I’m not Jewish, but I’m trying very hard to fit in with Josh’s family. Josh and I have been dating for about eight months, and we’re very close.
This year, I’m invited to his family’s seder, and I’m both excited and nervous. I realize the Passover seder has many rules and restrictions, and I don’t want to do anything wrong. Josh’s family is somewhat observant, but I don’t know to what degree exactly. I’d like to bring a gift with me, and I’d like to know what would be appropriate. I don’t know how much to spend, but I would be comfortable in the $25 to $50 range.
I would rather not involve Josh in my decision, as I really want this to be from me for Josh and his family. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Proper Passover Present
Dear Proper Passover Present
You are very thoughtful and smart to be asking this question, as there are many rules, or halachot, on Jewish holidays, and especially on Passover.
For starters, steer clear of any food items. Most homes are kosher for Passover and bringing anything into the home that would compromise that would be a major faux pas. Stay away from cut flowers as well, unless you have them delivered to the home before the onset of the holiday. Some people will not put cut flowers in water after the onset of the holiday. However, a flower arrangement already in a vase with water or already prearranged would be fine. A bottle of kosher for Passover wine is a nice gift. There are many wines available that are not 21 on the sweet scale. You can ask for help at the liquor store, or go to www.kosherwinereport.com. Make sure the wine says “Kosher for Passover” and “Mevushal”.
You may also bring something for the house, such as linens, a serving platter, a bowl or a set of tea towels. Watch the wrapping, though, as many people won’t tear paper after the holiday begins, so use a gift bag instead.
A charitable donation in their honour would also be appropriate. Some organizations have fundraisers geared to Passover. Mazon Canada sells Passover placemats, Ve’ahavta has an annual seder for the homeless.
It’s clear this is very meaningful to you. Your heart is in the right place. Relax and enjoy.
Readers may submit their questions to Ella at The CJN., e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. But Ella is not a professional counsellor. She brings to the questions posed by readers her unique brand of earthy wisdom. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.