Purim is a great holiday based around the community. However, this year, many people are trying to figure out how they can take the holiday up a notch because self-isolation rules are still in effect. Last Purim was taken a little off guard when things had to be suddenly canceled due to covid-19, but this year, there is more time to plan and make sure the holiday is amazing even though it still won’t be the same as previous years. These ten tips will help you enjoy the holiday with your family while keeping the spirit alive, and ensuring you get the full meaning out of your holiday.
1. DIY Costumes
One of the best ways to enjoy the holiday is to get dressed up, even if you’re not going to be able to go to a community event to show off your costumes. Instead of purchasing costumes or wearing older items, you might actually take some time to make a new costume. You can have the family sit down for half an hour to an hour each evening to start preparing a new costume. There are so many costume ideas that you can choose from too, so it is easy to make costumes from items found around the home. You can even find tutorials for numerous costumes online, which can definitely help out if your child wants to be something more complex.
2. Hand Puppets
Hand puppets tend to be a great part of the holiday that doesn’t have to be ignored due to the pandemic. If you don’t have hand puppets, or you would like to make new puppets then you might consider having some fun by making creating some unique characters. You can make them out of almost anything, which adds an even bigger element of fun to the mix. These puppets are particularly great when you make them out of items like recycling. Of course, if you have puppets already then, you’re set to create incredible shows with your kids or to simply sit back and watch their creativity flow. You can also share your child’s shows with family and friends through video calls or recordings that will help bring the excitement of the holiday to others.
There’s no doubt about it, baking is probably one of the best ways to enjoy just about any holiday. Purim is no different. This year, you might decide to bake some treats to spread some love to your friends and family. You might start by making baked goods from items that you have in your pantry to keep up with your budget. However, since you won’t be spending extra money on Purim items then you may find that you’re able to splurge a little here. When baking, make enough to put your goodies into gift baskets so you can share the love. However, if you don’t want to go overboard with baking then you can always just package up a couple of items together to leave at loved ones’ doorsteps.
4. Purim Stories
One of the best things about Purim is the stories behind the holiday. So, make sure to sit down with your children and tell the story of Purim so they can enjoy the holiday to its full meaning. If you’re not sure how to tell the story, or you want to make it more child friendly, then there are many great options when it comes to books. You can even find lists based on your child’s age group. The story of the holiday isn’t the only story to share with your children. You might talk about holidays from your past that meant something to you. Make sure to include relatives that your children show know about in order to better understand their history. This will allow you to give the holiday even more meaning.
5. Make Your Own Grogger
Groggers, or noisemakers, are a fun part of the holiday and most kids can’t get enough of them. You don’t have to spend a fortune to purchase groggers year after though. Rather, you can easily make your own grogger to help entertain children for hours. Groggers can be made out of just about anything. A more common option is to take a toilet roll and fill it with rice, beans, or anything that will make noise. Then close it up securely and decorate it to add to the festivities. There are lots of wonderful tutorials online though, so you can easily find a DIY grogger that works best for the supplies you have on hand, the age level of your child, and the style that you’re looking for.
6. Cook Together
One of the best elements of most holidays is the family feasts that we get to enjoy. This holiday, you might not be cooking in the kitchen with the elders of your family. This makes it a great time to bring your children into the kitchen to teach them the best recipes the family has to offer. Of course, you will want to customize the tasks based on your child’s age group. If you don’t have traditional recipes to choose from, then you might consider adding something new to the mix. This will allow you to easily find something exciting about the holiday. On the other hand, if you want to cook with the elders of your family then consider doing so on video chat. This will still give you the warmth of working together, even if you will be cooking meals in different kitchens. It will also offer you the chance of getting to learn recipes from others if they are willing to pass them down.
7. Donate to Charity
A large part of Purim is giving to those in need. If you are typically the type of person to go out and volunteer during this time, then you might not be able to do so during this year. Instead of volunteering, you might consider just donating to a charity. This will allow you to give back even if you prefer to see the good, you’re doing for yourself. If you don’t have a lot to give then don’t donate a lot. Every little bit helps. If this option doesn’t work for you then consider donating items. You can donate baskets of food and warm clothes to those that are homeless. You can also donate food and clothes to charities to help you give back as well.
8. Online Costume Party
Part of going out and enjoying Purim is showing off your costume. This year, you won’t be able to go to gatherings in synagogues or in the homes of others, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t show off your costume. If you really want to have a costume party then organize one online. It’s very easy to do on social media now. You can start a thread where everyone posts pictures or videos of their costumes and then those passing through the thread can upvote the costume they like. You can also just pick some judges ahead of time to look over the costumes. Of course, this is only one way to accomplish this. There are lots of ideas online if you’re looking around.
One great aspect of Purim is all of the fun you can have with crafts. Sure, making groggers and puppets are great crafts that you probably won’t want to skip, but there is a lot more than you can create too. For starters, you can make décor for the home. There are lots of great ideas for this online, which will help you channel some creativity while allowing your kids to improve on skills. Another fun idea is to make storybooks. You can have kids draw pictures of the story of Purim, their favorite memories of Purim, and so on. There are a lot of options to choose from though, so get crafty and have fun. You may find hidden talents as you create works of art based on the holiday.
10. Stream Megillah Reading
Most people go to the synagogue for the Megillah reading each year. However, this year, you might not be able to enjoy this reading with others based on your state’s rules. Even if you can, you may have to deal with social distancing rules that might make you feel uncomfortable. There is an alternative though. There are many synagogues and religious leaders that are streaming the reading online. You can choose a reading from your own personal Rabbi, if available, or you can join others in listening to a live stream. You’ll have to do a little research to find the best option for you, but it will definitely help to complete the holiday without forcing you to feel like you’ve missed out.
This year, Purim doesn’t have to be a bust. Rather, you can take the holiday and transform it into something that your family can take joy in. Even though it might not have the same warm feelings as years past, you will still find that there is a joy to be had with your loved ones.