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Costumes or not to be

Author: Joel Copeland
How much money is justified to pay for a costume that the child wears for several hours? This question crosses the minds of many parents just before paying for the costume at checkout. So what is the connection between our children’s dreams and our financial behavior?

What will I dress up for this year? This issue bothers us – the children, the parents, and even every adult who dresses up. On the other side of the celebration, a rich fashion world of costumes and accessories develops. In recent years, a world that has been occupying a large, expensive and significant volume ahead of Purim celebrations.

With the doughnuts forgotten, the bakeries are filled with ears of manna that seem to have arrived early to remind everyone that the period of deliberation about “what to dress up” has officially begun. Alongside the need to innovate and be original, there are also costumes that repeat themselves every year:

The classic costumes that maintain a place of honor: a soldier, a policeman, a princess and a queen will always stroll through the school yard alongside costumes full of accessories such as magicians, sorcerers and warriors. Among the many purchased costumes, the costumes prepared alone will often stand out, since each such costume is one and only.

Each year also brings with it contemporary costumes that usually come out of popular movies or TV series. This year, Moana and Maui star as well as the various Pokémon in their glory, the beloved Wanzi pajamas are also a state-of-the-art costume.

Purim or another holiday of shopping?

Originally, the costume was a symbol of Purim, a symbol of freedom hidden behind the mask, of colorfulness and originality, and of course – a symbol of breaking routine. However, it seems that in recent years the Golem has risen on its creator, and the costume industry has taken over the happy day. The extravagance, the external appearance, the skyrocketing prices of fabrics in different colors with a mask or with a special sword – constitute a great and heavy financial challenge for any family unit.

The consumer culture in which we live instills in us and our children a perception of abundance and instant gratification. Whatever you want – you need and immediately… This concept “justifies” the purchase of the most expensive costumes and the most sophisticated accessories, even if it involves hundreds of shekels and a few hours of use.

Many times we think that Purim is only once a year, so it is not too bad if we buy and the child stands out for his uniqueness. The abundance of shops and our difficulty in setting boundaries sometimes make us forget that we may have gotten a little too carried away.

What is the connection between Purim and proper economic conduct?

The temporality in the costume goes well with perceptions of life in the moment, and if not now when, and in any case there is no meaning to tomorrow. The costume industry seemingly forces us to purchase products here and now without looking forward. It “forces” us to educate children that everything exists right now. And this is, of course, a disguise of reality!

Proper general conduct is not based on chance. It’s about planning and budgeting, about saving for both long-term and short-term goals. And alongside them responsibility. Responsibility for economic behavior and its implications both for the economic situation and for instilling proper economic conduct habits in our children.

Living from what is also on Purim

Purim does not come as a surprise but is celebrated every year on exactly the same date. Therefore, if Purim expenses are planned in advance in the annual budget, it is also possible to purchase the costumes with the money saved in the budget for this item.

In addition, Purim is a holiday that provides an opportunity for an important lesson in financial education, maintaining boundaries, and instilling priorities. Therefore, hundreds of shekels are not spent on each costume, even if it is the most beautiful costume we have seen or the child stamps his feet if he does not get the costume he wanted. Responsible behavior will help the child understand the value of money and what is right and wrong to spend it on (family priorities).

Think, compare and buy cheap

As with any other buying decision, here too it is recommended to examine alternatives – sometimes changing a costume with a family member or recycling a costume from a previous year with the addition of new accessories will provide a satisfactory solution. Going to buy a costume in the store? It is recommended to choose the desired costume before going to the store after checking the prices in the various stores and seeing that you can spend this expense. It is recommended to take into account that holiday expenses do not end with the purchase of a costume. Deliveries of pampering dishes, plays and performances and assistance with the children on their vacation days add up to a considerable cost at all.

And don’t forget to rejoice, happy Purim

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