No, I am not talking about Syria, although I will get to that later. Tishrei is right around the corner, and we need to be prepared. Tonight is the night to plan the next few days so you don’t get caught unawares and out of time.
If you have school-aged children, know that there are only three days this week- Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Right now- make sure you have three sets of school outfits washed and ready, three sets of meals for school, and three water bottles if you can. (We fill the bottle about 1/4 – 1/3 full with water and put it in the freezer. In the morning we add cold water and the water stays cold all day.) Make sure they don’t need to bring anything special to school for the holiday- if so, put it on the calendar and get it now. Now hopefully you can “forget” about school for now.
Do you have any last-minute haircut appointments, doctor appointments etc. to schedule? Be efficient- call tonight and leave a message or book on the internet. I was just surprised to call a hair salon which has a full messaging service at 11:00 at night!
First things first- make a list of what still needs to be done. Break it down into the following categories:
- Guests– if you have, confirm if they have allergies. Get the guest rooms and bathrooms ready. What time are they coming? Do you have to pick them up? If so, from where? If you are a guest, find out what you can bring/make/do to help your host. If you really want to make the hostess happy, offer to bring some already-seeded rimon 🙂
- Going away?– if you are, make sure your neighbor has your key in case of emergency, timers are set, pet/plant sitters arranged.
- Laundry– make sure your tablecloths, towels, linens and holiday clothes are washed. If you have a European machine, you know how how long it takes so plan your time accordingly.
- Table– do you have enough tables and chairs? if not, arrange to borrow from a gamach or a friend now. Do you have enough tablecloths, silverware, plates, serving dishes, napkins, bowls and cups? If not, figure out how many disposable items you will need to purchase and get it soon. We found very nice biodegradable plasticware that looks just like the Solo brand and wasn’t too expensive. Don’t forget candles, matches and long-lasting candles.
- Food– Make an inventory of your freezer and start planning meals if you haven’t already. We all need to purchase fruits and vegetables this week- don’t forget apples, rimon, dates and a new fruit. Most stores are open Saturday night and have extended hours this week to get your last minute shopping done, but don’t go tonight or Sunday for chicken- wait for Monday or later. You might be tempted to shop for groceries online, but just remember that you are one of many so expect many items to be out of stock. You don’t want your order to come Tuesday night missing half the items and you have to run out Wednesday morning for them.
- Clothing– do you have enough for a three day holiday? I know my son already outgrew the last set of clothing we bought him and we have so far been unsuccessful in dragging him in to purchase another -gasp- three outfits.
- Kids– make a list of everything they can do and have them do it. If it makes your life easier, bribe them. We have offered 10 agorot- 1 shekel per chore (depending on their ages; can be done multiple times) or three levels of rewards- ice cream, pizza, movie depending on how many they do and whether they work together or not. I will post some recipes/activities to keep them busy Wednesday while you finish your last minute chores.
- Beit knesset– if you go, do you have your seat/membership paid for? If you can, find out where your seat is beforehand so it will be easier to find it during services. Do you have enough machzorim? Do you know where they are? If you are not going, do you know who can blow the shofar for you? If your beit knesset has a tzedaka campaign during the holidays (selling honors or having someone come in from another agency), budget now what you are willing/able to spend. Discuss it with your husband/wife so there are no surprises.
- Syria– I said I would get back to that topic. Although everything is still up in the air, nobody was ever harmed by being prepared. Stock food/water/medicine in your protective room. Make sure you have the necessary supplies in case of emergency. Read the Emergency Situation Preparation Guide by Pikud HaOref. Check out the Pikud HaOref web site for more information. If for some reason you do not have your protective masks, click here for a list of distribution centers. If you do have, make sure they are the right sizes for your family members.
That’s it for now- if you have that all written out, you deserve a break!