The TRADITIONS are my favorite--a night of costumes, masquerading, revelry, feasting, plays (shpiels), and the giving of both charitable donations and gift baskets. Seriously, this holiday has something for everyone! Think of it as Jewish Halloween, Mardi Gras, and May Day all in one!
In particular, I love the tradition of mishloach manot or Purim baskets. They are gifts of food or drink that are sent to family, friends and others. This derives from the Book of Esther. It is meant to ensure that everyone has enough food for the Purim feast, and to increase love and friendship among Jews and their neighbors. You have to include at least two different types of food and anything else you like. No shocker, we always have a theme! This year we went with gardening.... You can see I started with adorable burlap planters filled with seeds, a shovel and gardening gloves. Here they are in the chaos of our art-project staging room:
Then this sweet girl set to work affixing a note with the most precious tassel:
Here are some other shots of the baskets (just from my phone--whomp, whomp):