I have a plan to host my own seder. (Be nice to me and maybe you'll be invited.) I want to have it under my roof, so that it can be done my way. Specifically, I want to go through the whole Haggadah, even if we skip parts, but make sure that all the important elements are there, such as the singing parts (not just "Dayeinu," which is the only one my in-laws know, and they only know the "Dayeinu" part), and some of the after-dinner part that people tend to skip. This calls for creativity, strategic advance planning, and holding fast against complaints. Certain members of my family would love to dispense with all that religious stuff and just skip ahead to the meal.
If you've never attended a seder, I'll tell you it can be very long, but it doesn't have to be boring. I will adjust for length and minimize the "boring" parts. I want it to be meaningful, educational, and fun, especially for the kids.
I think that starting a seder very early so that it doesn't end very late is fine. This will help the kids, and my mother, who turns into a pumpkin at around 8:00 p.m.
I think participation is key. I plan to map out a program and give everyone roles ahead of time.
It's okay to have snacks during the before-the-meal part of the seder if you get hungry. My old college roomie's family always had "egg break," wherein when someone calls out "egg break!" and you stop the seder for a bit and pass out hard-boiled eggs. Eggs are a seder staple anyway; they are a symbol of life and fertility and other good stuff.
I plan to hand out hot towels during "urchatz," (which is where you wash your hands but don't say a blessing, because you do that later), because hot towels are a luxury! that we can have because we are free! and not slaves! What do you think?
I like the idea of having funny symbols for the plagues (such as a stuffed cow for cattle plague, or Band-Aids (R) for boils), not that plagues are funny, but it works like mnemonics and helps the kids remember.
I think I'll drink four glasses of wine. I will have earned them. Maybe I should pick up a bottle that's just mine. What do you think?
Issues like kashering and cooking for Passover will have to wait for a later post. I just wanted to get this out fast. Yes, people, I'm posting without reading it over 12 times. Do you believe me? Okay, yeah, I went back and edited, just a little. And then read it on my phone and fixed the typos I saw. What?