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Mishloach Manot Themes and Ideas

Mishloach Manot Themes and Ideas

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Purim is a holiday of sweetness and joy, a time when we reflect on the power of an individual and the victory of the Jewish nation in the face of destruction. One of the exciting elements of Purim is the obligatory giving of food gifts to friends and family. We are commanded to give at least two foods to at least one person, and they must be ready-to-eat food items. Mordechai, one of the Purim heroes, instituted the practice of Mishloach Manot, as is quoted in the Megillah: “Mordechai . . . enjoined the [Jews] to make the fourteenth day of the month of Adar . . . feasting and joy, and sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.”

There are loads of creative ideas to enhance this mitzvah by giving a thematic-styled Mishloach Manot, or some meaningful content. Each basket can become a special gift, both edible and not, that will bring a smile to the recipient’s face. Happy Purim!

New York Style

A top-quality roast beef/pastrami/salami sandwich with all the trimmings of a traditional NYC sandwich, including pickles and slaw. A Coke alongside it, although not necessary, is a cute addition.

Salad Theme

A large plastic bowl, available at discount stores for a dollar or two, can be stuffed with a bag of lettuce salad, croutons and a bottle of dressing. Wrap in a large sheet of plastic and add a big bow.

Breakfast/Lunch Bags

Place a number of breakfast items such as a small box of cereal, a small container of milk/chocolate milk, a piece of fruit, string cheese and juice in a paper bag. You can include a plastic spoon or bowl to make this Mishloach Manot eatable on the spot.

For lunch, a small can of tuna, baby carrots, a bagel and a beverage can be put into a paper bag. This is always a hit for its practicality and homey connotation!

Shabbat Theme

A great Mishloach Manot gift can be a challah (homemade always lends an extra boost), hummus/tehina and a bottle of wine.

Coffee Lovers

A bag of specialty gourmet coffee, a package of kosher butter cookies and a piece of chocolate in a ceramic mug are the perfect gift for someone who can’t get by without their daily grind.

Chocolate Lovers

A selection of truffles, chocolate and a tin of real cocoa or brownies are sure to score points with a chocolate lover.

Healthy Choice

Whole-wheat cookies or hamantashen, a small jar of honey, a tofu snack bar, a bag of craisins or fruit/veggies are a good choice for health-conscious friends. Feel free to improvise according to personal preference and diet.

Another option can be a veggie platter with salad dressing. Simple and scrumptious.

Baseball Game

A hot dog—ready and prepped—plus popcorn and a soda, all placed in a popcorn basket, are perfect for the baseball fans in your life.

Israeli

A popular gift is Israeli salad (cucumbers and tomato cut into small pieces), hummus/tehina, falafel and pita. Sheer nostalgia for Israeli friends, and oh so good!

Milk and Cookies

In small metal pails, place a bottle of milk (small or large) and fill the rest with chocolate-chip cookies. Adorable and VERY edible!

Chana Lewis is a student and freelance photographer.
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jim dallas March 7, 2017

i did! gave tomato and a donut for afterwards. Reply

Anonymous March 21, 2016

Note or poem for mishloach manos Does anyone have an idea for what to write on mishloach manos with chocolate chip theme (- chocolate chip cookies, chocolate and abag of potato chips)? Reply

Rebecca ny March 3, 2015

purim theme i am doing a native american theme for purim, anyone have a poem idea? Reply

Ron Queens, NY February 27, 2015

Kashrus Concerns Chana, do you think that kashrus concerns should be addressed here because people at many different levels of Jewish observance will be reading this article?Someone might send a top-quality deli sandwich from a kosher deli but the recipient may be unable to eat it because the deli does not have rabbinical supervision or has a hechsher that the recipient considers unreliable. Some Jews consume only cholov yisrael. It might seem great to send fruit from Israel, but there may be problems with Israeli fruit grown in a shemitah year and whether terumah or maaser has been taken. Would you suggest sending only items with a visible kashrus symbol? There's a list of recommended kashrus symbols at www.crcweb.org/agency_list.php .

A local shul had a tradition of giving goodies to the kids on Simchas Torah, but the rabbi said to give only items with reliable kashrus certification and to ask him about any uncertainty. After the event, he said he found unacceptable items in his kids' baskets. Reply

Anonymous February 26, 2015

You can fill plastic watering cans with different types of seeds- like pumpkin, sunflower, etc... and if you want to then also seeds to plant (can usually get in the dollar section in Target) and flower or fruit shaped/decorated cookies. Or maybe a fruit or veggie salad with dressing and serving spoons that look kind of like rakes or pitchforks... Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn February 5, 2015

Being that this year is a shemittah year, I was thinking iof dressing my kids up as farmers. Do you have any cute ideas, for a Mishloach manos to tie into that? Reply

Sam Leon October 29, 2014

Re: Purim for the Poor Brilliant, that. I'll try that next year! Reply

Anonymous Easton, CT February 26, 2012

Purim 2012 A baseball theme, with peanuts, crackerjacks, a bottle of Boston ale, and of course, a 2012 Red Sox schedule! Reply

Goldiemae Jones Omaha, Nebraska February 25, 2012

Purim for the Poor This year in addition to the goodies in the purim packages, I am including a ten-dollar bill in an envelope. These are for the less fortunate Jewish families, and a more creative way to give money than just to throw coins or bills in a community basket. My packages will also contain a small jar of honey, some apples, home-made hamantashen, and dark chocolate candy bars, as well as small toys for little kids and crossword puzzle books for the older ones. Reply

Tami Goldman Holliswood, ny February 18, 2012

Creative Chana you are so creative, thanks for the great ideas! Frailechen Purim & love to all!! Reply

Anonymous Easton, CT March 14, 2011

south of the border This year, I got little bags from Orietnal Trading that say FIESTA and we've tucked in a tiny maraca (for gragger); a vial of fancy salt we got in Italy; a lime, a small bag of tortilla chips; and a nip of tequila. (no worm) Reply

goldie Omaha, Nebraska March 5, 2011

In the spirit of giving. Last year at our shul we shared Purim baskets. Some of the decorations were beautiful, and I hated to remove the sparkiling paper and ribbon bows. In one basket I found an unusual toy, a little rubber ball that went in one direction and then turned around and went the other way. Although my children and grandchildren are adults now, I found it to be a fun toy for my cat. I gave money for the poor people, and brought food baskets with mostly chocolates. It was fun to share and partake of other people's creativity and good will. I'm looking forward to this year's event. Happy Purim to all! Reply

Anonymous S bend, IN March 2, 2011

Eatable IS a word Edible is common, but eatable is acceptable. Great article Chana! Reply

Serafina Charlotte, NC February 26, 2010

We've sent a lovely bunch of coconuts! This year our theme is Tropical! In a bright colored basket I got from the Dollar store, we put coordinating tissue paper topped with iridescent excelsior. I made coconut truffles that actually looked like little coconuts, passionfruit, mango and pina colada Hamantaschen, colored white chocolate flower molded pretzel rods, tropical falvored 'Mike N Ike's' and miniature molded chocolates in the shape of flip flops, hawaiian shirts and palm trees. We added a few Lei's ( sold in packs of 6, also from the Dollar store) The whole basket cost approximately $5. We gave those out to a few special friends and to other friends, we gave a cellophane bag with 2 tropical Hamantaschen, 2 coconut truffles and a Lei and tied the bag with a iridescent ribbon. This cost less than $1.50 each. Reply

alisa antwerp, belgium February 25, 2010

belgian theme we lived in israel, coming from belgium, for a while so we made a "belgian theme" ; belgian waffles, belgian pralines and belgian beer :)
once we did the "breakfast theme":
cereals, ice coffee and a yoghurt with some juice.
happy purim to all Reply

Dara norfolk, VA February 23, 2010

great article thank you for a great article and some nice ideas!!

Ps: eatable is not a word. did you mean edible? Reply

Chanie Spring Valley, NY/USA February 16, 2010

recycle!! We all have great Ideas for Purim Baskets, however when I was a kid & until today my favorite idea is to recycle the stuff I get- My kids set up in 3 boxes, 1) for candies & chocolates, 1) for chips & cookies, & 1) for anything else. Then my kids & I repackage whatever we get to send to others!! Personally I like sending home made things that people can use for their Seuda (feast) like Kugal, Challah etc. To tell the truth I do the homemade stuff because otherwise it really can get toooo expensive.
Have A Truly Happy Purim!! Reply

Lulu March 8, 2009

good ideas, although not original this year, I am doing a natural purim theme. I baked pumpkin, cranberry, and prune hamantashen. I bought grape juice and assorted fruits, and I am putting it all in a small basket with a red and white checkered napkin. Reply

Inge Reisinger February 23, 2009

Thanks for your ideas you see I learn from all of you young and old woman and men. And this is it, what jewishness makes it strong -stronger strongest. All the best for you and greetings from Europe Reply

Sly Goyl February 22, 2009

;) I am not a Jew-- but one of my friends is not practicing. I am going to give him a Challah with a bottle of wine and just say that I was Inspired! At worse he will grimace and think of me as a well meaning friend-- at best he will feel a Divine nudge! Reply

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