Despite me being preoccupied to a large degree, Purim preparations are nonetheless going full blast here! I really credit ds12 and dd14 for taking the ball and going with it. They made hamantaschen yesterday (two kinds, chocolate and cherry filling) and costumes for ds12 and dd14 today. Last night and then early today, I took them shopping for mishloach manos supplies, and today are busy putting their mishloach manos together.
I read an article about different perspectives about mishloach manos, which left me feeling like you can’t win no matter what! Some people complained when someone sent them something too small, a card instead of a mishloach manos, too fancy and created pressure to reciprocate, received homemade food because they just threw it away, didn’t want sugar, didn’t want chometz, etc – my feeling when reading it was that people need to stop registering everything on their mental calculators instead of in their hearts. What happened to feeling appreciation that someone cares enough to send/give you anything?!? Anyway, I’m going ahead with my typical approach to mishloach manos (which is, keep it simple and send real food that people can appreciate); I’ll be sending crackers and marinated bean salad. I was planning to send challah rolls but then realized they won’t fit nicely into the packaging that I’m planning to use!
Oh, and speaking of a mishloach manos, every year we always receive one that is especially special! Twelve years ago, I was fortunate to be able to facilitate the meeting of a couple who now has four children, and every year they send me a beautiful package in the mail on Purim. (Thank you, RY!! – my emails to you are being returned.) This has become an additional association with Purim for our family that we all enjoy.
For the Purim meal on Sunday, dd14 had the idea of having a Persian theme, and she’s putting together a menu based on traditional Persian foods. I told her to let me know what she wants me to get/do, and I’ll be happy to go along with it!
Dh volunteered to organize the synagogue Purim shpiel (humorous skits) this year; he wrote a skit and has several other ideas submitted by others. Overall it seems to be coming along well. I don’t know much more than that – I’ll get to see everything for the first time along with the rest of the audience!
Dd14 made her costume today – she’s happy with how it turned out. We plan to donate it along with all of our other costumes after Purim to a local costume gemach (free loan organization for costumes). When I was in Israel, a friend there showed me a picture of one of her children in one of the clown costumes I had sewn and then given to another friend when I left 11 years ago, who had later passed it along to her when the first friend’s children outgrew it. Friend no. 2 told me that the clown costumes I made had been borrowed and used by a number of families – that was so nice to hear! She even offered to send it back to the US with me so one of my kids could wear it this year, but I felt it’s being used by more people there, so I didn’t take it.
Along with this I’m busy with phone calls, research into a zillion different things, and we’ve started selling some of our things, so I’m getting emails and calls from people wanting to come by. And today I took ds4 and ds3 to a fantastic Lamed Tes Melachos group meeting – they learned about shearing, carding, spinning, and dyeing wool – it was mostly hands on and the boys enjoyed coming home with their own handmade creations, stars made of felted natural wool. I’m so appreciative to the mom who took time to organize this, and the woman who hosted us all and was so gracious and welcoming in involving all the kids in real life learning!
As I said, there’s lots going on, but Purim is definitely in the air!