On Purim, we make Mishloach Manot baskets to send as gifts to friends, family, and acquaintances. These baskets are given as gifts within the Jewish community as a symbol of friendship and the strength of the Jewish community. To give a Mishloach Manot is considered a mitzvah – a commandment and good deed. It is also customary to give Mishloach Manot, along with other gifts of food and money, as charitable offerings to the poor. The charity is given in order to ensure that the recipient has enough food during the Purim celebration. The Mishloach Manot custom originated in the Book of Esther, as part of the story of Purim:
As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor. (Esther 9:22)
I thought it would be fun to put together a few Mishloach Manot baskets for Purim, to give you some examples of the types of items that might be included. Obviously these are just ideas; with Mishloach Manot, you can really get creative and have fun putting together all kinds of baskets, from simple to spectacular. The only “rule,” really, is to have at least two items that can be eaten in the basket. If you’re making a basket for a family who keeps kosher, you’ll want to make sure that all food items you include are kosher or kosher-certified. Most baskets will also contain some sort of hamantaschen, a traditional cookie for the holiday. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless!
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TEA AND CHALLAH PURIM BASKET
This basket would be a great gift for a tea lover, or for somebody who loves to bake. I’ve included some delicious kosher herbal teas, a pretty mug with a tea strainer, homemade hamantaschen with nuts and dates, and a fun book called “The Great Latke Hamantash Debate.” I’ve also included one of our popular Royal Challah silicone baking pans in a small size. They will help the recipient create beautifully shaped challot without the need for braiding, and are particularly helpful for those who wish to make gluten free challah (the dough is often difficult to braid). Links to the products appear below.
Tea and Challah Basket Product Links
KID FUN PURIM BASKET
This basket is perfect for that special kid in your life. It’s filled with all kinds of fun stuff… a colorful book, a traditional noisemaker called a gragger, and a cool FunBites sandwich cutter for making mini sandwich bites for school lunches. I’ve filled it out with grape juice, cookies, and candy treats from the local kosher market. You can also stick in some healthier treats like dried fruit and nuts, as long as the recipient doesn’t have a nut allergy.
To make the pretty bag you see with my home-baked hamantaschen, download my free printable “Happy Purim!” and “Chag Purim Sameach!” treat bag toppers and instructions. They can be found at the following link: Homemade Mishloach Manot Baskets for Purim
Kid Fun Purim Basket Product Links
MINI MISHLOACH MANOT
These Mini Mishloach Manot baskets are perfect for bringing to Hebrew school, for kids to give to their friends, and for larger groups where you want to send a small token for Purim. They’ll fit a few hamantaschen and another treat, like candy or dried fruit, in a cute little “basket” package just right for gift giving. Supplies can be found below, including ribbon and tags so you can write a little message to the recipient. Free printable “Happy Purim!” and “Chag Purim Sameach!” treat bag toppers and instructions can be found at the following link: Homemade Mishloach Manot Baskets for Purim.
Mini Mishloach Manot Product Links
L’CHAIM PURIM BASKET
This Mishloach Manot is designed for giving to “grown up” friends. Drinking is a part of the Purim celebration; the requirement in the Talmud goes so far as to instruct that one should get so drunk that they can’t tell the difference between the phrases Arur Haman (“cursed is Haman”) and Baruch Mordechai (“blessed is Mordecai”). While not everybody participates in this custom, those that do will appreciate the sentiment of this basket. It includes homemade Flavor Infused Vodka and Herb Infused Simple Syrup (follow the links for instructions to make your own). Here I’ve put homemade hamantaschen in a silver Chinese takeout box (you can buy them at the link below). I’ve also added a funny book, “The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals” (I reviewed the book here), some cookies, a Jewish ice mold, a jigger for measuring liquor into cocktails, and a mask to celebrate the costumed festivities of Purim.
L’Chaim Purim Basket Product Links
FAMILY FUN PURIM BASKET
This basket is a beautiful way to show a family that you care. Included are homemade hamantaschen, dates and nuts, herbal tea and kosher coffee, grape juice and kosher treats. It also includes two lovely masks to help the recipient celebrate the costumed Purim festivities.
Family Fun Purim Basket Product Links
Click here to learn how to make your own paper Mishloach Manot baskets – a great craft for getting kids involved in the holiday fun!