Who says the Easter bunny isn’t an essential service worker?
Though many celebrations have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Easter, occurring this year on April 12, doesn’t have to be one of them.
According to lifestyle experts, there are plenty of ways to make Easter special while following protocol to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“This is going to be the Easter that (our children) remember for the rest of their lives,” said Audrey McClelland, a mother of five and former cast member of TLC’s parenting show “What She Said.” “We need to make this special, because this is going to be the one that they’re telling their grandchildren about someday.”
Here are tips from McClelland and others for getting into the Easter spirit, while adhering to coronavirus precautions.
Keep grandparents involved while keeping them safe
Grandparents and older family members face a higher risk of complications from coronavirus, but McClelland says there are still ways to have them feel included while quarantined.
One way is to drop off homemade Easter baskets at their doorstep.
Erin Sprinkel, co-owner of Los Angeles-based event production company Sterling Social, also recommended crafting, disinfecting and delivering Easter baskets to family and friends, while staying at least six feet away from them.
“Dropping off a little cheer at their front doorstep goes a long way nowadays with everything that’s going on,” she said.
Jodi Durr, who runs the parenting blog Meaningful Mama, also suggested arranging Zoom calls with people in retirement homes who might need to connect.
Get creative with the Easter egg hunt
With community Easter egg hunts across the country nixed this year, now’s the time to get creative with a super fun hunt indoors.
For McClelland, her children usually participate in a joint egg hunt with about 10 different families and up to 30 other children. Though this year’s hunt will be indoors and just for her family, she recommends going the extra mile to keep the tradition exciting by adding extra eggs.
“I do think that if you have celebrated Easter throughout your life, that egg hunt is always that one thing that you always have done. But this year, yeah, it’s gonna be a little different,” she said.
Even adults can get in on this fun tradition, according to Sprinkel, who proposed surprising your significant other with an indoor search for eggs filled with love notes and post-quarantine date ideas.
Meet the Easter bunny from a safe distance
Thanks to technology, the Easter bunny can still meet children while working from home.
Move your Easter brunch to Zoom
Though most, if not all, restaurants can’t offer sit-down service, Zoom and other digital connectors are always taking reservations.
While dining over video chat might seem strange, Seri Kertzner, chief party officer at the New York-based event and styling company Little Miss Party Planner, says it’s a way to get the whole family involved.
“You maybe all sit down and eat together, and you have a computer at your table,” she said. “You would never in a million years do that, right? But this case is different. That’s a way to invite your family into your table.”
Zoom, however, does come with a downside, Kertzner warns: the chaos of relatives talking over each other. To avoid this, she recommends structuring the chat so people speak one at a time.
For families used to brunching at a restaurant on Easter, Sprinkel recommends going all out for an extra-special meal at home. This means bringing out the fine china, setting the specialty glassware and ordering fresh flowers from floral shops offering sanitized delivery.
Kertzner agreed: This is the time to bust out the fancy dining decor, cloth napkins and all.
“I think anything you can do to make it extra special, you should try to do,” she said.
Let the kids decorate the house
Decorating the house can also be a fun activity to keep your kids occupied, says Trish Flake, a mom of two and owner of the lifestyle blog Uncommon Designs.
“Let them kind of be the decorator of your house for Easter,” she said. “I think they’ll have a lot of fun doing it. I’m going to let my girls do it. I can’t wait to see it what they come up with.”
Tune in to virtual Easter services
Many churches across the country are moving their services online in response to coronavirus. Check out the website of your nearby church to see what online options are being held this year in place of an in-person Mass or service.
Durr, who blogs about parenting from a Christian perspective, described how Easter can offer hope to Christians during this pandemic.
“Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection after His death for our sin,” Durr said in a statement to USA TODAY. “This year has only reaffirmed the hope we have no matter how dark things seem; as He proved Easter morning, He is the light amidst and after the darkness.”
For a full guide to livestreaming Easter events, click here.
Invent a new Easter tradition
2020 has been a year of firsts for a lot of families.
McClelland advises people embrace the difference of this year by adding a new tradition to their Easter celebration, such as coming up with a signature dessert.
“It doesn’t matter if the kids are babies or teenagers. There’s always a time to start a tradition,” McClelland said.
Even as people adjust their Easter plans this year due to coronavirus, Durr says the day’s deeper meaning will not change.
“There are news articles and people reporting, ‘Easter is cancelled,’ she said in a statement to USA TODAY. “It makes me think of the Whos down in Whoville. They were stripped of everything at Christmas, but they weren’t phased. They continued to celebrate the deeper and real meaning behind the holiday. That’s what we will do with Easter.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus doesn’t have to ruin Easter too: 7 safe celebration ideas