How much does it cost us?
Tu B’Shvat is behind us and outdoors is a collection spectacular sights of nature and color. We marvel at these sights, and in front of the lush green mats, our self-promises correspondingly blossom, telling ourselves we only have one planet which deserves to be shown love and compassion, and should take on better mindful sustainable practices, be less extravagant, less wasteful and show more respect to mother nature. Amid the Corona Virus crisis, nature (and our banker, let’s face it) are relieved to see us at spending far more time at home, some even practicing second hand purchasing. Now with the costly habits of Purim, known by some as the last of all celebrations, a holiday of chaos, that causes many to go berserk.
Similar to constructing a home or producing and event, we suggest following two straightforward principles, in collaboration with one’s partner:
Write down the expenses you intend to make, rate and prioritize based on importance:
What is most significant for you to invest in? A new Purim costume? In the mitzvah of ‘Matan Le’ Evyonim (gifts for the needy) ? In a Purim meal? In Purim baskets? Or maybe in a professional photograph of the whole family? You’d be surprised to hear that often when people are asked this question we learn that their urge to spend stems from unnecessary habit or peer pressure. A meaningful gift with a personal touch could cause far more joy, at a fraction of the cost of traditional Mishloach Manont.
Set a budget
What is the maximum cost you are likely to / can spend? Consider the common desires, family needs and values that guide you, just remember – you cannot have your cake and eat it too.
Many parents bombard the shops annually, forcing themselves to part with a hundreds of shekels in favor of Purim costumes, whilst there are other ways this can be achieved, on the contrary, it can be super cheap, easy, fun and environmental. Here are some examples to consider:
- DIY – 20 years ago we may have fought over the only book in the library offering patterns for 15 homemade costumes, and now there are umpteen online sites and Apps showing thousands of original and practical ideas for all levels and ages.
- Swap and sell events – Exchange photos of your old costumes, did you like them? Swap between you and determine whether the exchange is temporary or permanent.
- Community costume warehouse – Common practice in some community’s and cities, and is based on loaning. Check with your local community coordinators, this year’s format is likely to be low key if at all. You may also be able to donate used costumes to the warehouse.
- Purchasing – Still Insist on buying? Okay. Make sure to compare prices with reference to safety standards and If you chose to order from an online site, be sure to verify the following: Is the site secure? Are the dimension’s/ sizes standard and applicable? What is the total cost after adding possible accessories and shipping fees? What else is needed? Are there other ways to prepare or purchase? How long will the delivery take? What is the return and exchange policy?