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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mishloach Manos

So I don't post much about the holidays here, but Purim is so much fun and I love the creativity that is displayed this time of year. To learn more about Purim-see here.

While many people compare this holiday to Halloween, it's not quite like that. In terms of Mishloach Manos, there are rules to it. Although it often ends up being an exchange, you can't expect anything back, because the idea is to give, not to receive. We also want to increase friendship, so while we give to our friends, it's also nice to give to people we're not necessarily friends with.

Some rules of Mishloach Manos

You only need to give 2 different food items ready to eat*, but at the same time it should be a respectable** package, delivered via messenger, that's why children often deliver the packages as they become messengers for their parents. The children often receive cash or candy from the recipient, sort of like a tip, this is lots of fun for the kids. The cash tips can range from 25 cents to $10. The $5-$10 tippers are very rare. Most people tip between 25 cents and $1.  Some people give and tell the kids that some of it is for them and some of it is for charity. The kids don't usually expect a tip, and not all people give, but they are quite happy when they receive one. The costumes (check out some easy ideas here), the music, parties, it's a day of great fun.

*respectable-certain drinks are not considered respectable enough, and therefore do not count towards your 2 required items although they may be included provided that you have another 2 items. Some examples include water, soda, drink boxes, coffee. 
Respectable drink items include: Milk, Alcoholic Beverages, Grape Juice, Beer

**Ready to Eat
means no prep involved, no putting together ingredients in a jar for a recipient to bake, or heating up required, etc.

Then there's themes, some are for it and some are against it. Okay this is a whole 'nother discussion probably worthy of it's own post, where I'll share my opinion. This is quite a controversial topic.

You can check out some shalach manos we have done in the past here and here.

We have actually a few versions that we made up this year.

Organized, Colleague, Friend-Okay, I don't know what to call it, but it's super cute.
We bought mini drawer set, picked up at a local 99 Cents and Up store, yep was more than a dollar. It was also available in bright pink as well as a set with more drawers. We filled up the drawers with goodies.
 Mini Drawers

Bottom Draw- Bite Size Oreos,  Twizzler Nibs, Taffy

Middle Draw-Chocolate Bar (type with squares) Mike & Ikes bag, Box of gum

Top Draw-Presidors (wafer rolls), popms (tiny choc chip cookies),
chocolate coins

You can even personalize it, add stickers to the outside. Be creative.
You can add the recipients favorite items, just keep in mind the size, as the drawers don't have much depth.

Now looking back, it seems like we went with organize your life type theme.

We found these organizers for 4.99 and then went about filling them up. You can make similar boxes. This pinterest board and this one are full of ideas.The basic idea seems to be cardboard boxes, covered with fabric. I think it looks nicer with the inside covered to. Now that I think about it and the costs, for me it probably worked out to just buy it. I don't sew and don't really have fabric around my house, so I would have had to go out an buy fabric and more glue gun sticks.

We put in a box of wafers, chocolate cake, triangle gift box of chocolate, candies in a rectangle tube, pretzels, chocolate umbrellas, Alprose chocolates, chocolate coated pretzels, wafers and a bag of klik, mini liquor.

Here are some different ways we thought of to package them. Later picture will show the actual food items.

This is one way of packaging it.
This package does not include a mini liquor.
The cover is is lifted up a bit on this one

same as above, but cover is open all the way

We ended up packaging it more or less like this one.
The pan is in there  to show the size of the chocolate cake we were going to bake.
It was not baked as of this picture.
On to what was actually in there.

Triangle box of chocolates.
I think they were selling it like thins in honor of the holiday and Haman's  3 cornered hat.

This is a package of individually wrapped Alprose Swiss Chocolate squares
or rectangles in this case.

Some golden Zaza sucking candies packaged in a plastic rectangle box.

These were labeled as bon bons. I had never seen them before. Without even tasting them I bought around 40 of these.
They were something like a wafer with cream and chocolate.  My sibling loved them.

Milk chocolate covered pretzels
This one is pretty self explanatory. Mini Pretzels.

Chocolate covered wafers
Godiva Chocolate Liquor

This is how I started setting it up.
The wafers were on the bottom and the triangle box was wedged in back.

we baked a chocolate cake in the pan, but this is a basic idea
of what was in there including the Godiva chocolate liquor

wanted to give you an idea of the size of these boxes

ah, I got the whole box into this picture

wafers on the bottom again

This pan is a snug fit into the box. Perfect.

This one also got the individually wrapped chocolates.

and a Klik Party Mix.
 Klik is a brand they make all sort of bags of bite sized chocolates.
This one's an assortment.

chocolate umbrella

self explanatory again

yummy bon bon

triangle box of chocolates

gold wrapped candies, these actually come in other colors,
you can always take a clear plastic box and fill it with candies yourself

and the scotch

similar to the brown one, I think we changed the way we packaged it,
but this is what was included plus a mini bottle of scotch

this is one idea of how to package it.
Please excuse the missing cake. I assure you there was a cake in there when delivered to the recipient

Idea 2 for packaging

Idea 3, I believe we went with something most similar to this,
although this one had the scotch rather than the Godiva and again a cake was included.

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