Started Monday night. When I got home from work, I changed into my "costume" - a shabbos suit over a starfield t-shirt, with a calligraphic button that read "A motion to adjourn is always in order." - mostly because it was the first one I could find. I put a paperback book in one jacket pocket and my firelizard in the other. I was a "frum fan", you see. I picked up my megillah (the book of Esther, in a book. This one is very lovely - a tall, thin hardback printed in "stam" - standard printing for Torah scrolls, etc.) and walked to shul. I had the time wrong, so I got there very early. Which is not a bad thing.
There was ma'ariv and there was readings. I got to see all the cute kiddies (and grownups) in their costumes. One family came as "the Land of Milk and Honey" - Abba wore a tabard about the Land, Ima wore cow pajamas (with a skirt for modesty) and a sign proclaiming "cholov", and the baby was a bee, with sign saying "dvash". Another was "Three blind mice and the farmer's wife." The "mice" wore black skirts and tops, with tails pinned on, plus make-up whiskers, and pinned on ears and tails. The "wife" wore a calico skirt, a lace trimmed apron and his wife's sheitl, and carried a peace-bonded carving knife.
There were princesses and Esthers, and pirates, and Zorro. And one young lady came in wearing a graduation robe and a witch's hat...
And a Slytherin badge.
The reading went well, if very, very fast. We collected our gift from the synagogue mishloach manot exchange and went to dinner - where it felt like a significant portion of the shul joined us. :) Then we went home and I assembled bags of goodies for the next day. And groaned at the firecrackers going off in the streets below us.
Second reading was at 7:30 or so, so we set an alarm for 6:30 and were out the door by 7:15. Got there in time for the reading, and even to find a seat. We were going to have breakfast out afterwards, but there turned out to be no time, so I just bought lunch and we went home, where I showered and got dressed for work. Jonathan spent the morning delivering packages of food before going off to work himself.
I brought a basket of goodies to the office.
We were invited to a seudah at about 4:30, so I left early and put together a package to give to them. That part was fun. I came early, as it happened, and helped out - washed dishes, set the table, mixed the cole slaw. We had cole slaw, corned beef, stuffed peppers and donated challah, plus the grapes I'd purchased for dessert. And sweet wine. And we discussed everything from genie stories to James Joyce to comic books.
Our table is still full of detritus from the holiday, but it's over for us now. And all the goodies? Are chometz now. :)