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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 NY sandwich, including pickles and slaw. A Coke alongside, 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, 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, freelance photographer, and editorial assistant at Chabad.org.
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Discussion (27)
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.
Ron
Queens, NY
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...
Anonymous
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?
Anonymous
Brooklyn
October 29, 2014
Re: Purim for the Poor
Brilliant, that. I'll try that next year!
Sam Leon
February 26, 2012
Purim 2012
A baseball theme, with peanuts, crackerjacks, a bottle of Boston ale, and of course, a 2012 Red Sox schedule!
Anonymous
Easton, CT
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.
Goldiemae Jones
Omaha, Nebraska
February 18, 2012
Creative
Chana you are so creative, thanks for the great ideas! Frailechen Purim & love to all!!
Tami Goldman
Holliswood, ny
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)
Anonymous
Easton, CT
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!
goldie
Omaha, Nebraska
March 2, 2011
Eatable IS a word
Edible is common, but eatable is acceptable. Great article Chana!
Anonymous
S bend, IN
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