My Kids Don’t Need New Purim Costumes but I Bought Them Anyway. Here’s Why.

spacesuit costume little kid shopping with mom

One recent morning over bagels, I overheard my husband chatting with a friend. They were saying something about the Jewish holidays.

“Or,” I interjected, “as we call them: holidays.”

An easy joke. But also an aspiration: to raise Jewish children in a Jewish home in which the many celebrations on the Hebrew calendar are so much a part of our lives they’re never secondary to or overshadowed by those on the secular calendar.

It’s not going to be easy. My kindergartener goes to public school.

Most recently, Valentine’s Day was a to-do of epic proportions. And I’m honestly not even ready to discuss December (though I’m looking forward to Yom Kippur, when I’ll repent for letting her dress in green on Grinch Day).

I had all this in mind last week when the kids asked to buy new costumes for Purim. We do not need new costumes. We are swimming in costumes. Drowning in costumes. We may as well scatter banana peels all over the floor for all the slipping and sliding we do on errant costumes. From where I sit now at my kitchen table, I see spread before me the deflated forms of both Owlette and Gekko, a Spider-Man mask, a Hulk fist and a muscled Flash bodysuit. Who knows what lurks beyond the barrier of the family room sectional.

It would be practical for both safety and financial reasons to suggest that for Purim the kids wear something we already own. But what message would that send? Halloween merits new costumes, but the “Jewish holiday” doesn’t?

The Amazon boxes arrived within days: Captain America and Dorothy, complete with ruby sneakers. I drew the line at single-use, sparkly high heels. She needed new shoes anyway. And I didn’t buy anything for the 2-year-old, for whom all of our old costumes may as well be new (and should definitely be washed). Cap and Dorothy and Gekko or Flash or Spidey or whoever can show their stuff and get our money’s worth at the three upcoming Purim events on our calendar. (May as well schmear hamantaschen filling on them now.)

We’ll also be hanging our Purim yard flag, which we’ve been looking forward to since we took down the Hanukkah one. We have Sukkot, Passover and Rosh Hashanah flags, too. A bit corny, and they’ve got nothing on our neighbors’ Christmas decorations when it comes to scale… but there are more of them.

I recently learned one reason Haman (boo!) wanted to do away with the Jews was because of our many holidays. In his view, they detracted from our productivity as members of society. Apparently, Haman (boo!) missed the headlines about how the four-day workweek has contributed to more productive — and happier — employees.

Our many holidays give us something to look forward to year-round. They keep us upbeat (well, most of them). They bring us together. They keep us connected. They remind us who we are. We have one every single week that allows us to recharge. Our holidays encourage frequent celebration and reflection and gratitude and growth. And food consumption! (Well, most of them.)

So this Purim, next Shavuot, next Rosh Hashanah, every Shabbat: know we are defying Haman (boo!) and those like him just by celebrating.

Braid the challah.

Hide the matzah.

Put up the sukkah.

And go ahead and buy the ruby sneakers. Try not to trip over them.

The post My Kids Don’t Need New Purim Costumes but I Bought Them Anyway. Here’s Why. appeared first on Kveller.

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