The kids are home. And they are BORED! So I decided it will be a good day for them to help out. They got to make up the shalochmonos (gift) packages, that we give away on Purim.
Some people go totally nuts over them. They erect beautiful edifices out of exotic fruit, fancy food, gorgeous and usually useless containers, wrapped in shrink wrap. Some – are minimalists – they go for a paper plate with a can of sardines on it and an apple. Each of this approaches is valid. But I fall somewhere in between. I am not wonderful at decorating. I love beauty, but it has to be useful, that is the Russian coming out in me. If I would have a smallest piece of land for the garden I would plant potatoes and garlic. After all, the flowers ARE pretty and the plants will feed us.
So my packages are usually nothing special from outside, and I try to put some really nice goodies inside. But not too many. I had to laugh at myself the other day, as I was shopping for the things to put inside. I gave the kids a limit of 2 kids from the class to whom they can give the packages, plus one, that is a friend, but not in school with them. This makes for about 15 children’s gifts. This means, in turn – Candy Time! So there I was standing in the grocery store looking at the candy and shuddering. A warning to the wise. Never read the ingredients on the candy wrapper. The things they put in them!.. To make a short story long, there was no way I could bring myself to buying this garbage even for someone else’s kids. So I ended up with organic candy, and fruit leathers, and chocolates. And of course, fresh fruit.
We are packing this in the large “Chinese Food” take out containers. Simple and will not spill out all over the place.
Here is how one fulfils the mitzvah of shalochmonos:
We send two portions of food (OK, at least two) to our friends. Men send to men, and women send to women. The packages are send out after the morning reading of the megilah (scroll of Ester) until sundown.