1. Themes - this has got to be way off the original 'shaloch manos ish l'ra-ayhu'. I mean come on, 7 little kids dressed like pizza delivery dudes bringing a pizza pie made of marzipan?
I spent some time in Israel and I gotta tell you, it was amazing. The kids are dressed a bit weird, like mismatching socks and they bring a plastic plate covered with a napkin. Under the napkin, you'd typically find a fruit and a can of tuna or corn and a couple of cookies or pieces of cake. For the more chashuva person, you might include a bottle of kosher l'pesach grape juice. The fruit, can and wine are put away and the mezonos placed on the table. A few pleasant minutes of 'so, how's the baby - or bubby' and off they go. No expensive 5 foot baskets, no $50 costumes, no leftover mountains of 'kangaroo flavored Chewie Yucks[TM]' to dump when the kids aren't looking.
2. Drinking - I know this is a very serious item, so I'll do this one soberly.
Kids drink. Kids should NOT be drinking, even if its purim. Yes even, or maybe because its Purim. The guy driving his 7 adorable pizza kids might be drunk, at the very least he might have had a drink this morning, just to be able to cope with the pizza kids.
Then there's the idiot of a parent who says 'big deal I drank as a kid, why shouldn't my kid have it as good as I did' or 'My father let us drink, are you saying that my father, zecher tzadik levrocho, was wrong?'
Big problem, remember even as a teen they are little kids, please, please, ich bayte eich alle, someone has to be the responsible adult.
Oh, ad delo yada? It's a MITZVAH to drink. Go ask a rav, any rav, and if the rav by some drunken chance says it's OK to let kids drink, tell the rav in my name he is an apikores and give him my Email. WOW guts! No not really. It just so happens that I own a set of mishna brurah who backs my position on this. There is no MUST drinking if you insist on 'ad delo yada' take nap, that qualifies.
3. Shnoring - oy this one is a toughy.
Yes I think its good for BOYS to collect money on purim, (keeps em from stupid things, like getting drunk) Since kids don't have an income and can't participate in the matonos le'evyonim by giving, this way they can have a big chelek by channelling the money. I figure way over 7 figures, in cash, changing hands on purim, and the BOYS have a big part in it. Which accustoms them to tzedaka and chesed.
I'm getting to the 'BOYS' part. I think that girls should not be shnorring, not that girls don't have to do chesed, it's just I can't see letting my daughters go to a strange home to sell a win-a-trip-of-a-lifetime raffle. Sure its a big mitzvah but common sense says, that es past nish for girls to go, even in a group, sorta not a refined, eidel like, thing to do. Just my opinion of course, the rest of you may subject your daughters to the neighborhood sickos if it pleases you, after a couple of drinks or hours in a small car with 7 zeesa pizza kids.
4. Social life - whatever happened to going to sit at Zaydy/bubby's house for an hour. Now we seem to gravitate to the noise wherever its Happening.
The yeshivas mordechai hatzdik seems to be a good idea too. Imagine on a day off spending some quiet time with a kid in shul somewhere learning, nuts no? I mean I could be doing a mitzvah by drinking a beer, oh, you want me spend time with my kids, heck they can have a beer too! Idiots. Have we drifted so far that we don't realize what Judaism is based on?
Remember, the next generation of erlicha yid is influenced by YOUR actions.
And on that note, I wish all my readers a happy and thoughtful purim!