You see, he was singing “Mi She, Mi She, Mi Shenichnas Adar, Marbin, Marbin, Marbin Besimchah.” Adar? Now? I mean, I know it is coming, but they are already teaching the songs in school?? I ran to the calendar to see when EXACTLY it was that Adar was starting. Because if Rosh Chodesh Adar is here, then Purim is only a few weeks behind! But I have no plan for Purim! I have no costumes, no theme, nada, NOTHING!
For a normal person, this is not really a problem. Purim is really like a month away. This should be plenty of time of to get together three costumes and a couple of Shalach Manos. When it comes to Purim, I tend to lose all sanity. I take it a little too far.
A little history to the madness:
Purim has always been MY holiday. I was born on the 24 of Adar and very often Purim falls on or close to my English birthday. My Bat Mitzvah party was a costume party/ Purim seudah. We got married about a month before Purim (Happy 11th Anniversary Honey!) and Shalach Manos was one of the first things we did together. That first year we picked a theme and we have a theme ever since.
It seems that since that year, it has become “Can you top this?” I am my worst competition. This is when the crazy, perfectionist, creative part of me takes over. Since the Trips were born, it seems to have been taken to a new level, as we added a costume tie-in. Did I mention that most of them feature a poem as well?
Don't believe anyone could be quite that nuts about Purim? Well, let me convince you. Here is a rundown of our previous Shalach Manos with some examples of the contents. Sorry I can't give you a complete list of contents, but there are a lot of them! Also, for those of you who have been on the receiving end of one or all of these, enjoy the trip down memory lane...
- Under the Sea – Water, pasta shells, gummy fish, Dolphin crackers in a little case with fish stickers on it.
- 'Orange' You Glad it's Purim – Everything was orange and in an orange pitcher.
- Penguins – This is the year it really started to get out of control. I found these white bowls. What you can't see in the picture is that they have a spout. So when turned upside down, they look like little igloos. I decorated the outsides with snowflake stickers and glued a little penguin figurine at the "entrance." Inside were penguin cookies, snow caps, and I can't remember what else, but it had to do with cold and ice.
- Over the Rainbow - Simple concept, ridiculously difficult execution. One food item for each color of the rainbow. Easy! In a basket with a helium filled balloon attached so it looks like a hot air balloon. Insane!
- Harry Potter - This was the year that indicated to me that I had too much time on my hands and may even need serious attention from a mental health professional. I got plastic trumpet vases and decorated them with star stickers. I copied the letter that Harry receives from McGonagall welcoming him to Hogwarts, changed some key words, and printed it on parchment. Inside were green chocolate frogs WITH Famous Wizard Card, a "Snitch" - a clementine with golden wings glued on, a treacle tart, a bag of "Bertie Bott's" Every Flavored Beans, a candy stick "Magic Wand." Once the vase was filled I attached a plate to the top, turned it over so it looked like a wizard's hat, and put a pair of Harry Potter glasses on it. It was awesome. One of my great-aunts didn't want to take it apart and eat the stuff. It was really that incredible.
- Tea with Milk and Honey - This was a year when the matzav in Israel was particularly bad. Almost everything in the package came from Israel including boxes of shelf stable milk personally imported by my cousin. People either got a teapot or teacup with milk, honey, tea, a honey cake, and an Elite Milk Chocolate bar (These will make an encore appearance in #9.)
- Baby, Baby, Baby - Having just given birth to triplets, this would've been the year to scale back and do a simple, basic Hamantaschen, wine, and fruit Shalach Manos. But, no, no settling for me. We got these little bottle bags (kinda like these but A LOT cheaper! Thanks Amazing Savings!) Inside was baby carrots, a little baby bottle filled with candy, Three Musketeers, and other things punning three or baby.
- Around the U.S. - This was the last year before the theme consumed the costumes and the Shalach Manos. The girls were flowers and C was a bumble bee. Together, they were a garden! Shalach Manos was completely unrelated. A little Stars & Stripes tote filled with goodies tied into famous places all over the U.S. Corn bread, Hershey Kisses, The Big Apple, you get it. The card had a map of the U.S. on the front with a star on each of the locations that had a corresponding treat inside the bag.
- Cows - The kids have Sandra Boynton's Philadelphia Chickens book and CD set . (Highly recommend it!) The first song is called Cows and since it was constantly playing, I guess I had bovine on the brain. I got cow costumes, ordered plates with cows on them, bought all things milk and black and white, and voila! The cards had a picture of the Trips in their costumes with no poem (*gasp*) Instead it said something like "Hope you have a MOOving Purim" and "From our Herd to Yours." The card was attached to the package with a ribbon and a teenie tiny cowbell.
- M & Ms - Missing UM & AM and their M & M collection must have been the underlying inspiration for this one (They had just made Aliyah). The Trips were dressed as M & Ms and all the stuff inside was M related. The containers were cardboard cylinders with covers, and had a collage of the kids in their costumes and of course, a poem.
- Fairy Tales - Last year the girls were little fairy princesses and C was a prince. I am not going to describe this one. You figure it out. Here is the poem to help you:
Lived two Fairy Princesses and a Prince – who was charming, they say.
"Purim is coming" said the fanciful Queen,
"Let's prepare a Shalach Manos the likes of which has never been seen."
So they gathered the Royal Court to think and prepare,
Even the practical King and Fairy Godcousin were there.
It was decreed to gather treats from favorite children's tales,
To bring loved ones joy, and laughter in gales.
So they borrowed baskets from a lass whose hood was red,
And uncovered some peas 'neath a princess' bed.
Some sauce for a duck with pretty bad looks,
Sticks from a house a wolf overtook,
Magic pixie dust that can make you fly,
A whistle taken from a piper who's pied,
A kiss for a frog that's been badly cursed,
To lead you home, some crumbs in a purse,
Straw that a small man can spin into gold,
Porridge that's "just right," or so they'd been told,
Some magical beans for a tall stalk to grow,
A long braid from a high locked tower to throw,
Leather for elves to secretly stitch into shoes,
A bewitched apple that may cause you to snooze,
A gingerbread man, who by a fox has been caught,
These were the items collected and bought.
They sent out the baskets with a Chag Sameach cheer!
(And the Queen wondered "Now, what's for NEXT year?")
But their clever plan helped avoid a holiday disaster,
And of course, They Lived Happily Ever After.
Have an Enchanting Purim!
That's all folks. I try to keep the theme and stuff hush-hush so people get the full effect Purim day. All I am going to tell you about this year is: I have a theme (Thanks UM!!), the Shalach Manos are going to be super, and the kids costumes are just going to be incredible!