This was probably one of our least hectic Purims ever! I think because I had so many other commitments during February, that I was super organized and diligent about spending a little time on everything each night. For once, we were not finishing our shaloch manos right before delivering! And I wasn’t making costumes right up until Megillah!
Once all the festivities are done, our favorite ritual is to go through the shaloch manos and sort the contents and admire the themes and food choices. Check out the creativity of our friends (and our family) from the St. Louis community! Check back next year, too, when you need fresh ideas!
This year was our second year doing family costumes. I was inspired by my school’s World’s Fair and suggested that we all be flags. My husband and I came up with six flags that were not controversial and would not be too complicated to make. Then we let each member of the family pick which one they wanted to be. Once we were altogether, we realized we were “Six Flags!”
To make the costumes. I bought cheap white pillowcases from Walmart. I bought fabric spray paint from Michael’s and Walmart (had to go to both to get the colors I needed). I printed pictures of the flags from online. For the Canadian flag and Israeli flag, I printed out an 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper of the flag’s symbol. I cut out the center and used the outline remaining to paint onto the flag. I also used painter’s tape triangles to leave the star white in between the points of the star.
I cut a triangle from the top hemmed part of the pillowcases. I had read online that cutting deeper was better than cutting a round opening for the head. This made it easy to slip over the head, but not too wide on the shoulders. For my husband, my older son, and myself, I also had to cut down the sides because we were too wide to fit the pillowcase over our bodies!
I used painter’s tape to tape off sections during painting and slid cardboard inside the pillowcases to keep the pillowcase flat and to prevent the paint from bleeding onto the reverse side. If you want more details on how I created them, please comment below!
I would have liked to make coordinating hats, but the costumes took long enough! However, my family added their own hats from around the house to top off their outfits. I really should have worn one of my berets!
OUR SHALOCH MANOS:
Several months before Purim, I got a gift certificate from Oriental Trading for $20 off a purchase. I decided that, for once, I would buy a cute package for our shaloch manos. I fell in love with their chevron printed boxes. (My first grade classroom has a lot of chevron this year, too.) Then when I began our Purim preparations, I decided to complement them with other types of lined/designed items. We decided on chevron packaged mints (from Oh! Nuts), nonpareils (for dots, also from Oh! Nuts), homemade pinwheel cookies (for swirls), and sparkling flavored water (for bubbles, from Walmart). I came up with a cute note to explain it all, which we included inside. I also include a picture of the hectures of the items that were not in their original packaging.
MORE WONDERFUL SHALOCH MANOS:
Ready-to-go lunches – Our friends R’ Shmuel & Chanie, R’ Shmuel & Chana, R’ Chanon & Shira, Rivka Serel & Yaakov, and Debbie & David all made various yummy lunch shaloch manos (salads, hot dog meal, and pizza). Everyone was fighting over them in our home!
Chanukah theme – Our friends Jessie & Daniel created a wacky Chanukah for Purim theme – including olive oil, a chocolate menorah lollipop, chocolate gelt, a Chanukah cupcake, and a dreidel in a gift box! So clever!
Great presidents – Our friends Bella & Yosef outdid themselves with their coordinating costumes and shaloch manos this year! The kids all dressed as different presidents and made political party cookies to match! Recipients even had to guess which child was which president! The box was decorated and cut on top to look like a voting box!
Have a “Beary” Happy Purim – Our friends Devora & Eli created shaloch manos with matching bear costumes! The foods included a yummy organic berry soda, gummy bears, and berry-flavored jellybeans.
S’mores theme – Our friends Heather & Jonathan included graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows for easy s’mores.
Coffee break – Our friends Larry & Lori filled a mug with instant coffee, cookies, tea bags, and a fig bar. They made a label with the Starbucks logo to coordinate with it!
Banana theme – Our friends Vicki & Warren found all-things-banana for their shaloch manos! I particularly enjoyed the freeze-dried bananas!
Bonkers for Berries – more berry-flavored items from our friends Debbie & Marc. The muffin and granola bar were delicious!
Tropical theme – Our friends R’ Menachem & Zelda put together a tropical theme. They even had matching costumes!
Building theme – R’ Yossi & Raizy created a building theme with a creative and meaningful poem about how we are builders of people every day – building people up with kind and polite words. They included mandel bricks and Lego candy and dressed up in matching construction costumes!
Out of this world – Our friends Joe & Izzy found several items related to a space theme! The cookies are especially delicious! Our boys had no idea what Tang was!
50s theme – Two families (R’ Green & Shev and Michael & Stacy) created 50s-themed shaloch manos. Both families also dressed up in 50s costumes!
Wizard of Oz theme – Our friends Danny & Sara created a very clever shaloch manos with animal crackers (to represent “lions and tigers and bears, oh my), heart-shaped cookies (heart), dried fruit including raisins and bananas (brain food and courage), fruit roll-up (rainbow), and water (to melt the witch). They also had coordinating Wizard of Oz costumes!
Parisian theme – Our friend Miriam made divine madeline cookies and included French roast coffee, an Andes mint, and necklaces for her Parisian theme.
Zoo theme – Aryeh & Ellie had matching zoo animal costumes and zoo-related foods. They even found a cute box to match!
Cowboy theme – Mordechai & Temima created a very clever cowboy theme with licorice lassos, pretzel hay, a straw with a boot topper, and bandana plastic bags. They had matching costumes as well!
Smurfs theme – Our friends Suri & Yakov Meir had a coordinated theme – costumes and shaloch manos related to our furry friends – the Smurfs. They included various things blue and white in their gifts. The cake balls were delicious!
Clever container – Dassy & Ben dressed up some delicious rugelah with a vase, fabric, ribbon, and homemade label! It made a beautiful presentation!
Tooth fairy theme – Our talented friends Anya & Igor created amazing tooth fairy and teeth costumes with a coordinating shaloch manos.
* For more shaloch manos and costume ideas, check out my past Purim posts here.