This year's theme was 12 months in the making yet thrown together at the last minute.

Within days of Purim I almost always settle on our theme for the following year. After seeing my town's creativity on display in the streets - that's when my inspiration is freshest. My basic criteria for a family themed Purim is twofold; 1. the entire family has to be on board and totally into the concept and 2. the 100+ mishloach manot must be easy to make in advance, preferably by the kids. I like to set them up assembly line style to pack (while I put my feet up and eat bon bons!). 

Even-though this year's idea was hatched last year - I just bought everything like yesterday. Walk with me down memory lane for some more of my last-minute, easy-to-find or easy-to-make, fast, family-friendly, themed purim costume and mishloach manot ideas.

2012: ISRAELI

The Purim before our aliyah we channeled our moshav living brothers and sisters and gave out falafel, hummus and pita.

305
310
341
309
Jamie Geller Family Dressed Israeli

Click here to learn how to make a unique Israeli menu for Purim.

Flip through our collection of Israeli recipes here. 

Tri Color Hummus and Pita Crisps makes for a great Israeli themed Mishloach Manot

gift hummus

2013: WHERE'S WALDO

Our first year in Israel we went all red and white with Waldo and Wenda costumes and canes and gave out red + white themed mishloach manot consisting of a cheese sandwich (ketchup on the side), a can of coke and candy canes.

IMG_4778
wheres-waldo

Here's a handy dandy printable for your Waldo themed Purim card. 

2014: STILL LOOKING FOR WALDO

We repeated since all the costumes still fit. Hubby was so proud of my first and last display of frugality and we gave out peppermint chocolate bark.

purim-2014

See my pics and tips for perfect bark right here. 

2015: ASIAN 

With the girls wrapped in kimonos and the boys in ninja gear, we delivered sesame noodle salad in Chinese take out containers with chopsticks.  (I subbed some of the carrots in this recipe for noodles and added julienne cucumbers for good measure.) 

GIRLS IN ASIAN COSTUME
OLDER GIRLS ASIAN COSTUME
4 Kids Asian Costume

2016: HAWAIIAN

The boys channeled their Hawaii 5-0 alter egos and the girls donned hula skirts and lots of floral accessories when giving out Hawaiian Punch, tropical fruit salad and leis to everyone.

HAWAIIN BOYS
Hawaiin Mishloach Manot
aloha-jamiejpg

For customized cards and a Hawaiian themed Purim menu click here. 

2017: FAMILY FOOTBALL

We went all in for Hubby's Raiders - turning our round little butterball into a football and I got to finally call the shots. We gave out hot dogs and a bottle of beer or can of coke depending on the recipient.

How-To Dress As a Family Like Your Favorite Sports Team for Purim:

jamie-geller-family-dressed-as-a-raiders-team
jamie-geller-baby-football
6geller_family_shoot_jamie_nachum_bw

My Purim Party Sporty Seudah Menu: 

sports-party-buffet-table2

8 Easy DIY Sports Themed Mishloach Manot: 

hot-dogs-mishloach-manot

2018: PIRATES

One of the easiest themes to accessorize, pirate paraphernalia is like, everywhere. With eye patches and bandanas, vests, and hats, belts made from fabric I bought at the store it took me 1 hour of shopping to pull this costume together. I bought extra fabric to make pouches of gold coins (love that they sell Chanukah gelt year round) which I am spiking with ring pops, candy bracelets and necklaces for mishloach manot. (This should keep the dentists in business.)

4
8
7
Unknown1
5
Unknown2
IMG_7118
IMG_7087

If you've got more time than me peruse these Rum inspired recipes:

And if you've got all the time in the world extend your theme to the Purim seudah with this Pirate Purim Party.

treasure_box_2

Shiver me timbers! Don't let thee idea of a theme overwhelm ye or hold ye aft. What's most important to remember is that thee spirit of liveliness and fun on Purim is unparalleled on thee Jewish calendar. If thar were ever a day to “let loose” and just be Jewish, t'is it!

Yarr! Happy Purim

(And if you want to know how I became fluent in pirate speak overnight click here.)

2019: CHASSIDIM

This is a classic Purim look we have never done and I see no good reason to avoid it.  Plus it gives me a chance to flex my yiddish on the holiday card.  The costume is readily available, easy to wear and the accompanying themed mishloach manot ideas are endless.  

3 Boys Dressed as Chasidim Dancing
3 Boys Dressed as Chasidim Praying
2 Boys Dressed as Chassidim 2
3 Boys Dressed as Chasidim Dancing with a Cane
Avraham Yitzchak Dressed as a Chassid
Shaulie Dovid Dressed as a Chassid
Yaakov Yosef Dressed as a Chassid

For mishloach manot you can create a cute care package featuring a 1/2 quart of cholent or chicken soup along with a challah roll or classic kugel with a card wishing everyone "Ah gitte, gezinte, freilichin Pirim fin der gantzeh mishpoocheh".  

2020: MARATHON RUNNERS

While custom printed T-shirts are a bonus, marathon bibs (I just learned that's what they're called -- who knew?!?!?) can be pinned onto any sport-t for an authentic costume.  I'm using the marathon bibs for my mishloach manot cards too.  I worked with the talented Eliana Thalheim from Flash of Design and my neighbor and favorite creative copywriter Nechama Eisenman to personalize our messaging.  Please feel free to download our template for your family.  (I changed "TEAM GELLER" to "HAPPY PURIM" and left a space for you to customize and insert your family photo.)

pin marathon bibs to t-shirts and/or use as your mishloach manot card

pin marathon bibs to t-shirts and/or use as your mishloach manot card

GOOOOOOO TEAM!

GOOOOOOO TEAM!

always be sure to secure those laces before a run

always be sure to secure those laces before a run

Runners are lining up...

Runners are lining up...

And the boys are off!

And the boys are off!

The girls aren't far behind

The girls aren't far behind

High fives for a job well done

High fives for a job well done

Celebrating a great race

Celebrating a great race

All smiles.  See the Gallery below for more!

All smiles.  See the Gallery below for more!

The best thing about this theme is the simple, easy to prep ahead, mishloach manot.  Buy your favorite sports drink (or cheaper: sport water bottle and powder packet if you are making 100+ like us) and package together with an apple or banana and call it a day.  

Marathon Mishloach Manot-Basic

If you are the type that likes to go all out then have I got some ideas for you! Including the marathon bib as your card helps bring the theme together.

Marathon Mishloach Manot-Pasta Salad

People crave food on Purim day.  Pasta Salad is a comforting and appreciated deviation from the junk laden mishloach manot and just want runners require before a race.

Marathon Mishloach Manot granola

Granola is a crunchy and satisfying grab-and-go addition to our marathon themed mishloach manot.

Marathon Mishloach Manot-Energy Bites

These bites satisfy the sweet tooth with the side benefit of extra energy -- on a day we need it most!

Marathon Mishloach Manot with homemade Granola-1

Just add water to this Homemade Oatmeal Packet for a warming treat full of healthy carbs this Purim.  

BTW which messaging do you prefer?  

Long

Emerging victorious, a heroic nation

Hashem RAN the show and brought our salvation

Today we celebrate this MARATHON WIN, by wishing you all a joyful Purim

Now the only RUNNING we’ll do, is around the neighborhood giving משלח מנות to you

Short

Purim is a tale of VICTORY

A MARATHON WIN in history

Hashem RAN it all, an OLYMPIC feat

And now we RUN around giving you משלח מנות to eat!

Longer or shorter?  Let me know in the comments below.  HAPPY PURIM!