Yesterday we talked about the Mitzvot of Purim, but I want to delve deeper into what you can do to keep your toddler involved in the Mishloach Manot.
I was reading through my daily edition of Tablet magazine, and what should be on the forefront of my pages- the Mishloach Manot Wars. I can't even believe that someone wrote that.
Because I don't have enough to worry about, that I need to think about outdoing someone with my basket of nice treats. Because giving the treat isn't enough, it has to be better than yours?
Maybe I'm just not the in the right circles, but the idea of anxiety related to making these baskets and gift bags seems a bit ridiculous to me. Then again, I think about all the time I can spent on Pinterest, looking at the cute and adorable things that other people make.
There are four mitzvot of Purim, and I think that this one is probably the least of all the four. Hearing the megillah is certainly of more importance. So is giving charity to the poor.
So, when I think about doing these baskets, I think about ways that I can have my children participate. It might be a little more difficult for Ocho, but EG, she can help in so many ways. Now, they might not turn out like Martha Stewart. But they will be fun for us to make, and, I hope, enjoyable for our friends and neighbors to take part in. So here's to having the family participate, and to lessening any crazy expectations we have on ourselves.
When I think about putting together my gifts, the first thing that I think about is allowing EG to decorate the bags for me. Some crayon, pencils, maybe even a handprint. Want to make them even nicer after the kiddos handiwork? Print this lovely Shalom onto them courtesy of Chai and Home.
Next I think it's a great opportunity to help your kids count. I usually try to put in two Hamentaschen per person in the family. This might seem like a lot (here's looking at you sister-in-law) but no one wants to be the person who only gets one cookie. In addition to cookies I like to put in something more healthy.
There is a tradition to put in wine or grape juice, since wine is so important to Jewish joy. However, with most of my gifts going to those with kiddos, I prefer to send raisins. I usually throw in a few cuties, and a few apples too, so everyone can get something. Have them count out how many cookies, cuties and apples into each bag- learning and doing!
It's traditional, and some opinions hold part of the mitzvah, to have the packages delivered by someone else. This is a great way for your toddler to participate. Since they have to be delivered during the day it's a great opportunity for your child to practice front door etiquette- ringing the bell or knocking on the door, giving something away, and saying goodbye. Also a nice opportunity to loosen the reins a bit and let them walk to the neighbors house alone (observed by you from the front door)
How do you involve the kiddos in the mitzvot? Or are you stressing about theming your baskets appropriately? Don't even get me started on whether it's okay for me to give away cookies my toddler helps me bake...