Every year our favorite Purim tradition is to go through the shaloch manos we have received, take pictures of our favorites, and sort the food. I love sharing with you, my readers, all the clever and yummy ideas our friends and my students’ families came up with. I hope they will inspire you for future years! (I also like to share our costumes and shaloch manos.)
After two previous years of dressing up as a family, we decided to do it again, The kids didn’t seem to like any of my ideas, though. Luckily my husband stumbled on a cute idea from Real Simple magazine. We were copy cats! It is actually surprising that with our love of cats that we had not done this before!
Luckily, they were not as much work as past years’ costumes. I found an easy tutorial for the cat ears and made the shirts with iron-on paper (both from Michaels). The company that made the paper has a website that walks you through creating and printing your design. I had thought of making tails from a feather boa and a hanger, but the price for 6 boas was too much. I instead found large pipe cleaners at Michaels. I bought three different colors (each two of us would have the same color). I cut them into two pieces, folded each piece in half, twisted the halves around each other, and wrapped the open end around a piece of wide elastic big enough for each person’s waist. Some of us tied our elastic closed, while others used a safety pin. I got two tails from each large piece of pipe cleaner.
- white T-shirts (Michaels)
- iron-on transfer printer sheets (Michaels)
- headbands (Walmart)
- felt (Michaels)
- glue gun and glue sticks (Michaels or Walmart)
- large pipe cleaners (1 pack per 2 people, Michaels)
- wide elastic (Michaels)
- safety pins
- eyeliner for whiskers
- blush for nose
OUR SHALOCH MANOS:
This year it seemed only natural to make our shaloch manos match our costumes. This was the first time in our 20-year marriage that we have matched the two! The cookies ended up being a lot more work than we had expected, though. I wish we had tried the recipe out weeks before Purim! This was our first time decorating cookies with royal icing. It definitely takes practice and much time! (We found a great recipe and tutorial for the cookies here.)
I came up with a cute note to explain it all, which we included inside. I also included the hectures of the items and a family picture.
Our shaloch manos included:
- cat bags
- goldfish crackers (Stauffer’s brand from Dollar Tree)
- Dum Dums (Walmart)
- cat pencils
- cat cookies (see recipe here)
MORE WONDERFUL SHALOCH MANOS:
Ready-to-go lunches (and one side dish) – Our friends R’ Shmuel & Chanie, R’ Shmuel & Chana, R’ Chanon & Shira, R’ Joey & Alana, Yehuda & Elisheva, and Debbie & David all made various yummy lunch shaloch manos (salads, hot dog meal, slaw, pizza, and soups). Everyone was fighting over them in our home! (Sorry, no pics of the hot dog meal and soups!)
Weather theme – Our friends Jessie & Daniel always come up with the cleverest shaloch manos! This year she didn’t disappoint with her weather wheel and matching treats! It, of course, had a creative poem to go with it!
Breakfast to go – R’ Avrohom & Rusie created these elegant breakfasts that were so delicious! Homemade chocolate cheesecake muffins and homemade cappuccino!
Elegant treats – Our friends Dr. Yosef & Pirchie made amazing toffee and our friends R’ Shimshon & Miriam made homemade peanut brittle! Both delicious and beautiful packaging!
More homemade goodies made with love – Two of my students’ families made us homemade cookies. R’ Daniel & Hindy always make the most amazing cookie trays! R’ Josh & Chana even had their kids (my students) decorate the plates with messages to me!
Have a “Beary” Happy Purim – Our friends R’ Daniel & Ruthie made homemade bear cakes and included other “berry” treats!
International Jewish treats! – Our friends R’ Daniel & Rochel made homemade babka and baklava in this cute and creative triple treat tray!
Where’s Waldo/Red & white treats – R’ Menachem & Aviva put together this clever red and white basket with a creative note about their Where’s Waldo costumes.
Sushi – I have yet to see their costumes, but one of my students’ families dressed up as sushi and gave out yummy sushi as well! Judging from their past costumes, I know it was awesome. Hopefully I will be able to include it in my follow-up Purim post! Thank you Chaim & Talia!
Airline snacks – Avi & Hudi gave us this smart airline treat!
Dr. Suess theme – Vicki & Marc matched their family costumes to their shaloch manos! Very clever!
“Baby sharks” song – Our friends Mordechai & Temima also matched their costumes to their shaloch manos and came up with these “shark”tastic treats to include!
Ocean theme – Other friends R’ Yitz & Racheli created another clever water theme with their ocean in a jar (with blue drink, poem, salt water taffy, rock candy, fish-shaped chocolate, and gummy fish)!
Photo Op – This is probably one of the most creative and brilliant shaloch manos I have seen! Thanks to R’ Yossi & Raizy!
Car racing – Our friends R’ Eli & Devora had matching racing costumes for their family and a racing colored treat (marshmallows and chocolate chips).
Runners – Our rabbi and his family all dressed as runners and included two fuel-filled items for the day!
Orange theme – Our friends R’ Shraga & Rivka put together three orange-colored snacks for a triple treat!
Secret agent – Here is another secretive package filled with undercover agent tools doubling as snacks. Thanks Joe & Izzie!
Afternoon tea – Our friends John & Jody put together this simple, yummy treat.
Creative packaging – Our friends R’ Yosef & Mimi came up with a catchy slogan for their shaloch manos label and Sam & Dr. Rikva decorated their pretty striped bag with a beautiful 3D decoration! Shaindy & Aaron attached some delicious biscotti to a Perrier water.
Coffee break – Simple, but delicious! Thanks Debra & Marc! I always love a good muffin and my husband loves instant coffee for Shabbos.
7-Eleven and 1 – Our friends R’ Hershey & Chana just moved into a new house and their address happens to be 7111. They played on that number with their clever shaloch manos and costumes!
Chag Sameach and thank you to everyone for these amazing shaloch manos!
* For more great costume and shaloch manos ideas, see my past Purim posts here.