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Connecting with Loved Ones this Easter, While Being Apart

Easter may be a little odd, and it certainly could be lonely, so what can we do instead of the traditional face-to-face contact at packed religious services, family meals, egg hunts and whatever else your group might do on a holiday weekend?

quarantine easter bunnyThe North Dakota Department of Health’s Health Hotline confirmed that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Easter will be a very different event than usual for most families.

Easter may be a little odd, and it certainly could be lonely, so what can we do instead of the traditional face-to-face contact at packed religious services, family meals, egg hunts and whatever else your group might do on a holiday weekend?

Many local congregations are viewing their religious services via Facebook Live or other social media. Televised services have been around for decades, and before that, people held their own services at home.

Also, a walk in nature or watching the sun rise and set not only puts perspective on the day, it helps everyone feel the routine of the world. We all need to feel the normalcy of routine right now.

Large family meals can be postponed until a safer time for get-togethers. Perhaps we can all catch up on Labor Day with colored eggs and ham. Make your family’s favorite family meal instead. If that is pizza with extra cheese, so be it. Enjoy.

Perhaps the larger family gathering can be synchronized with a Zoom or Skype call where all families can show their colored eggs, fancy dessert creation or chalk drawings, or express gratitude. Use conversation starter cards from the family table at https://tinyurl.com/ConversationStarers to encourage a phone conversation with grandparents, cousins and others.

Plastic eggs are a great spot to hide special notes as well as treats. Send some now to the people you love.

Technology can be a great tool this year, too. Grandparents can text hints for the egg hunt. Parents can capture videos of children finding eggs, or FaceTime if you can.

Send a “care package” including holiday-themed and perhaps even homemade items. Send a recipe and the more unusual ingredients (think wild rice or a particular spice) for a favorite holiday food, along with a festive decoration.

Share a meal across the miles by setting a time for all of your usual guests to eat and agree on a particular meal item, such as Uncle Bill’s potatoes. Compare notes by phone or computer after the dishes are washed.

Look for apps of your favorite card game to play online with your missing loved ones.

Cry if you want. Grieve what you are missing. Change is difficult.

End your day with a dance party. Choose music that makes you feel grateful and good, and dance. Nobody is watching. They are home, protecting you too.

 

Kim Bushaw, NDSU Extension Family Science Specialist

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