When there’s so much going on and so much to do, sometimes it’s easy to forget some of the details (especially if it’s your first time hosting a seder!) Here’s a handy and helpful checklist so you can make sure you’re completely stocked and ready. Note that this includes the most common items; some you might not need at all. Everyone’s minhag may be different and require other items as well.
What You Need for Erev Pesach
10 pieces of bread
Candle for b’dikas chometz (and feather/spoon/or flashlight, depending on your minhag)
Painter’s tape for closing up cabinets
List of what parts of the house you are selling (so that husband has when he goes to sell chometz). I keep mine on my phone and update each year. Usually, my husband will write “anything that has a blue tape/chametz sign on it.”
What You Need for Seder Night
Candles/oil for lighting for Yom Tov
24/48 hour candle (for lighting candles on the second night of Yom Tov)
Ma nishtana candles (tall candles some families use at the seder in addition to regular candles)
Pillows & Pillow case
Chair for the head of the table. Some like to cover with a sheet so that the matzah doesn’t make it dirty. A large fitted sheet works well.
Hand washing cup and bowl
Towels to wash hands
Bag for afikoman. Include anything your family uses to re-enact Yetziat Mitzrayim.
Wine/grape juice (funnel if using decanters)
Cup/becher for each person
The Seder Plate/Kera’ah
These items are needed for both on the actual seder plate and on the table to be consumed.
Karpas (potatoes / radish / celery)
Salt water + dish
Lettuce (plus bowl/platter to place it)
Broiled Chicken/Lamb Shank
Food for Shulchan Orach
Common things we tend to forget:
-What plates are you going to be serving the karpas (and matzah/marur/korech, depending on your minhag) on? You don’t want to start washing dishes before Shulchan Aruch. Ideally buy small inexpensive plates for this purpose.
-Some families use a large napkin to put the matzah in to demonstrate avodim hayinu. If you do, make sure you have such a napkin.
-New bibs, sippy cups, and pacifiers for the little ones
-Save the top of the marur for the ka’arah (depending on your minhag)
Nice ideas, but not a must:
-a cart or station next to the table to place the washing cup, towels etc. The seder table gets very busy with the kaara and all the haggados. A cart provides another surface nearby.
-brand new picture books (there are so many beautiful Pesach ones) for the little ones to entertain them during the reading of the Haggadah while keeping them at the table. Pack them away with your Pesach dishes and they will be like brand new and exciting next year too.
– Large plates or chargers to place under each becher/kos to catch spills