Its a crazy hectic day, always full of surprises, but the festival of Purim can actually be quite enjoyable. Here’s a concise guide on how to limit meltdowns in your family to one per person:
1. Release the pressure.
Three years of seminary taught me that being creative is a survival skill in our culture, and Purim is the Hunger Games. Every year the girls whipped up marvelous creations for the teachers and all I had to do was contribute my five dollars. When the time came for me to tackle this feat on my own, it went without say that I felt the need to do the same. Unfortunately, my capabilities stop short at the art of writing. Anything in the realm of cutting, pasting or even arranging is just not my forte. For years, I lost enormous amounts of body fluids via tears spilled in utter frustration over stupid shrink wrap and the impossible feat of trying to blow dry a piece of plastic. Until I stumbled upon the mind-boggling realization that no friends would be lost if I so much as stuffed everything into a bag.
2. It’s not what you do all the time, but most of the time, that counts.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and luckily neither are cavities. They take months of sugar filled snacks, and exhausted parents too tired to floss their kid’s teeth to develop. At a recent dentist visit we were told to try limit our kids’ intake of fruit in between meals. In all seriousness I turned to the dentist and asked “what about candy?” Hopefully that little story will assist you in enjoying your Purim better.
3. Blame it on the sugar
Entering shule on Rosh Hashanah is all fun and games until the cute baby everyone was lamenting over a minute ago begins to fuss and all your fans suddenly turn hostile. That’s not before saying helpful things like “they’re blowing the shofar now,” because prior to this you had no idea what that unique sound was. Come Purim, a child could be having a full-blown meltdown and no one would know the difference. If anyone so much as points out the unfortunate occurrence (again, VERY helpful), just turn to the candy and shrug.
4. Memories that last a lifetime.
I obviously don’t speak from experience when saying this but I can only imagine the memories that are being created for our children on this day. A day which pretty much resembles heaven on earth for anyone under the age of eighteen. Piles of candy, unlimited access to it all and in our house, the one-time kids are allowed anything remotely non-Jewish. This is probably not the best memory to be cementing, but after trying to convince a five-year-old that dressing up as Mordecai is cool, only to find ourselves running to Party City the morning-of, I think it’s safe to say we have caved in.
5. Candy for days
My friend, who as you will now see is a very good mom, allows her kids a few minutes to digest whatever candy they can, after which she gathers it all, and throws it out: An outrageous act of blasphemy. Purim is pretty much our candy stock for the year. Following its conclusion, every crumb is neatly packaged into containers and slowly unfolded over the year to come. Were it not for this glorious day my kids probably wouldn't know what candy is. But thanks to our religion, a gigantic candy bucket has been enshrined and every year it awaits replenishing, reinstating its central importance to our lives, time and time again.