“Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far, throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes, calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days. He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy. ” Esther 9:20-22, NLT

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates when God saved his people from the evil Haman. I’m not Jewish, but growing up my parents always had special ways for us to remember the story of Esther during this time of year.

Here are a few ideas of how to celebrate:

  1. Have a fancy family dinner and read the Book of Esther. The story of Esther has a lot of getting “fancy” in it. Esther becomes queen because of a beauty pageant, when she bravely goes to the king’s court she is wearing her royal robes, and later in the story she invites the king and Haman to a special banquet. Have fun finding something fancy to wear and then talk about the story during family dinner,
  2. Make Purim Baskets. Part of the celebration in Esther 9 says to give gifts to each other. Purim baskets can be filled with food, candy, and other small gifts. Consider making these for your neighbors. They are a great way to start a conversation. Or you can make them for your pastors, friends, family members – anyone who needs a smile
  3. Give to the Poor. Throughout the Bible we see that the poor are near to God’s heart. This is a great time to find a way to be intentional about how you as a family can give to those in need. It doesn’t have to be a monetary gift. Maybe you could volunteer at a shelter, donate food items to a food pantry, cleanup a local park, or spend some time with elderly neighbors who may need help with chores or outside upkeep. We also have people in our own circle of friends who may need an extra hand or help. This gives you an excuse to reach out.
  4. Tell the Story of Esther in a Creative Way. In my family we loved putting on a play of the story Esther. We would make funny costumes and act out the story. Maybe play acting isn’t for you. Don’t let that stop you. Get your creative juices going and find a fun way to tell the story of Esther. You could create a storybook, illustrate a comic book, come up with a game, write a poem, make a movie trailer or find another activity that is out-of-the-box and fun for your family.

Looking for more ways to engage in the Bible as a family. Check out the Hands-On Bible.