We have had an amazing yomtov so far! We had wonderful sedarim – all the kids (apart from the baby) were up the whole way through the first night, and only one fell asleep at the table the second, to wake up just in time to be the ox in Chad Gadya! The advantage of having children who don’t go to sleep early enough the rest of the year, is that when you want them to stay up late, it’s not a problem!
What do we do at the seder to keep everyone interested? Well, we have a bowl of treats for people who ask questions. We have sherry glasses which are just over the shiur for the four cups, so that even those who are drinking wine don’t have an excuse to fall asleep. We offer a range of grape juices as well as a range of wines, and this year we found some palatable low alcohol wine as well.
We have a load of songs that we sing, before, during and after the seder, as well as a big bag of props for the plagues, beards for the rabbis in Bnei Brak, the original staff of Moshe Rabbeinu, etc. We adopted the minhag of smacking each other with spring onions during Dayenu – this gives everyone a chance to run around and let off steam before the meal. This year we had several single women with us one night, who went wild at this point – good job we had very large spring onions!!
Of course, my husband runs the seder in a very engaging way, which must also have something to do with it!
The second night, a fuse blew just after the main course of the meal. We abandoned dessert, lit some more candles and sang our way through a very beautiful atmospheric second half of the seder. There is nothing quite like singng Aramaic songs, with animal noises, by candlelight at 2:30 in the morning!
After lunch on the first day, we noticed a disgusting smell near the hall – we couldn’t work out what it was, until my mother decided to take some of the kids to the park. When she put the baby in the buggy, one of the children investigated the carrier bag which was underneath it and discovered…. a chicken which had been there for several days!
Great matza ramble today. We went to Wormley West End and walked through woods and fields to a small sculpture trail and back. The weather was lovely, the place was deserted and we had fun. Apart from just being able to spend family time in the fresh air, and run around, we saw various farm animals, including some very noisy turkeys. (Did you know they really do go “Gobble, gobble”?) and some donkeys who got in the way, terrifying the baby and which had to be lured to the side with some apples.
Goulash in the slow cooker for supper tonight – matza and brie for lunch – I’m not sure why people complain about Pesach food!