Thursday, October 25, 2012

On the importance of making Eid special


I have such fond childhood memories of Eid.

I remember waking up and putting on my brand new outfit and glass bangles while admiring the orange henna my mother and I applied to our hands the night before. I remember meeting up with friends at Eid prayer, and coming home to consume massive amounts of sweets in our house strung with lights and ornaments and opening our gifts, and better yet, to play with those gifts before heading out to see friends or eagerly looking out the window for the friends who would visit us.

Eid Ul Adha is this Friday and now that I have my own child, I want to give him the same memories combining my old traditions with many new ones and the older he gets I realize the time is now to take action to make Eid special. I want him to jump up and down with anticipation for Eid. I want him to admire all holidays but not feel longing because his holiday festivities are so very super cool.

Just not this year.

We got back from San Diego late Monday night with two sick ones in my care and me? The third trimester has turned me into a tug-boat with resulting physical challenges and exhaustion and between caring for sick ones, unpacking, and getting ready for in-laws coming to celebrate Eid with us today I've had no chance [save the banner pictured], to do any of the things I've wanted to do to make Eid the extra-special event I so badly want it to be. I'm disappointed though I know that I couldn't possibly have done more than I currently have done, but because our community doesn't do lots of festivity related events save prayers, the responsibility of making the holiday enjoyable rests on us. Sure, sometimes, we have events with friends, but I have to make sure that each Eid regardless of who is available and who isn't, Eid in our little unit, is fun.

Being two, my kid isn't too hard to please since every day is exciting, holiday or not, so I'm trying not to feel too badly about this simpler Eid than I'd have liked. We'll be going to Eid prayers followed by gift giving and a backyard BBQ and perhaps later a good long time at a nearby park. And as much as I wanted to bake my heart out, I'll be settling for pre-made goodies though at least goodies there will be. And while it won't be the Eid I envisioned this time, I console myself that he's young and there will be time to create more memories and traditions for the next Eid and God willing more to come.

As I bookmarked all the ideas of things to do next time I figured I'd share them here incase its of interest. Not all are Eid specific but tailorable and I plan to add to this list as I find more things.
  1. Ramadan Countdown. This website is for Christmas countdown ideas, love the concept, I also found this website with Ramadan specific countdown ideas.
  2. Stained Glass Decor. Love this idea to decorate windows thematically.
  3. Marshmallow Lambs. My favorite! An adaptable easter idea perfect for Eid-ul-Adha!
  4. Crescent Chocolate Wafers. I like this one because its thematic but super easy and with two little ones I just might need simple ideas come next Eid.
  5. Eid Stenciled Cookies. I am definitely buying these to make cookies next year!!
  6. Banner Making. This is a craft idea that keeps on giving. It's how I made the small banner pictured above and it worked great. Plan to make many more.
  7. Eid Goody Bags. Loved this creative twist to the typical gift-bag.
  8. Origami Stars. Another fun countdown idea to do with a blessing tapped into a star, kids could pluck one each day of Ramadan.
  9. Balloon Popping. Instead of knocking down a tough pinata, why not pop a balloon? I loved how this looks so festive and would be fun for kids to pop on Eid and get small treats. [I have an aversion to balloon popping which I'll have to get over though]
  10. Good Deed Tree. Cute, and doable anytime of the year really.
  11. Popsicle stick crescent and stars. When old enough kids can do them!
EID MUBARAK to you and yours! Any creative or cute holiday [including Christmas or other holidays] crafts, activities you do? Many of the ideas I found are adapted/adaptable to any holiday so if you have any ideas do share.

7 comments:

sprogblogger said...

I love family holidays! And I agree that making them the source of good memories is sort of key to how I feel about raising kids. We've always done homeemade advent calenders (though, btw, Lego does nifty non-Christmassy ones each year that I'd think could be adapted easily to Eid.) Might have to buy a year ahead of time, though, when the holiday falls Dec. - July or so since I think they release them semi-seasonally.

Being from the SW, we always put out 'luminarias' lining our sidewalks on December evenings we expected friends over--paper lunch bags with a lit candle nestled into the sand at the bottom. It lights up the walkway in a very welcoming, mellow way. And as a kid, being allowed to light candles? Wow, was that ever special.

Another thing we do to mark our holiday season is to give each other something each year that only comes out during the holidays. In our case a Christmas tree ornament, or a special decoration. It ties the holidays together through the years, somehow, makes you remember when you received/gave each thing you're bringing out for the special day.

I'm totally going to go check out your links & keep checking out what other people suggest! Eid Mubarak to you and your family! I hope it's a lovely day (and that everyone feels better!)

Aisha said...

Thanks for the great ideas Susan! I think special mementos tied to the holidays is a great idea andt hanks for the tip on legos!!!

Anonymous said...

great ideas!

Ayesha said...

Wishing you, K bhai and both my nephews a happy and blessed eid :)
Big eid hugs!
Ayesha

Anonymous said...

Eid mubarak, Aisha! Hope you'll have a wonderful time that both you and your son will remember fondly.
Thanks so much for this post. The first couple of paragraphs could have been written by me (IF I was able to express it so well). Exactly how I feel, too!
I'll check out every link you posted. I have the intention to start planing for Ramadan and the two eid holidays a couple of months ahead. Let's see if I really do it ;-)

Eid mubarak once again!
Natalie

Aisha said...

Thanks Anon!

Aw, thanks Ayesha, hope you are having a wonderful and memorable Eid!!!!!

Natalie, I thought of you when I wrote this as I know we've "talked" about this in the past. I'm glad these are helpful. There are a surprising number of sites with great ideas, and eid stores online as well with things that you can buy or use as jump starts for your own DIY projects. If you find any please share! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's really nice to see you celebrate Eid so enthusiastically. I have always loved making Eid special for my family and friends. Always preparing foods, putting on mehendi and what not every Eid. Unfortunately, I don't see that im my in-laws. I didn't even get an Eid call from them. I obviously did call up everyone myself, but it just hurts me that they would treat Eid like it was just another day and although they are religious, I didn't really see any Eid festivities.

Anyway, dropped by to say that it's great to see all the events you've planned up for next year. All the best! :)

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