5 Tips for Hosting a Virtual Easter Dinner

Easter is going to look a little different, and families all over the world are preparing to celebrate the most life-changing moment in history…while practicing social distancing. But the spirit of the season is hope – hope for salvation, hope for redemption, hope for grace and healing and life. As we each do our part to protect our families and communities through this pandemic, our world needs to pause and hope; to connect with loved ones, if in a different way than usual; to honour traditions, modified for the times; to comfort one another, laugh with one another, and talk over “shared” meals. So, with the family Easter dinner inevitably happening over video chat this year, here are a few tips for you to keep in mind during your virtual celebrations…

Do A Test Run

Video chat is likely second nature for some of your family and completely new territory for others. Save yourself some stress and a lot of “Can you hear me now? I can hear you!” debates over Easter dinner – take the time to do a test call earlier in the week to make sure everyone understands the key tools of the platform you choose to use (e.g. Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Skype, etc) and knows how to get their mic and camera working. Make it a quick 5 minute training session, or take advantage of the opportunity to catch up one-to-one – communication of all types is vital and meaningful in this season.

Set An Extra Place At The Table

With only your own household at the dinner table, chances are you have room to leave one seat empty, even if you have to let a leaf out to accommodate. If you can, we recommend leaving that blank spot for your iPad, laptop, or cell phone that will be hosting your end of the video chat. Not only does this keep the mic within range of everyone’s voices, but it avoids your dinner guests on the other end staring at someone’s shoulder through the whole meal (if the camera were on a server or shelf behind you). For the best experience, give the camera the head of the table – plus then you can tell your “guests” they should feel honoured. 🙂

Coordinate Something

Part of the joy of holiday meals with family and friends is the shared experience – don’t let that be lost this year. To start off with, shift your perspective on the circumstance to acknowledging that it is still a shared experience – we’re all in this isolation thing together (ironically). But go a step further and make an effort to find another element of your event that you can share across households. Perhaps you all prepare the same menu so when you sit down together, you can still discuss the elements of the meal. Or maybe you decorate the table (or dress yourselves) in a similar colour scheme. Easter colours (think pastel) can be found in flowers, toss cushions, candles, decor, scarves, napkins…even food! Look for ways of making your space feel like springtime and opportunities to share the hope of the holiday through common experience.

Give everyone a job

To keep everyone engaged, even over a virtual meal, assign responsibilities to each person or family attending. This gives everyone a moment to shine, a task to attend to when they’re bored or tired, and a feeling of value, even if they aren’t always the main one on camera. Here are just a few ideas of roles you can assign:

  • Plan the menu
  • Set (and decorate) the table
  • Cook/prepare a portion of the meal
  • Set-up the video chat
  • Tell the Easter story
  • Read a passage from Scripture
  • Pray for the meal
  • Lead an activity/discussion
  • Wash the dishes
  • Rotate the camera periodically (if necessary)
  • Take photos to document the occasion
  • Make sure family celebrating remote has a turn in the conversation
  • Find (and supply) Easter-themed activities for the kids attending
  • Pull out any Easter/Spring decor and set it up around the house

Make it comfortable

How will you celebrate this holiday? What will make you feel “at home”? – emotionally, that is…we know that’s the only option physically. One bonus of a stay-at-home, virtual Easter celebration is the ability to make it what you want. Make it meaningful, but make it comfortable. If sitting at the dinner table and dressing up for the day is what helps you feel respect for the Easter story and appreciate precious traditions with your family, then do it. If eating dinner together on the couch in your cozies feels more like home this year, enjoy it. This Easter won’t feel normal – find ways to make it special and comforting, nonetheless. The sanctity of the holiday comes, after all, not from the setting we are in, but from the position of our hearts, the humility of our prayers, and the fixing of our minds on hope, redemption, and salvation.

Due to the current pandemic our showrooms are temporarily closed. Our Wish List feature remains active however, so you can brainstorm and dream towards your future redecorating goals, and we have staff monitoring all inquiries that come in through our website and social channels. We encourage you to keep connected with us on Instagram and Facebook, and to stay home to protect your family and community.

All the best to you and your family this Easter…may it be special and meaningful, no matter how different it looks.