panic time before a big holiday

Panic Time

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It’s panic time in my head. Yes, ladies and gents, it’s only two weeks before the holiday of Purim!

You know what that means? It’s just six weeks until Passover!

During the day and often at night, my head is spinning. I need to do “this”; I need to do “that.” For example, how can I gently let friends know that I don’t want their shalach manot goodies? (Shalach manot are gifts of food – usually sweets – we give to our friends to celebrate the holiday. Think of them as Jewish Easter baskets.) I really love candy and baked goods, but self-control is not a strong point with me!

Then, there’s the big meal on Purim day called the Purim seudah. I’m worrying already – what are we going to do? Will my kids come, or as usual, would they rather be with their friends? Will someone else invite us? My sister-in-law usually does but she lives an hour away. Last year it poured; we got on I-695 at Park Heights Ave. and almost immediately got off at Reisterstown Road. And she always invites her in-laws – they are so weird.

Should I make a seudah for just my husband and myself? That’s depressing. Should I hint to friends that we’re alone and would love to join them? I’m happy to cook something – dessert, salad, a main course, even soup. Or, is the seudah more a family thing, and we’d be a third wheel at someone else’s house?

Then comes the Passover worries. I try to be organized and keep a shopping list from year to year but there is always something last minute to buy or a new kosher-for-Passover product to try. Should I bother buying Passover mustard that we use once and throw out? And the Passover mayonnaise. It’s awful but how else will we eat tuna fish? How many bottles of grape juice do we need? And why do we buy all those bottles of wine that collect dust the rest of the year because we don’t drink?

I’ve already defrosted my freezer. I’ve been waiting for a snow day to clean out the pantry – that hasn’t happened yet. Should I get the carpets cleaned this year? And if so, what company should I use? I’ve got six or seven places to call, which is kind of ridiculous. I’ll have to narrow it down to three.

And what about a cleaning service? I can’t clean this entire house anymore by myself. Should I have a service come a week before the holiday so that I can make half of the kitchen “Passover ready” ahead of time? Will my husband mix everything up?But a bigger worry is, what am I going to feed my family? This year, Passover begins on a Wednesday night, which means the first two days of “yom tov” (holiday) are Thursday and Friday, and then Friday night is Shabbat (the Sabbath). What if I run out of fruit or vegetables or milk? I can’t go to the grocery store those three days. What will the grandchildren eat? Will they like the awful Passover cereal (probably not) or the Passover pancakes? With enough jelly on them, probably yes.

This is all so exhausting! Why can’t I win the lottery so that we can take the entire family away to a hotel?

You know – I go through this every year, and every year somehow it all works out. Maybe that’s why we drink four cups of wine at the Passover Seder! Relax!

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