My second batch didn't turn out very good, but it still tasted good. Which is the important thing.
Then when my husband got home we had family night and the kids got dressed up in costumes like Esther and Mordecai. I guess that Jewish children often just dress up in any sort of costume, it doesn't have to be Purim related, but I figured my kids might get confused if we strayed too far from our theme. Then I pulled out the felt board and the Esther characters I made a few weeks ago.
From the left: King Ahasuerus, Haman, Mordecai, Vashti, and Esther
We'd already gone through the story a few times on other days and so my little boy knew who all the characters were. As I read an abbreviated version of Esther's story he put each character on the board... making sure to shake his grogger ferociously every time I said Haman's name. My little girl didn't pay much attention to the story but jumped around shaking her grogger like a wild child. I think she mostly liked being allowed to be crazy and noisy and not get in trouble.
Our Purim celebration was pretty simple but we really enjoyed it. I like that it is a fun way to teach my children an important Bible story and to get them familiar with different religious traditions.
There are other Purim traditions that we didn't do this year, like fasting the night before to commemorate Esther's fast, giving food and gifts to the poor, and burning Haman's effigy. I think that next year I would like to incorporate the fast and the gift giving into my personal celebration of Purim, but my husband has already told me that he draws the line at effigy burning. Drat.
Purim follows the Jewish Calender and so is never on the same day every year. Next year it will be start at sundown on March 8th and go till sundown on March 9th. I'll try to give you a heads up... if I remember... so that you can celebrate it too.
I think that this just might be the only holiday specifically celebrating a woman from the scriptures... so it is just too good to pass up!