christian mother. Holidays were always very interesting in my house growing up!
Momo Fali saysApril 10, 2009 at 9:41 am
I went ahead and had an eighth glass…just because.
dexter saysApril 10, 2009 at 9:44 am
that is nothing like my family sedar. I may convert to Bossyism and come to your house next year.
karen l saysApril 10, 2009 at 9:52 am
Ah – Tradition! All blended nicely with yes I think I’d like a little more wine thank you.
Well Read Hostess saysApril 10, 2009 at 10:01 am
After that much wine I wouldn’t be surprised if Elijah actually did walk in and have himself a seat and a big old slice of Seder Ham.
I’m wondering if it’s possible for your daughter to look any more like you. She seems to have mastered the Bossy slightly narrowed eye half smile stare quite beautifully. Watch your back, Bossy! She’s gaining on you!
Emily saysApril 10, 2009 at 10:18 am
Did I see the words Seder Ham?
g saysApril 10, 2009 at 10:27 am
What, no jelly beans????
Cat saysApril 10, 2009 at 10:33 am
I’ve been internet-free for almost a week, and I thought it wasn’t really so bad until I read this and realized how boring life is without my daily Bossy fix!
Meg saysApril 10, 2009 at 11:00 am
Wow, it’s all interfaith and ecumenical and stuff! I’ll be sure to print this for a Handy Reference Guide on Sunday.
Prof. J saysApril 10, 2009 at 11:11 am
Seder HAM? I’m guessing you’re Reform.
GoddessKristin saysApril 10, 2009 at 11:13 am
I thought my parents were the only one who held an Easter egg hunt until I was well into college. So glad to see Bossy’s son on the hunt! We’re holding our first egg hunt for my daughter this year (she couldn’t walk last) and I cannot wait to carry on the tradition! After all, as Bossy so aptly shows, tradition is what you make of it!
Rattling the Kettle saysApril 10, 2009 at 11:27 am
My head hurts.
stephanie saysApril 10, 2009 at 11:29 am
OMG, I’m stressed out now. But that was really funny.
joeinvegas saysApril 10, 2009 at 11:40 am
Oh, hadn’t heard about poor Uncle Harry, so sorry.
DemMom saysApril 10, 2009 at 11:58 am
On the Easter bunny carrying the baskets question: my dad always told us that he drove an 18 wheeler. So that’s what I’ve told my kids. I think he learned a lesson from Santa a few months earlier.
Jenn @ Juggling Life saysApril 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm
If only the rest of the world had this attitude about religion I think that we might finally have peace on earth.
Meredith saysApril 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm
I think this may be my favorite Bossy post ever. As a kid raised by a Jewish mother and Protestant father we celebrated everything. We’ve had a couple of Chrismukkah’s where pork loin was served with a side of noodle pudding and found driedels in the stockings. Happy East-over to you and yours!
Cactus Petunia saysApril 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm
Now that’s what I call an all-American way to celebrate the holidays!
foolery saysApril 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm
Some day I want to attend a Seder. Seriously. But until then I feel as if I already have. Thanks for the play-by-play!
Coco saysApril 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm
I am confused. I thought that Jews did not eat ham/pork. Isn’t this a Jewish thing…Seder?
dexter saysApril 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm
Until I was about 10, my parents told me the Easter candy was delivered by some guy named “Sheldon the Easter Man”. They must have had something against the whole bunny thing.
Reeb saysApril 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm
maris saysApril 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm
This could have totally been my family. For example, despite the fact that I was raised Jewish (Last name: Callahan) I made pork chops last night for dinner. And they were damn good.
Jamie saysApril 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm
why are you eating ham and celebrating a jewish holiday? i thought ham was on the taboo list, considering it’s made from pork?
Emily saysApril 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm
In my good Jewish Germany family ham is “kosher” too – old funny family story. I know exactly where you’re coming from. Happy Eastover????
Mr Farty saysApril 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm
Something about ham and wine and chocolate. All sounds good to me. How do I convert to Bossyism?
Say What? saysApril 10, 2009 at 8:06 pm
I am rolling here with tears streaming down my face! Tell me the wine was Manishevitz and then you have a party going on!
I think it is the perfect blending of two important religious celebrations into one harmonious family gathering. God will bless you for it!
elembee saysApril 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm
HaHaHa! This was great!
Gut Yontif and Happy Easter to the Bossy bunch!
PS. I totally agree w/ #23 Jenn @ Juggling Life!!! I wish the world would take notes!
sugarpie saysApril 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm
Yes, indeed Bossy- Happy Eastover!
Catherine McP saysApril 10, 2009 at 9:49 pm
I love Bossy’s daughters Eastover dress. Mine were ALWAYS sleeveless, in spite of gowing up in MN, it coulda been 20 degrees out that day!
Joie saysApril 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm
LOVE IT! I am an Episcopal priest but came to my spirituality through going to Shabbat dinners with friends. Anyhoo, I love your blending of these traditions (Hello, for Christians, Jesus is the Passover Lamb!!! and the Last Supper was probably a seder!!!!!) and agree with whoever wrote that if we could all be more like Bossy’s family we could achieve world peace.
Dara saysApril 11, 2009 at 10:50 am
Ahhh, yes. The seder ham. Delish!!
Jeri saysApril 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm
I’ve learned so much!
Amber Lee saysApril 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm
I’m Anglican, but Bossyism sounds a lot closer to what God had in mind.
Bush Babe of Granite Glen saysApril 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm
Almost EXACTLY how we celebrate Christmas Bossy… or not. Holy moly with the rules. All very intriguing though… and much more meaningful. About to post about some little egg hunters – who rose at dawn to see what the Easter Bunny had been up. Their joy in the hunt was totally Easter to me…
Lynn in Tucson saysApril 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm
Precisely. We trim the tree and make the latkes on the first night of Hannukah every year.
emily saysApril 12, 2009 at 5:29 pm
wow, I want to convert to bossyism, or at least come to bossy’s house for the holidays…it sure sounds like fun!
joy saysApril 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm
i am most concerned for the sancity of the holiday. at no time did you mention the passover rabbit who brings way too much chocolate and a smattering of nickels, dimes and quarters to good little boys and girls and their gluttenous parents (chococate being kosher la pesach-natch.) also, did you remember to wash your ham dish in passover approved kosher soap?
MariaV saysApril 13, 2009 at 3:34 am
Seder Ham?! Priceless.
keeping it real, real sad saysApril 13, 2009 at 10:17 pm
I assume that you and your husband have an understanding about how to raise your children interfaith. I just want to express my emotional response to this post. I usually relate to and adore your light hearted irreverance. I found this post to be disheartening. It’s one thing to blend the traditions of two faiths but it is entirely another to emphasize the disregard for the very core tenants of another. It has always been a struggle for Jews to maintain their traditions while assimilating into the common culture. I won’t wax poetic about it because I lack the energy and am under qualified. I will say that I personally know what a challenge it is to keep our Holidays set aside, true to where they come from and intact. I appreciate that your children are not Jewish and you are not raising them as such. I did find it…I don’t know, sad? offensive? that you so casually melded the two Holidays. I also gleaned that do have Jewish parentage. That may be what caused me to feel the need to write you. Whatever way in which you have chosen to raise them is the right way, I am not here to debate with you. I will say that as a Jew, I feel that all of the people that have gone before me have endured much hardship in order to preserve our traditions and it has always been the single most revered aspect of our religion. There is a quote that I will paraphrase about Jews in the camps when asked about how they were able to still keep Shabbat in hteir terrible circumstance…”The Jews did not keep Shabbat, Shabbat kept the Jews” This speaks volumes about the intrinsic worth that tradition and honoring each Holiday (Sahbbat being the most important) means to the Jewish people. I’m soory for going on but I guess I must say that just marrying a Jew even if he is OK with what you say doesn’t mean that it’s actually OK. Everytime I choose not to honor a Holiday I feel like every person in my lineage is sort of saddened or let down. I feel like the countless hours that they spent methodically repeating the Torah stories or traditions are all for not. When I read your post I feltlike you were not forgetting them but saying that they just didn’t matter. You don’t have to follow the religion but can you really not respect the devotion of that many generation’s committment to honoring tradition? Excuse my spelling and the emotion involved, please. If I take the time to spell check I am sure I’ll just delete the whole thing and chalk it up to the 2 glasses of 2 buck chuck…ok, 2.7. I don’t comment here I just enjoy and appreciate your writing. I just felt obligated to say something. yeah, probably my Jewish guilt. BTW, I BEG you…BEG…PLEASE do not publish this comment. I really like you except for this one time. sorry
Jason saysApril 14, 2009 at 12:21 am
I loved this post, and I love the way that you have found a way to celebrate both holidays successfully. It seems that it has been good for your family. And of course, your narrative cracked me up.
I hope you didn’t let the comment previous to mine bother you.
I say, “to each his own.” Those who wish to keep following traditions to the letter of the law? Good for them. Those who don’t? Good for them. This is America, after all.
Auds at Barking Mad saysApril 14, 2009 at 8:26 am
My mom is Jewish and this post so succinctly explained so much of her traditions to me, versus her own explanations which require overnight visits and much wine!
Ms. Karen saysApril 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm
As a Pagan, I can see where many religions have blended and borrowed ideas from each other, just like what you did here.
Bravo Bossy and family. Excellent post, positively hilarious.
Manic Mommy saysApril 15, 2009 at 9:17 am
Our Catholic tradition calls for us to switch between The Masters and the Red Sox while imbibing wine and apps on Easter.
well read hostess saysApril 16, 2009 at 8:37 am
Keeping it real, real sad…is there not room for everybody to take what they need from tradition and even faith in order to honor what is personally important to them? Your interpretation of the sanctity of tradition could never be the same as anyone else’s. The fact that they are so divergent in this case seems to offend you where no offense is intended or, I believe, should be felt – it’s not about you. Nor is it a statement about religion or faith or spirituality or tradition. It’s about a way that a family makes it work for them and them alone.