5 Ways Advance Planning Makes The Jewish Holidays a Tiny Bit Easier


Your relationship with planning is often a function of your upbringing and your personality.

  • How far you plan in advance
  • If you plan using a digital or paper calendar or agenda
  • If you plan using directives or lists
  • If you thrive on meeting last minute due dates
  • If you need a lot of time to think before your plan

I’d like to make an argument for planning in advance (at least somewhat) instead of waiting till things absolutely must be done.  

Planning Increases Confidence

Planning gives us a increased sense of control and increases our confidence. I know it is not possible to make plans about life’s big events; we all know the Yiddish proverb “Man plans, God laughs” (Mann traoch, Gott Lauch).

Here is a gender neutral update of that Yiddish proverb:

With the small stuff, we can have a vision and make a plan. When we do, it increases our confidence.

“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.”

Brian Tracy, The Gift of Self-Confidence

Spending For Healthy and Special Meals

A financial consultant I once spoke to pointed out that certain expenses come every year and yet, many of us act surprised every time they roll around. We all spend more money for creating Passover and Rosh Hashanah meals especially if we want to buy non-toxic organic high-quality food and household cleaning products (at affordable wholesale prices).

Cooking and Cleaning

Some of us may recall laughing at our mothers or other women for starting to cook for a holiday a week before (or even earlier). But as I get older and busier, I can see the benefit of doing things in small increments instead of in one fell swoop. I dislike having to rush when I am preparing anything. It is not enjoyable to rush myself, experience stress and end up exhausted. Wouldn’t it be better to do a little bit every day and be able to relax or even nap right before the holiday?

This is true especially when we are hosting a lot of people. We all want to enjoy spending time with my friends and family. It is hard to enjoy people when we are so tired from the last minute rush of creating a menu idea, cooking and cleaning.

Start by looking at the date of the holiday and work backwards to see what you can do each day of the week, to get to the holiday better prepared.

Ideas include:

  • Shop and clean a few days before and request help!
  • Make desserts in advance that you can freeze. Here is a raw sweet date ball that tastes like a snickers bar. These Mini Maple Pumpkin Cocoa Cakes are delicious. The mini cakes have a perfect level of sweetness, are satiating (from the pumpkin puree) and have a slight cocoa flavor (from raw cocoa powder)
  • Some dishes can sit in the refrigerator for a day before serving like this oil-free healthy hummus. This salad includes beets, chickpeas, walnuts, and fresh green lettuce. The pink dressing is tangy-sour from citrus and creamy from walnuts.

Spiritual Engagement

Holidays aren’t only about the physical preparations although sometimes it certainly can feel like that. With advance planning, it is easier to fit into time to cultivate the emotional, mental and spiritual holiday experience. We can:

  • Read about the upcoming holiday
  • Call and friend and talk about the spiritual aspects of the holiday
  • Pray before the holiday

If we wait till the last minute, the opportunity to do this will likely slip away, and we will find myself physically prepared for the holiday but not feeling it spiritually.

Scheduling in Personal Time To Refresh and Relax

Holidays (and life) can feel exhausting. Putting self-support actions into our calendar is one way to ensure that we make the time to care of my body and emotional self. This is even more important when things get even busier as they do during a holiday. With advance planning, it is possible to schedule a morning walk, a movement class, quiet mediation in the morning before anyone wakes up, or even 20 minutes just to lay down and rest.

Know the Holiday Calendar

You can only plan in advance if you know what’s coming! The Jewish Food Hero 5779 Holiday Calendar will remind you when each holiday is coming and give you plenty of time plan.

Click here to order

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