This is the first Ramadan Waleed is old enough to appreciate that something is different this month. Namely, why do we eat dinner without Abu? And why does he look so hungry? His bedtime is before iftaar [though we did let him stay up to see K open fast once] and is too probably young to fully grasp all that Ramadan is, but it felt important to help him start understanding the basic concept this year. And even more important, to get him excited about it.
Christmas has a natural boost. Homes are sprinkled in lights. Television shows are thematic. The grocery store, mall, everywhere you turn, the holiday spirit abounds. Since Ramadan is never consistently tied to a season, it takes a little extra effort to make sure the excitement is there, and to make sure the month and the culminating holiday, Eid-ul-Fitr is special. As I wrote last year, this is not as easy as I'd like it to be. Without family nearby, and friends who are amazing but have plans with their own families, and a community that's not exactly had open arms and with Masjids that don't really do much for the Muslim community at large outside of salaat, I have to work harder to make the holiday special.
Today me and the kiddos decorated two of our entryways leading into the house for the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr. [Even Musa grabbed a crayon! Granted he mostly wanted to eat it, but still, it counts I say!] One downside to having a Facebook blog page and the ease of uploading a photo to it with a short caption, is that things that I normally would have shared here in a nice big blogpost end up relegated there like my photo of our journey in Ramadan decorating. [Also doesn't help that I still haven't decided what laptop I want and thus am forced to type on an iPad which is complicated]. But I got contacted by some of you who were interested in how I made some of the things I shared today so I thought it would be easier to put it in a post to share with you and hopefully to also have memorialized as my memory aint what it used to be and I may need a refresher a few Eids from now.
a) I ordered cookie cutters with star and crescent shapes off Amazon to bake and decorate sugar cookies but its an added perk that I could also use them to trace and create star and crescent shaped decorations. To string them together I used a needle and thread and sewed through the pieces. There are probably a million creative ways to do it but I like how from afar with the white thread they look like they are free floating in the air.
b) I got many compliments on these, and as much as I'd like to smile and just say ah yes, that's a family secret, you see the process is well so, mysterious, the truth is they're left over decorations from Party City that happened to tie into the color theme. But they're quite affordable. And quite reusable.
c) I first saw these via Confessions of a Muslim Mommaholic and adored them but thought they'd be too intimidating for me to make but they were super easy and took approximately five minutes to put together. The kids decorated the interior yellow lantern and while it's not visible perhaps in the photo it adds personality to them and Waleed is proud beyond belief that he created it. The tutorial for that is here.
Hope this is helpful! If you found it useful I'll try to post other decorations, crafts, and Eid related things we're trying to do this season. Any decorating, crafting or other tips to make the holiday time special? Please do share!