It’s Adar, and here at the Silver household, we have already increased our joy by decorating the house with all the past Purim projects that I keep in a box (I put that process up on my stories last week. It’s my favorite part of instagram, I don’t care what the Mishpacha inbox writers say).
Purim is such a fun holiday, and over the years I’ve enjoyed accessing my creative side and have been getting more into themed family costumes. The kids have fun brainstorming what we could be, and after I manage to get their expectations and ideas to a realistic and affordable level, we get to work on making the idea a reality. This usually means heading to Amazon. Haha.
Past themes have been Shabbos Party (that is still my favorite theme, tbh),
Super Mario Family,
as for our theme this year, well, you’re just going to have to wait and see!
We haven’t always been so organized about Purim. I still remember one year when I thought I could make hamentaschen for our mishloach manos on Purim day itself. Hahahahahah. Don’t do that. It was ridiculously stressful.
And many other years we just cobbled together whatever, and it was fine.
My kids seem to enjoy doing the themed stuff now, but in the future they may not be into it, or I may not have time, so I try to play it by ear. We almost didn’t do a theme this year, but then a reasonable idea ended up falling into our laps so we decided to go for it.
Which brings me to my next point –
It can get really stressful, what with the costumes, and food to give out, and the lists, the endless lists of who we should give to, and who might come to us so we should just in case prepare something for them too, and so on.
We could put a lot of pressure on ourselves for things to be perfect, to be more than perfect, and it would be easy for some of us to feel down on ourselves for any of the following reasons:
-not being as creative as so-and-so
-not having a theme
-not making fancy mishloach manos
-wanting to do a theme but kids not being into it
-kids wanted to do a theme and we’re not into it
-kids constantly changing their mind about what they want to be
-not having the money to do what you would like
-fill in your own personal insecurity here!
Yes, it is totally normal and understandable to fall into the trap of comparing yourself this time of year. It’s hard not to on a holiday when people are literally coming to your door and bringing things to you.
But stop it!
There are so many holidays in the Jewish year, and different holidays speak to different people. For some people, Purim is a holiday where they really feel they can shine. Their creative juices get flowing, and they feel alive and are invigorated by putting a lot of energy into their costume and meal and mishloach manos. That’s how Hashem made them!
If that’s not how Hashem made you, that’s your reality! And it’s okay! And believe me, no one is judging you on your costume or what you bring (except people with issues, and you don’t need to worry about them). What people remember is the joy of seeing friends, the pleasure of being part of a community, and the happiness that comes with giving.
It’s okay to be yourself! Respect your limitations. Appreciate the creativity of other people and be satisfied with whatever you are able to do.
Because what you are able to do is exactly what you are supposed to be doing. And when you are doing what you’re meant to, not worrying about what you wish you could do, that’s what’s going to help you tap into simcha.
Here are few Purim posts I’ve written over the years if you want to check them out:
Why Purim is So Much More Than Jewish Halloween (I didn’t pick that title)
Which Purim Character Do You Most Identify With?
PLUS!!!!!!! My good friend Amy Smith just started a blog called The Bal Tashchit Balabusta (love that title), about how to live a low-waste lifestyle when you are observant. I highly highly recommend you head over there and start following her. She is one of my favorite people and I am so excited that she’s starting this blog, and I think she has fabulous suggestions that are accessible to everyone, even if low-waste living isn’t on your radar.
4 thoughts on “Oh Purim, Oh Purim, Hooray”
My Mum invested a lot of time and effort in Purim costumes for me (and I assume for my sister, although I don’t remember). I don’t put as much effort in now. For many years I stopped dressing up at all, part of my general feeling of unhappiness and disconnection with Purim. I did dress up last year, as the Doctor, in a somewhat amateurish and slapdash way, nervous about how dressing up as a TV character would be accepted in my shul. (No one said anything.) I’m hoping to do it again this year, partly as a way of getting through Purim, which is hard with my issues and doubly hard this year as my family is going through a hard time.
I would have loved to have seen that costume!
You could totally do this for families as a business (in your copious spare time).
That would be a fun consulting gig! Maybe in a decade. Or two. ;)