mishloach manot themes
any good mishloach manot themes out there? any syuggestions on how to make them real cute, original not using hersheys for chocolate?
I usually purchase Mishloach Manot cards from ChaiLifeline, a most worthy cause. Sure beats throwing out good money to the junk food industry. To turn this into a cute theme, you can include a note stating that the enclosed card can be redeemed for a box of junk food (use a more socially acceptable description). You can be creative and have checklist of junk food collections that one can choose.
Would be interesting to see how many people would take you up on it.
In liew of the donation given in your honor, you may exchange it for one the following:
( ) Bottle of grape juice, bag of potato chips, one apple, bag of M&Ms
( ) Can of Coke, bag of Onion Rings, one orange, box of Mike & Ikes
( ) Bottle of grape juice, chocolate coated wafer bar, box of pretzels
( ) Can of Sprite, two hamentashen, laffy taffy
Last year my theme was "go nuts". It contained: a bag of mixed nuts, a mini-bottle of Frangelico, an envelope of hazelnut cappuccino mix, an egozi bar, and a coconut bar of some kind, plus the obligatory hamentash (not nut-flavoured, couldn't find any). BTW, I hate spending money on fancy packaging that's just going to be thrown out, so I pack my shalach manos in plastic containers that are actually useful.
Yeay- glad to be thinking about Purim already.
I usually make "healthy" mishloach manot...
I usually make whole wheat hamantaschen with pumpkin filling(took me a long time to work out this recipe)
a box of herbal tea
bag of dried fruits and nuts
nice dark chocolate
Also once did a savory one with whole wheat crackers, a little tub of hummus, olives (all homemade-including the olives, and organic!) with a box of herbal tea and some clementines
I was just getting ready to start working on a post for Healthy Mishloach Manot for my site and planned on making Pumpkin Whole Wheat Hamantaschen and then I saw this, I guess it was not as original as I thought. Would you be interested in sharing your recipe. I will give you full credit and include it in my article. Let me know.
A theme that I like is products that were non kosher (or not kosher certified), but later became kosher like oreo's, snickers, Ritz crackers, Entemann's, etc.
Last Purim our theme was that of "spices." We included spice tea, cinnamon sticks, scented candles, small scented lotion, spice cake, and oranges; the year before our theme concerned a good nights sleep (and we put them in pillow cases). We included eye masks, sleepy time tea, cookies and milk (or hot cocoa mix).
bag of dried fruits
a box of herbal tea
small scented lotion
whole-wheat pumpkin hamantashen
I guess the first thing that we need to establish is whether we are targeting the parents or the children. Kids would not appreciate most of the items suggested from the above posters. I also am curious who the themes are directed to i.e. who are we trying to impress. The choices are (1) the people giving the Mishloach Manot (2) the children in the family receiving the Mishloach Manot or (3) their parents.
I know that in my house, when my kids were younger, Purim was a grueling day of being a delivery service, I would load and unload throughout the day all the bags/boxes. The kids would rip them open and dump their contents in a garbage bag. At the end of the day they would divvy up the booty. I am amazed to see people spending so much time trying to find the perfect box/bag to put the Mishloach Manot in, not realizing that it gets promptly discarded! Things like olives and pumpkin hamantashen would surely find its way to the trash, at least in our home. I have the feeling that themes are a waste of energy and money and gets lost in the shear volume of Mishloach Manot that gets generated this day and age.
When I was younger, I don’t remember getting any Mishloach Manot. I would go to family get-togethers and recite the “purim spiel” and get money from the adult guests. My great-aunt I remember used to give out silver dollars (sure wish I saved them - would be worth a small fortune today). How much simpler it was in those days.
With my kids older and some married, I have a simpler system. I used my daughter’s wedding list to generate labels to send out ChaiLifeline Mishloach Manot cards. I participate in the local shul’s Mishloach Manot program so between the two I hit most of the “required” people. I “prime” the Mishloach Manot pump buy preparing a few packages for people that come by. I have a supply of bags/boxes that I dump the Mishloach Manot that I receive to replenish the Mishloach Manot stock to give to people that come to the door. That is my theme – RECYCLE!
I belong to two shules here in the 5 towns, both have mishloach manot offerings where the shul either delivers or you pick up a basket of goodies with a list of names of people who participated. It is a nice collection of items in a nice basket. I don't know if there was a theme since it was not stated and it was not obvious. A few years ago the Chabad of the 5 towns had the mishloach manot in a tan stone, I would call it a stew or cholent pot with lid and ladel that I use to this day, The only mishloach manot package that I can recall that I had any use for.
I always save and reuse any nice gift bags or packaging that MM come in. You could empty the contents out before the kids rip them up... I use paper bags that can be decorated, or bags/baskets I got MM in last year. There is no reason to throw these things out. This is part of the fun of Purim, it isn't just a Jewish Halloween. It doesn't have to be tooth-rotting candy. I find kids are excited by the variety. Maybe it is just in Israel that the MM aren't just filled with junkfood. We have friends who make big salads, or Asian-noodle dishes. Maybe start the trend away from unhealthy nosh to real food items.
The problem this day and age is more a psychological one. Because of expansion beyond the requirement to give at least 3 Mishloach Manot to be send to almost everyone that you said hello to and of course you have to return one to whoever gives you one, we now desperately strive to be noticed over the crowd. Hence the quest for a theme so that all your work preparing all those Mishloach Manot packages gets somehow noticed.
I think one could learn from what is being done for weddings. Imagine if EVERYONE brings a gift to the bride and groom, and I don't mean one driven by a registry, but random gifts given by the hundreds of guests, what a mess this would be, sort of what goes on Purim, as I mentioned previously, a garbage bag filled with junk. I would suggest either (1) give money, like it was done years ago and kids could buy (or you could buy for them) what they really want. (2) Charity via Mishloach Manot cards for worthy causes (and parents could match a percentage with cash to give to kids so they can get excited to receive the cards and at the same time be taught the meaning of tzadakah) (3) Have the community stores have something like the yeshivas have, chesed dollars, call them Mishloach Manot dollars that the children can redeem at local stores with whatever their heart desires (junk food, big salads, or Asian-noodle dishes).
My family does themes every year. We've also done things like coffee, Italian, popcorn and "Absolut nuts."
Last year we (as a family) did Chinese (getting nice plastic takeout boxes from Michaels, putting in Chinese cookies, fortune cookies, soy & duck sauce, attaching chopsticks, etc.)
The most elaborate scheme I had was candy sushi. It came out adorable, but the sour-apple fruit roll-up nori combined with the Twizzler "fish" made it too tangy for most. It also took a long time to make. But it looked authentic, I bought the sushi containers from a store, then had Fruit Flix serve as ginger, and some green sour belts as wasabi, and put a little cup of maple syrup on the side.
We often will start by finding the containers we want and building our theme around that.
My sister-in-law did that one last year. I think she used marshmallow fluff for rice and chocolate syrup for soy sauce.
I also hear you about finding the container first and then seeing what fits into it. As I said before I don't like to spend money on a container that will be thrown out, so I find a useful container (generally a Glad or Ziploc plastic tub of some kind, or a foil baking tin) and then carry one around the supermarket assembling stuff that will fit in the container and also work together as a theme. Then I buy 30 or so of each item...
Other themes I've used before:
1. A roll of salami, a bottle of mustard, a challah roll, some homentashen, tea bags, sugar and Splenda sachets, napkins, and plastic knife and fork.
2. A can of salmon, a bottle of mayo, a small onion, a box of crackers, accompaniments as above.
3. Smoked salmon (not lox-style, the other kind), cherry tomatoes, some other stuff that I forget.
4. A small box of Imagine(tm) soup, a packet of Chuster(tm) mandelach, and various nut-related things (the theme was "from soup to nuts").
For the past six years, I have had themes for my mishloach manot. Rather than just choose a random theme, though, I always like to have some possek that goes along with it. The possek does not have to be from the Megilla; anywhere in Tanach will do. The themes have been apples, nuts, fish, the shiva minim, hearts, and my favorite one: food that looked like something else. The possuk was the one from the megilla about "v'nahafoch hu." That year, it was carried through at the seuda. For mishloach manot, I sent candy/cake sushi in sushi containers (similar to someone above). Later that day I got at least three calls telling me how amazing the mishloach manot was. One friend actually didn't even realize it was not real sushi until she took it out to eat it later! But at the meal that year, I served a meatloaf that looked like a birthday cake (two meatloaf layers, cranberry sauce between the layers, and mashed potato frosting). For dessert, we had fake spaghetti and meatballs: the spaghetti was white frosting piped all over a plate to look like spaghetti, covered with strawberry jelly, and "meatballs," which were mini cupcakes. I haven't decided on this year's theme yet, but I'm thinking about a couple of ideas: rainbows or silver & gold come to mind. Others I've received: pie (the year that Purim was on 3/14), Mexican food, purple food come to mind. I heard about someone who collected egg cartons and made lots of little foods to fit into the carton and a cute rhyme to go with it, and someone else who used the 10 plagues as a theme, but I don't recall any of the food used for that.
we have done a number of themes - all well received: an airline meal, an "all Canadian" (we're originally from there), breakfast meal, emergency Shabbat kit, and when we moved, one thing for each letter of our new town. Each was accompanied by a cute poem. Also, I really try to count how many I receive the previous year so there's little waste as many people now participate in the large group baskets the shuls/schools send out, or send a card to sponsor an organization.
Last year we did fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies with 1/2 litre containers of milk. Everyone loved them!
Please don't tell anyone, but we do pickles. People love it and it's great because they can serve it at the Seudah, Purim festive meal. We put different varieties in sectioned candy platters and wrap with celaphane. Have a pickled Purim!
What a great question, and what fun replies! (except for the ulta righteous.) I usually go to Amazing Savings and walk around once, noticing the various items which could be containers, the cookbooks, the food items which are kosher, and any serving pieces which might compliment them until a theme pops up for me. People usually call to say how different and tasty everything was. Purim same'ach!
Here are some I have done.
Baseball - foods you would get at a game. peanuts, popcorn, cracker jacks, cotton candy, soda
Milk and cookies. Different types of cookies, a glass, milk box
Black and white. Oreos, marshmallows, black and white cookies, chocolate milk
Movies - stuff you get at the movies. Inside a popcorn bucket (full of microwave popcorn), movie-sized versions of raisinets, twizzlers, soda
since the phrase "those who enter into the month of Adar should be infused with joy" is integral to the holiday this year we will be doing "toys"; it will come in a pail with a shovel attached, and include multicolored jelly beans, bubbles, hamentashen, a small rake or shovel with "rocklike" candy in the handle and terra chips--what're more fun than toys!
i love this post...thank you!!!
i live in toronto and here are a few ideas that I have seen in the past few years:
a) a "gambling theme" - there was a lottery ticket, a small bottle of booze, some dice (for fun), and other stuff that I cant remember now. It was packaged in a box and she decorated it, like a dice.
b) small tapenades and flatbreads on a long serving dish...very cute
c) a kids frisbee with all sorts of "beach-like" food.
d) a big fresh fruit bowl....loved that idea. Simple and Healthy
e) i did a them "hope you have a grape purim" and inserted grapes, raisins, grape juice etc...
f) this year Im doing a cowboy theme..I found cowboy hats at target for $1 each. Im going to fill it with cowboy related food...(whatever that is..LOL)
g) an organic theme...everything in the packet was organic...yum..nice and healthy
Being that Purim is on Friday this year, you might want to try the "flowers" for shabbos with a cheap plastic vase, chocolate flowers, sunflower seeds as seeds, etc.
Thanks for starting this thread. It never occurred to me to have a theme for Purim. I do them for Chanukah -sometimes makes me spend more $ than originally planned, but it makes the kids think about what they are opening, instead of just concentrating on tearing paper.
I would be interested in what I can do for friends who are diabetic. Don't want to send cookies and candies. The nuts theme looks interesting to me.
Just came up with a theme this morning for sending MM's out of town. I'll be getting coffees with names of the neighborhoods near me from a local grocery store (they have pound bags as well as one pot sample envelopes) and nuts processed nearby in a kosher facility, for a Kosher from Texas theme. This will be different from pastries and candy, and that way the diabetics on my list can eat something.
If your local area has interesting kosher products, you might think of a spin one this for you.
The final package was a plastic shopping bag, containing: two tea lights, a grape juice box, two challah rolls, about 4 oz of jelly fish (representing fish), a packet of Chuster soup mandlen (standing in for the soup course), a bag of baby carrots for a salad, a can of Bush's baked beans (representing cholent), a can of mandarine segments for dessert, and a packet of cocoa mix for a hot drink on Shabbos morning.
Help!! Whats one to do with all the junk food and packaging that one has received and don't need. I would hate to throw out all that food(?) and I dare not eat or give to any loved ones all those unhealthy junk food. I don't want commit the sin of "Bal Tashchis" and just throw them in the garbage. Is there an organization that will accept them?
I feel the same way. Not to mention, the money should be better spent on matanos levyonim... (but, I will admit I somewhat enjoy the themes and people's creativity).JEP and/or NCSY collected the junk food and used them as incentives for the children that they are involved with. At least one shul in the area had a bin available to collect the food. Guidelines were set (e.g., no opened packages).If you received full packages (e.g., box of cookies, crackers, etc.) may be Tomchei Shabbos would take it. The children of those in need would surely appreciate some treats.Let us know who takes the items.
For anyone in the area of Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, there will be a
TOMCHEI SHABBOS POST-PURIM DROP OFF
Sunday, March 23rd, 12:00 noon-4:00 PM
Any extra UNOPENED, PACKAGED food, fruit or beverages with proper rabbinic supervision (no home baked goods, please) can be dropped off at 72-42 137th St., ONLY ON SUNDAY, MARCH 23rd, at the above hours.
I'm bringing over about half of what I received. I keep things like grape juice and wine, and other "useful" stuff, and I can't give away the home-baked stuff (but my colleagues at work usually appreciate that I bring that stuff in), but most of the real candy-type junk goes to Tomchei Shabbos.
I understand people not wanting to waste, but hey, it's Purim - you have to have some fun. This year my theme was political scandals. (I live in the Washington, DC area.)
Eat potato chips in honor of Larry Craig
He of the “wide stance” from Idaho.
He spent some time at the Twin Cities airport
And now his senate seat has to go.
There’s New England cranberries for Governor Spitzer
Who made a pilgrimage to the Mayflower
We don’t think he was being puritanical
When he paid $2000 an hour.
How many politicians have stolen your money?
It’s hard to name just a few
So we’ll let you fill in the blanks
As you munch on a gold nugget or two.
Finally, fresh from our kitchen
Are goodies, go ahead have a ball
‘Cause Purim without cookies and hamantash
Would be the worst scandal of all.
I frown upon themes, but was overuled, my daughter, the creative one, turned our house into what looked like an assembly line. She sold Mishloach Manot baskets with proceeds going Chai Lifeline (made $1800! for them). For us her theme was Shmeta with a poem (rolled into a scroll).
Want a fruit or a veggie
But its Shmeta year
Just dig in the basket
And you’ll find them in here
Enjoy the “Corn Pops”
Beware of its crunch
The potato chips
Are snacks one can munch
Some Orange biscuits
To liven up tea
Grape and Apple roll
What a delicacy
Sour to the tongue
Are the Raspberry sticks
Enjoy Strawberry Pops
Just suck or take licks
After you’ve eaten
And about to burst
Take a Mango drink
It will quench your thirst
These veggies and fruits
Are close to the real
But let’s make believe
For the “Purim Spiel”
i got a few great ones this year, they were:
1. a bowl of tortilla chips, with guacamole and salsa in the middle
2. a small bottle of a semi dry wine, with crackers and cheese
3. cookies and milk
4. Health food BUT WAIT it had a twist, it had a HUGE bar of hersheys special dark chocolate, and the 100 calorie packs of oreo's and other yummy goodies (so the cuteness was that it was healthy, but still junk food)
AND THE BEST ONE THIS YEAR WAS
5. THE HOBO THEME
it was a small can of beans, a small beer, an apple, and some crackers with peanut butter, all wrapped up in a bandana, tied to a stick VERY CUTE
re: kiddush hopper
>>AND THE BEST ONE THIS YEAR WAS
>>5. THE HOBO THEME
>>it was a small can of beans, a small beer, an apple, and some crackers >>with peanut butter, all wrapped up in a bandana, tied to a stick VERY CUTE
I can relate to that, two years ago I too received one like that, but it had a pastrami on rye with a can of coke. Best mishloach manot I ever had, actually quite cheap if you substitute salami. A loaf of rye bread and roll of salami gives a low cost per mishloach manot package.
re: kiddush hopper
Yes, the Pastrami sandwich and coke were on a stick in some sort of a kerchief, but since I love deli sandwiches it still sticks in my mind. I am really not into the packaging fixation of mishloach manot that seems to have swept the jewish community. We have surpassed the goyim in that I don't think that they are into the packaging that goes into Halloween treats or the packaging that the Christmas gifts get wrapped in.
I think it totally depends on your community and who your friends are. I got only three themed packages, and only one of those was packaged in a bag that went along with the theme (The theme was The Big Apple: four or five apple products were given in an I Love NY bag). Personally, I like the idea of nice packaging and the themed mishloach manot, but I realize that it's not part of the mitzvah at all, and if one doesn't want to do it, they certainly don't have to. Hey, the actual mitzvah is merely to give one package of two foods to one person, so many people are already giving more than they have to. Still, I enjoy it, just as I enjoy other crafts, as well as making any food that I serve look nice. It's just fun for me.
As for the comparison to the non-Jews, take a look at a Martha Stewart magazine or TV show around Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine's Day, and you'll see that there is quite a bit of concentration on the way things are presented, not just the food or gift itself.
Here is our idea this year."Sending ( edible) flowers" My son and I used flower molds from Michaels to make chocolate roses and daisies. We used frosting and cake decorations to cover Oreos and sprinkles to put on pretzels and cookies we had left over. I found party bags in a flower vase shape -15 for $2.00 at Target and we made Purim messages from blank business cards with a flower stuck in the corner. I also wrote about the idea on my blog and explained that we received so much love and care when my husband had brain surgery recently that we are so glad to be able to give and receive in equal parts this Purim, by “sending flowers” to our friends as well as receiving mishloach manot from them.
Visit my blog Brainstorm at http://gillycannon.blogspot.com
I got one this year where the theme was rainbows. There was a note that referred to the rainbow being a sign between Hashem and the Jewish people, and following six rainbow-colored foods:
1. tie-dyed cupcakes with rainbow twizzlers on the frosting
2. a rainbow-colored pasta salad with multi-colored pasta, edamame, yellow squash, orange peppers, kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes
3. a layered salad in a clear cup, which had grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, corn, peas, and shredded purple cabbage
4. a Rice Krispie-type treat made with Fruity Pebbles
5. something called Pretzel Bites, which were square pretzels with a chocolate round melted onto it, on top of which was an M & M (all the rainbow colors of the M & Ms);
6. a piece of white fudge with all colors of dried fruit/nuts in and on top of it (cranberries, apricots, blueberries, pineapple, and pistachios).
Each item was packaged separately, with colorful stickers identifying what it was.
The tropical theme went well. We had
Coconut M & M's (I got lucky and the grocery store had them at 50% off)
White chocolate bark with cashews, dried bananas, dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut, and cocoa nibs
Baby rum cakes
Mini banana pina colada muffins
Assorted hamantaschen, some with tropical fillings
Mini bottles of rum and fruit punch pouches to make your own "rum punch"
and a "megillah" listing the challenges of being a Jewish pirate
The fun one I did for my daughter was to pack her a surprise Purim lunch - her absolutest favorite, sushi, with the history and observances for "Sushi Purim."
Egyptian theme. Bright blue paper bags with hieroglyphic Purim message scroll. Contents: can of Egyptian fava beans ("ful"), pomegranate seeds, honey stick, Yogi Egyptian Tea, Toblerone singles (pyramid shaped). Totally made me stress out about Pesach :)
No theme, just a bag full of junk. My wife wrote a poem to that effect and the first two stanzas went like ->
Without rhyme or reason
These candies were thrown
The themes up to you
To create your own!
Come up with ideas
And send them to us
So that we can too
Make Purim a fuss!