Purim is the next holiday coming up and I'd like to share one of the fun customs of my minyan: families dressing in costumes with a matching theme.
One family of five each wore a different street sign. Another family did the five books of the Torah: I just remember that they had laboriously taped hundreds of pieces of yarn to a tunic to make one member into a sheep---must have been for Leviticus since that book gives details about sacrifices.
This year, my family's Purim costume theme was "bugs": Husband: beetle with red plastic snow sled strapped to back with black dots taped to it and pipe cleaner antennae attached to his kippa. Son: (recycled from a Halloween costume I made him several years ago)Dung beetle--- carapace made of craft foam with front pincher arms sewn in felt and stuffed, black balaclava with half styrofoam eyes painted bright green and craft foam mandibles Daughter: Dragonfly---wings she made with coat-hangers bent to shape and covered with Saran wrap and she wore a pair of "bug glasses" Me: I wanted to wear my daughter's old kiddie dress-up butterfly wings, but she wanted to use a light blue sheet to make me wings as a "moth". (It didn't work that well because the wings wouldn't stay taped to my arms and the spots on the wings kept falling off [both of which I had anticipated, but she hadn't wanted to listen]. In the end, she said that I should have held firm on the butterfly wings and not let her waste time on making something that didn't work )
My vote for "Best costume" in the minyan: the woman who had cushions attached to her in an "L" shape with one over her chest and one sticking straight out from her waist. To understand her costume, you need to know that she is currently the minyan "Chair person"
I went as a geologist. It wasn't much of a stretch, because I AM a geologist. All I had to do was wear my 'working clothes' to the party! About half the people dressed up, the rest didn't. We put on an improv version of the megillah, and it was just great. I ate too much (so what else is new?)
Simcha and Debbie, you really went all out for Purim! That sounds great. Pat and I went to the reading of the Megillah and Purim Service and enjoyed that. Some folks were dressed up. It was on Sunday.
There is a tradition at our synagogue to give gifts through the Sisterhood. What they do, is charge $10 for the first person you give to and then $2 for every other person you add. Each recipient gets just one bag of treats and there is a card inside naming all the people who have given to you.
It is nice but not nice in that it is a little like a popularity contest...you know, who has the most names, that kind of thing.
Some years, I have made my own treats to give to neighbors. I actually enjoy that more.