Monday, January 4, 2010

Yup, the Ps are coming

What I'm about to write may be Painful for some People or Perhaps Puzzling (amazing how many P words English Produces). Now that January 1 has come and gone I've taken a look at my Purim and Pesach lists and made the decision as to which items should not under any circumstances be left to do immediately before those holidays. The time to do them is now, when, relatively speaking, I have time for them.

So much of the panic that ensues in the time period between pre-Purim and Pesach is totally and completely avoidable. If we become frazzled during that time, the cause is ourselves.

So, do you have some idea about where you will be having Purim Seudah? If it's going to be in your home a bit of thinking now saves a lot of aggravation erev Purim. Are you going to be serving on china or using disposables? If disposables, buy them now and put them away. No reason to make that a trip when you are going to be busy cooking. Do you know to whom you are going to be sending Shalach Monos? Why not? Talk to your family now, type up the list, put it in a file in the computer and breathe easier when it's the week of Purim. [And if that shalach monos list seems to resemble the population roll of a small urban city, you might want to give some thought to reducing that list.]

As for Pesach, take a deep breath and think of all the work that you do every year right before the holiday. How much of it really needs to be done then? Probably a lot less than you figure. Do you wash your bedroom curtains every year for Pesach? Why? Or polish and clean your chandelier? Or rearrange your linen closet? Or alphabetize your bookshelves? (never mind removing all those books and cleaning and polishing all the shelves) Do you find yourself up on a step ladder peering into the uppermost regions of storage areas whose contents have not seen the light of day for years? Do all the windows in the house require washing only when Pesach is imminent? Ladies, we are guilty of producing some of that pre-Pesach hysteria, and there's no reason for it.

As I'm writing this the bedroom curtains are merrily twirling in the washing machine. They have nothing to do with having a kosher Pesach and a lot to do with housekeeping madness. They are getting done now, not when they become yet one more item on an impossible to do list. And no, I'm not calling these cleaning chores Pesach preparation. They have zero, zip, nada to do with Pesach, except where we have somehow inscribed them in our minds as being "necessary" for having a Kosher Pesach.

So yes, I'm recommending a P word--planning. And I'm also recommending another P word--purging, such as in purging from your erev Yom Tov lists those items that can be done at some other time, waaaaay in advance of the holiday, or long after it is over.

Perhaps if people would Plan ahead they might find themselves experiencing another P word that some balabustas never get to--Pleasure in the holiday.


G6 said...

Perhaps my German background {wink} is the reason for the fact that in this instance you are "preaching to the choir".
I'm embarrassed to admit that my purim costume arrived last week and that I began extendeding Purim seudah invitations this weekend.
Part of the reason though, is because I love Purim and I love looking forward to it, especially since this year it falls so conveniently on a Sunday.
With regard to Pesach though, I must disagree. I WILL NOT start until AFTER Purim, at which point I will begin in an earnest and organized fashion. Prolonging the process for me merely prolongs the agony....
But I do see your point and to each his own.
(excuse me I gotta go buy some cream cheese..........)

Leahle said...

I've got another P word for you---punishment for mentioning Pesach this early! Yeah I know you are probably right but couldn't we have just one more week before I get that glazed look that the P holidays bring?

Anonymous said...

I'm still figuring out how to make my Purim costume! Who cares about cleaning?

Mikeinmidwood said...

There is no reason to worry about the P holiday yet, if you read mishpacha last year then you will see there is a schedule that allows you to do it all in one week!

LittleBirdies said...

My mother always started the spring cleaning aspects of "pesach cleaning" right after Chanukah.

Anonymous said...

Hanna Leah in Melbourne said:
This Pesach 2010 I am looking forward to like no other. We will please g-d be in Jerusalem with our daughter and we're hoping to be learning over there for some time.

After 20 years of marriage and on our 21st Wedding Anniversary the least my husband can grant to his wife....A Pesach holiday in 'ir hakodesh'.