Monday, March 5, 2012

Giving and Receiving

Oreo flower cookies
*My family is very good at medical conditions with unpronounceable names. As if trigeminal neuralgia wasn’t difficult enough to say and remember, our oldest son at the age of 16, was diagnosed with a heart condition called Wolff Parkinson White with supraventricular tachycardia. (Try saying that a few times very quickly…...) which entailed him having 2 heart surgeries, between January and April  2010.

During that time, and again when Jonny needed brain surgery recently, our family was the recipient
 of so much kindness and care, messages and meals, and love and laughter. 

When your husband or child is sick you submit unwillingly at first and then extremely gratefully to that care and attention. 

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be giving than receiving. I would prefer to be the one cooking the meal, listening to someone talk  about  their tough situation, running the errands or giving the hug. But learning to receive is an art in itself.

In between Benjy’s two surgeries, in March 2010, we celebrated the Jewish festival of Purim.(Click this link for Purim story and customs ) It is customary on that day to give and receive mishloach manot (from the Hebrew,  meaning the sending of gifts) and to donate money  to charity. The gift should comprise a minimum of two different kinds of “ready to eat”  food such as fruit and cake.   

I was so happy to be able to give something to someone else and had a brainwave to “theme” our Purim gifts with hearts in honor of Benjy’s  healing heart. Thank goodness I had thought of this before Valentines’ Day arrived, well in advance of Purim and heart bags, heart shaped chocolates and  cookies were easy to come by and  Jacob delivered the goodies on the day of Purim, to our local friends on his skateboard. In return we received many parcels at our front door as the neighborhood buzzed with deliveries and acceptance.

All the ingredients
So this year with the festival of Purim coming this Thursday I thought I had my mishloach manot  “theme” solution. But  - have you ever seen a cookie or chocolate shaped like a brain? A brain shaped container perhaps?  No neither have I thank goodness. 

So instead you’ll probably be relieved to know this year’s  idea is a much more appealing one- flowers. 

And with Easter coming, it is a much easier one to create with the stores  currently full of flower power. I have flower cookies from The Sunflower Bakery . Jacob and I have made chocolate roses  and pretzel daisies  and decorated Oreos with flowers and sprinkles. We also have flowery gift bags and  a flower accented Purim message. -Yes we have taken the theme to its extreme.

So this year we are sending (edible) flowers, sending thanks  and sending love and  Purim gives our family  the chance to give and receive in equal parts.   

Jacob making chocolate roses

Happy Purim! 

(*In the spirit of Purim and its joyous, colorful traditions my paragraphs are also celebrating in technicolor.)


  1. Love those Oreos with flowers on. As I Brit I never saw the attraction of Oreos - I always thought them a tad boring quite frankly. However, I could really go for the flowered Oreos in a big way. Purim Sameach xxx

    1. If you dunk Oreos in a strong cup of English tea, they become much more interesting! I'll mail you a flowered Oreo. Purim Sameach to you Rachel.

    Purim Sameach, dear Friend.
    I love that mishloach manot are the Tradition's way of reminding us about the people we might be tempted to take for granted. Being commanded to give gifts to our neighbours and friends is a wonderful obligation!
    Enjoy Purim!