I have counted the omer in completion one time. It was back in 2016, the year Rich and I traveled with my parents to Israel. I thought that it would be super meaningful to count the omer in Israel and insisted we do it properly. We ended up counting the omer every night, in bed, completely exhausted. It was not meaningful. However, it did provide an excellent link between Passover and Shavuot. I think this is missing for a lot of kids. Shavuot in general is missing. It’s such a tame holiday, compared with Passover and Sukkot, that it gets forgotten. It’s also right at the beginning of summer when all anyone wants to do is be out in the sunshine. But I kind-of love it. It’s easy, and I LOVE cheese.
I was inspired by a Pinterest post (of course) with little bags for each day hanging from a string. I loved the idea, but it looks a bit messy, a bit big, and I would have to fill up all the bags with a treat in advance! I was also inspired by advent calendars, but let’s face it, 25 days is a lot less than 49! And no one on Etsy wanted to double the size of their advent calendar for me.
My dad suggested an omer box. Omer counters are common (at least as common as you can get for a looked-over Jewish ritual) and he incorporated a box! That way, I could surprise Eitan with a little treat every night and not have to plan much in advance. He even MADE the box, and I had the top laser cut with my own design. Some people were surprised that I gave Eitan a treat every night for 49 nights. Please note that it was typically a bit more dessert; he usually gets 5 raisinettes at dinner so I gave him 5 more in the omer box. He LOVED it. For Shabbat, he usually got a little present or book. Even better! For full disclosure: we didn’t wait till nighttime to count they way you’re supposed to. In the summer, that is way past Eitan’s bedtime and I thought it was more important to expose him to counting the omer. Maybe when he’s older – I can’t wait to use the box again next year!