Celebrating Easter During Social Distancing
Easter, along with other major holidays, are times for families to be together. We go to church together, have Easter egg hunts, and prepare large meals to share around crowded tables. Every family has their own unique traditions they look forward to. Now, in this time of social distancing, we find our routines and traditions upended.
Questions At The Front Of Everyone’s Minds Are:
- How will I connect with my loved ones?
- How will I attend church?
- Which, if any, of my traditions can I still take part in?
Easter is going to look different this year, but it’s not cancelled. By thinking ahead about what you can still do to celebrate Easter, you can ensure it’s still a meaningful and joyful occasion.
Let Yourself Feel Grief
As we drive past signs posted outside churches inviting guests to online services, it’s tough not to feel a sense of loss. It’s okay to feel disappointed, sad, and maybe even a little angry. These feelings are normal and it’s important to acknowledge them.
Remember, though, that you aren’t experiencing them alone. Think of all the people you’re normally surrounded by at church on Easter morning. They are all going through the same thing. Your family, friends, neighbors, and people around the globe are sharing in your struggles to adapt to this new, temporary normal. This situation isn’t fair—don’t be afraid to say so. You might feel a bit better after talking about it with someone.
Consider the implication of this loss, too. To be feeling sad about not having your normal Easter celebration means you’ve had many happy Easters in the past! Look back on these times and try to remember them with feelings of gratitude for what hasn’t changed.
Stay Connected to Loved Ones This Easter
We’re fortunate to live in a time when friends and family are only a quick text or social media message away. Technology allows us to be far more connected than ever before. While we’d prefer face-to-face interactions on holidays, a video call using FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom is the next best thing. These apps are all free and can easily be downloaded on a smartphone or laptop. If you need help getting it set up, reach out to a tech-savvy friend or family member. If that person is you, offer to set it up for your loved ones!
All your Easter Sunday traditions can be done “together” using video calls. It takes some planning and coordinating with others, so start now!
Modify Your Easter Traditions
Just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you can’t observe the holiday. Take a few minutes to think about the elements of Easter which are most important to you. Then, think of how you can incorporate them in your Easter-from-home.
For Example, To Modify Your Easter You Can:
- Watch a livestreamed church service. Sing worship songs, follow prayers, and otherwise take part as much as you can. You can even dress up, if you feel so led. Don’t let the nice clothes you bought for Easter go to waste just because you won’t be at church. Of course, no one will judge you if you stay in pajamas, either.
- Dye Easter eggs. This quarantine-friendly activity can be fun for all ages. Even if you don’t normally take part in egg-dyeing, consider trying it as a way to add more festivity to your day. It’s also lots of fun done over a video call!
- Scale down the holiday meal. Pick your favorite dishes from the family potluck and decrease portion sizes according to how many people will be in your home on Easter. Set out a festive tablecloth, use your china, and deck out your dining room in pastels. You can even use this as an opportunity to experiment with new recipes. Because you’ll probably have a bit more time on your hands, consider teaching the younger members of your family how to make the classics.
- Create a new tradition. Try something new you can always remember as the tradition that began in quarantine. Have a family movie or game night, a picnic on the lawn, or a devotion and prayer (which you can also do as a group over video call). This will help you focus on the positives and make the most of the current situation, rather than dwelling on what you can’t do.
This is a difficult time for all of us. It’s hard to find hope and joy in a time of so much uncertainty. Let us try as best we can to focus on the true message of Easter, though, which is just as true now as ever: that out of darkness comes light.
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These blogs were written by members of the CHI Health Behavioral Care team.