Your C.H.A.G. Purim Resources Guide courtesy of the Yom Tov Planning Center
Looking to Improve your Mishloach Manos Packages? 3 Easy Tips to making a great looking Mishloach Manos!
If you are looking to not only improve your Mishloach Manos but to figure out how to manage the entire Purim day, from Megillah reading to giving the Mishloach Manos, to packaging everything, to having time to cook the feast, I suggest you read Purim Perfectly Organized to figure out a plan that works for you.
Mishloach Manos Improvement #1 –
Wrapping a package well makes all the difference in the world. You could give only 2 items and if they are wrapped well, your mishloach manos will be the favorite. Work on perfecting your wrapping style.
A friend of mine is exceptional in this way, and she gives only 2 items. Last year she gave a small bottle of liquor and chocolate gold coins. She put each in a box and then stuck a piece of double sided tape to stack the boxes on top of each other. She wrapped the boxes in cellophane and then tied them up with a brown plaid ribbon.
She also mentioned that the items inside of the packaging need to “sit well” in the package. For outstanding mishloach manos, do not merely throw in a potato chip bag with jellybeans in a box. Fill the box with tissue paper, lay your items on top of the tissue paper, and perhaps place another layer of tissue paper on top. Fit your items in tightly and neatly for the best look. You’ll find that your mishloach manos look a lot more appetizing when they are wrapped neatly inside and outside.
Here are suggestions for wrapping specific kinds of containers:
Bag – It is easy to dress up a paper or cellophane bag. Line the bag with tissue paper. You can also punch holes in the bag and tie a ribbon through it or something you’ve put on craft wire, like plastic grapes.
Bottle – Tie ribbons, raffia or twine around the neck of each bottle. Attach a gift tag or make a “necklace” for the bottle. Tie a spoon to the bottle with ribbon if your recipients would need one to eat your mishloach manos with.
Dish – Check discount stores and flea markets for unique plates, serving bowls, platters or tins. Put in your foods and wrap the dish with cellophane and a bow.
Mishloach Manos Improvement #2
It is hard to stay in touch with all of our friends. Purim is one of those “catching up” times. People you have not seen in a while may come to your door because they’ve been thinking about you and are just too busy to call.
Give Mishloach Manos that provide a glimpse of what is going on in your life. Since you are going to give mishloach manos to your friends anyway, keep them updated on what is new through your actual basket.
Say your daughter just got engaged; you can include wedding themed items in your baskets with a poem.
Here is an example of something I did last year. I put a poem inside my Seder Plate themed Mishloach Manos. Here’s what it said:
At Jewishlifeorganized.com there is a course,That tells you how to make Pesach from the source.We’ve been working on it week by week,And have yet to get to its peak.
When you get to the deep cleaning and cooking, don’t get nutty.A Freilechin Purim from your Slatkin buddies!
I glued 5 paper muffin tins to a paper plate and filled each one with a goodie. The poem was to let my friends and family members know what I’ve been busy with.
Mishloach Manos Improvement #3
Do you build your mishloach manos off of your costume? Here are some examples:
Costumes/Misloach Manos Container
Curious George and the Man with Yellow Hat Costume/Bananas and Grape Juice in cellophane
Doctor and Nurse/ Cotton candy for cotton balls, a bottle of alcohol in a clear plastic case
School boy and girl/Alphabet cookies, candy erasers, yoyos in a small lunch box
Wine and Cheese/A cardboard circle with a small wheel of cheese, crackers, and a small bottle of alcohol with cellophane
If it’s a nice day, walk around the neighborhood to deliver your shaloch manot. Just put the shaloch Manot in a wagon if you have one. You can decorate the wagon in the “theme” of your costumes too.
If building your mishloach manos off of your costume is not a new idea to you, how about creating a “survival kit” themed Shaloch Manos.
How about the “Everyday Survival Kit”-
Toothpick: Pick the good qualities in everyone including yourself.
Rubberband: Be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want.
Band-Aid: To heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else’s.
Eraser: Everyone makes mistakes. That’s okay, we learn by our mistakes.
Candy Kiss: Everyone needs a hug or a compliment everyday.Mint: You are worth a mint to your family and friends.
Bubble Gum: Stick with it and you can accomplish anything.
Pencil: List your blessings every day.
Tea bag: Relax daily and go over your list of blessings
Or the Tax Survival Kit-
Taxes: If taxes have taken a BIG HUNK out of your PAY DAY, and you’re staring down a ROCKY ROAD with no hope of SWEET ESCAPES, here’s a little LIFESAVER to make you feel like you’ve gotten your MILKY WAY. Just sit back, SNICKERS, and grin because you have in your hands the only $100 GRAND the IRS can’t take away. Now isn’t that an ALMOND JOY? (475 Gift Basket Ideas)
(Remember that the Halacha requires 2 brachos be given in your mishloach manos. Consult with a rav if you have any questions.)
Keep it fun and get the kids involved. You can do anything with creativity and planning, even if you are on a budget!
Adapted from Purim Perfectly Organized
Last Minute Purim Costumes
I might have told you about how one year I made last minute Purim costumes for myself and my sister with a simple cardboard box. I hadn’t planned a costume and when searching for last minute purim costumes I saw my dentist’s magnet on our fridge in the shape of a tooth.
What do you know! I became a tooth for purim. My sister followed and wore a listerine costume. At our Purim party, we hung out with the toothbrush that we didn’t even know would be there.
If you want BETTER Last minute Purim Costume ideas, I suggest you read Sarah Zeldman’s Purim guide which covers things like No-sew costumes, something I do not cover in Purim Perfectly Organized.
Quick, Homemade Purim Costume Ideas
By: Purim Made Easy
You might be able to find some leftover Halloween costumes for Purim in your neighborhood. However, when you consider the cost and lack of originality, homemade costumes are a more fun and oftentimes more cost-effective option. Plus, if you involve your children in creating the homemade costumes, the results will be worth more than any store-bought costume anywhere.
Here are some inexpensive, homemade Purim costume ideas that will cost little money and show lots of imagination.
Soda Can:Find an inexpensive plastic barrel and cut a hole in the bottom. Paint the entire barrel the colors and design of your favorite brand of soda in a can. With holes for arms and your head, a simple barrel can transform your child into a soda can.
Clown:You can quickly create a great clown with sweat clothes that are a bit to large decorated with fabric paint or markers. Sew on some pom poms, use an inexpensive wig with a large, colorful hat, and you could even stuff the clothing with tissue (although the tissue will be a problem if the need for a restroom break arises).
Hippie: You can become a hippie from the 1960s with a tie-dye shirt and faded jeans with holes in the knees. Combine this with a headband, a ponytail wig, and a jacket or vest covered in fringe and you will have the most authentic looking hippie costume of all time.
Doctor or Dentist: Put a large white shirt on your child as a doctor’s white coat. Have him wear a pager on the shirt pocket and hang a the toy stethoscope from a toy doctor’s kit around his neck. Put the rest of the doctor tools in a black bag.
Nerd: Halloween is the time to dress like something completely out of character. You can dress your child as a typical nerd, complete with white shirt, pocket protectors, pants that are too short, horn-rimmed glasses, while socks and black dress shoes. Don’t forget to tape one corner of the glasses for a true nerd appearance. Make sure you use plenty of hair gel to slick back the hair and a few overly large fake teeth will be a great addition.
Queen Esther: No Purim party would be complete without little girls dressed as Queen Esther. Remember, Queen Esther was chosen by King Achashevrosh for her modesty. A simple white poofy dress with very little or no makeup will do. A tiara and jewelry from the dollar will show that she is a Queen.
Your child can be the hit of your block or at the synagogue Purim party if you use a little imagination and create special homemade costumes out of inexpensive, household items.
Like the commercials say “The memory of your child in a costume you made together” … priceless.
Do your kids a favor and make them homemade Purim costumes that are not as nerdy as my tooth idea! Click here to learn more.
Was this mom shopping for Mishloach Manos last minute, which can be prone for disaster? Here’s how you can organize yourself for Purim about a month prior to the Yom Tov.
Been there, done that. When you don’t plan for Purim well enough in advance, Purim can feel like a disaster (just like in this picture)! Please prevent this from happening next year buy reading Purim Perfectly Organized once and for all!
Purim is only 1-2 days but it can feel like an entire month due to the amount of preparation and the actual schedule of the holiday.
There is a lot to do in a little bit of time, and if you do not adequately organize yourself, you are going to get caught up in the undertow.
I’m serious! This happened to me for a while every year. I would not notice how soon Purim would come and then it would be here and I would be madly dashing to the store for mishloach manos and forgetting to make my kids costumes and you name it. I felt very overwhelmed.
When I started implementing this strategy, towards the beginning of the Purim day that feels like a month- I accomplished everything I needed to, and extra!
Here’s the strategy for making Purim Perfectly Organized:
(excerpted from Purim Perfectly Organized)
My sister once gave me a great tip for packing for travel. She said to ”run down” your body to remind yourself of what to pack in your suitcase.
For instance- starting with my head, I pack my sheital, scarves, snoods, hairbrush, and hair accessories. Next are my eyes- contact lenses, a pair of glasses and contact solution. Whatever you need for each body part should come to mind.
I like using this tip for planning how the actual holiday will progress. Instead of using the body I just think about the natural progression of the day. For example, what time is the Purim feast? Where are you going? What are you bringing? Do you need to bring activities for your kids?
My husband and I started this tradition while our kids were very little (they still are) and that is- thinking about the actual day and how it will progress.
The reason we started when the kids were young was actually for no other reason then we had to work out the logisitics of going to shul while one person would be home for naptime or one would hear megillah reading while the other would stay with the kids. You know how it is.
Having a plan for how the actual day will go is good whether or not your kids are young/old or whether or not you actually have kids.
Make a mental rundown of the day from beginning to end.
* The Fast
* Break Fast
* megillah in the evening
* Megillah in the morning
* Shaloch Manos
* Matanos Le’evyonim
* The Seudah
Think about each category- the fast, do you fast well? Do you need childcare while you rest?
Think about anything you could possibly need or want or for that matter, what your kids might need or want for the day. You might come up with “pack snacks for shul for the kids” and then add this to your tickler.
If you want more details on how to work the Purim schedule with your kids, I suggest you read Purim Perfectly Organized and bite the bullet!