Plan for an enjoyable yom tov: hosting meals

You want a meaningful and enjoyable yom tov for all – you, your spouse, your children, your guests. As a couple, plan the details of Yom Tov so that all runs as smoothly as possible. Pre-planning will help pre-empt disappointments and dashed expectations.


• Plan your menu together. Make sure it reasonable and realistic – budget, healthy? Is there enough time, energy and space to prepare it all (shopping, cooking, clean up, oven space) refrigerator space)? Is there enough time to prepare all those salads right before the meal? Who will serve it all? Do you have enough platters and serving utensils? Is all inline with your minhagim?

• Share your vision for the meal – be it based on your own family’s experiences, something you recently learned about, something you’d like to try for your family. Go through the meal step by step – kidush, washing for Challah, honey/ salt, dvar Torahs, singing, the children’s roles. Serving and clean up – for each course. Will the kids be in Yom Tov clothing or more kid-meal-friendly clothing? Which kids will say which dvar Torahs during which meals? Will you ask guests to say a dvar Torah? What is your secret code for ‘I need help here’?

• If you will bringing in any new utensils (maybe a honey dropper? Kidush dispenser? wine decanter?), let your spouse know beforehand. Allow them to practice with it. Don’t forget to toivel it.

• Avoid awkward moments with seating. Figure out the seating arrangements in advance of the meal – the guests, where the kids will sit, who sits at the heads of the table.

• Discuss together if you are open to pop-in guests or you really want to keep to the expected number of guests.

• And any thing else that is unique to your family.

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