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The beautiful yom tov of Shevuos is almost here, and this year, its right after Shabbos, leading to a 3 day yom tov. That means 3 days off from work, 3 days spending time with your family, 3 days of eating delicious holiday food, yet however, for some… it means 3 days of STRESS.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
With some preparation, you can be ready to enjoy the Celebration of Receiving the Torah in a relaxed atmosphere. Immerse yourself in a full night of learning followed by a milchige kiddush in the morning, and enjoy every minute of it.
Tips for Friday, Erev Shabbos:
Laundry: A three day yom tov means lots of changes of clothing. Be sure you have your laundry done so that each member of the family will have everything he/she needs to wear. It’s summer outside, and your children look adorable in their light clothing. But light clothing tends to get much dirtier than usual, so have enough backups.
Nosh: Snacks and goodies save the day for antsy children who may be bored without their regular structure. Check out the huge variety of new specialties and old favorites on EZkosher.com. Remember to have enough for 3 days.
Air Conditioner: Why is it so prevalent on Shevuos that people need to arrange for a Shabbos Goy to turn on their air-conditioner? (Double check the halachos with a Local Orthodox Rabbi.) Doesn’t everyone know that Shevuos is hot? Apparently not! So do yourself a favor, set your air conditioners on a Shabbos timer on Friday, you’ll be thankful you did. As an added benefit, a Shabbos timer will be more economical and will keep your air-conditioner working efficiently.
Makeup: It’s difficult enough to ensure that your makeup stays on for a regular Shabbos, now multiply that x3. An EZ tip is using a Makeup Setter. While it may not keep your makeup on for 72 hours, it should help at least a little.
Long Life Candle: Especially if you use a hot plate, a candle that lasts 48 hours or more is imperative in order to light your candles on the two Yom Tov nights. When preparing candles Erev Shabbos, make sure that you have enough for all nights of yom tov too. Remember also that you will need to make Havdalah on the first night of Shevuos, which is also Motzei shabbos.
Tips for Shabbos
NAPS, NAPS and more NAPS: Make sure anyone in your immediate vicinity takes a nice long nap on Shabbos afternoon, even if you have to bribe the little ones to do so. There’s nothing like being refreshed to make a yom tov that much more joyful. And remember the long night coming up ahead!
Dishes Piling Up: Don’t want to be busy washing dishes? EZKosher.com has an unbelievable selection of unbelievable plastic-ware. Your guests won’t believe it’s plastic! Roll up the plastic table cloth after each meal and voila! no mess and no dishes to wash, wipe and put away! There are enough seudos over the next few days to use your gorgeous set of China dishes. Maybe do some seudos with the plastic and some with the China. It’s up to you!
Shabbos Meal Leftovers: “Men enjoy Cholent Thursday night, Friday afternoon and Shabbos Morning. Ladies enjoy it on Sunday!”
Have leftovers that you would usually serve after Shabbos is over? Be creative! Dress it up for your yom tov meals. Think casseroles (if you have your oven on, Yom Tov ONLY!), or re-dressing chicken from the soup: add scallions and mayo – presto, a gourmet chicken yom tov meal. Leftover Kugel: add vegetable or mushroom sauce and it becomes a fancy side-dish. Extra challah? Rip it into pieces, sprinkle oil and cinnamon, sugar and voila, yummy yom tov cinnamon buns!
Tips for Shevuos
Caffeine Fix: It’s not so easy to stay awake a full night, and it seems to get harder the older you get. Remember as a child when you begged to be allowed to stay up the full night? That was a looong time ago! 6 hours after you finish eating your meat at the meal, you can pour yourself a refreshing, fully caffeinated iced coffee drink. And tackle the rest of your learning feeling invigorated.
Vasikin: Are you the type who just wants to go into bed? Or would you first daven Vasikin and know that you have a few hours of uninterrupted sleep until it’s time to wake up? Whatever works for you, make sure that your mood is not affected by lack of sleep. No one likes to be near a grouch. If you do daven Vasikin, consider having your kiddush/milchig meal when you get home from Shul. Think of it as a cheese breakfast. This might be more enticing than having a milchig and fleishig meal back to back later.
Have Guests or Be Guests: While guests can add stress, there’s nothing like a change of pace to make life exciting. Think of who you can invite for one or more of the meals. And while it’s not the most polite thing to ask to be invited for a meal, if someone offers, however, it may be beneficial to accept. You may pick up wonderful new recipes as a side benefit!
No More Greasy Hair: My life changed as a teenager when I found out about a wonderful invention on the market. It’s called DRY SHAMPOO. It absorbs odor and oil between washes and can literally make the difference in a teenagers social life. It may not seem like much of a present, but it might be the most appreciated gift you ever gave. Another no-brainer is to keep away from oily foods
So decorate your house with beautiful blooms, follow the above tips, and have a wonderful Yom Tov!