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This post should have happened last week (actually even before last eid) but well since our eid overseas lasts for a good few days and weekends, I thought I will go ahead and still share it. These ideas can be done before or after eid too since no one is there to judge. lol. Also, my motto always will be better late than never!
Living in non-muslim countries our eids are very different than the ones we remember from our home countries. Yes, we love to complain about that but after spending some eids in Pakistan in recent years and missing some of my American eid traditions, I realized our eids are special because they are exactly what we want/make them to be. We are all bringing the best from our old eids and merging in with newer traditions and literally re-defining eids and that is exciting itself!
Over the years I have found various little ways to share our excitement around Eid with our neighbors and non-muslim friends around us and wanted to share those ideas today.
In this day and age of misrepresentation of muslims in media and around, it is even more important to find occasions to share our faith & holidays with those around us and Eid happens to be the biggest excuse to do that! As Anya grows up I can sense her excitement and pride in being able to share about her faith with those around her and it makes it even more important to do that :).
Here are three things we have done in recent years to share our excitement for Eid with those around us.
Gifts for Neighbors
If you haven’t done something before, this is probably the easiest one to start with. Where we lived before, our neighbors were the sweetest couple and we made it a point to buy gifts for their boys too when getting Eid gifts and then going in to drop them with a little card for their family + sometimes some food items too (I’m mostly lazy with cooking but if cooking food is your main muse, you can focus your efforts around that).
We were probably the only Muslim family my neighbor had properly met and she would get so excited and share about it on her facebook too. It felt so good. With our new neighbors, I usually just buy a little something for their family, chocolates or a nice candle & then write a card with a little about eid and leave it for them. Last Ramadan I made a tray of iftar items to share with them too.
Eid Goodie Bags + an Eid read for Anya’s class
I’ve done a variation of this since Anya was in Pre-K. I just let the teacher know in advance and then make some simple goodie bags with a little Eid note (I try to keep it very simple and just an introduction of the holiday that our family celebrates). Also, make sure to ask about any allergies before buying your food items so no one is left out.
For the last two years, I have also read an Eid story to her class and it has been my favorite most thing to do. I just read out one of our favorite most Eid reads, Night of the Moon (find it on Amazon) and then the kids’ questions about it are the cutest! This year Anya also wanted to join me in reading so we each read alternate pages!
EDIT : This last year when I did it again for her friends, I also printed out these little notes to add to the goodie bags. And also made a goodies filled gift box for her teacher.
Hosting an Eid playdate
This year we also felt like hosting a playdate before Eid, so we invited Anya’s favorite friends from school + the neighborhood and asked them to dress up in their most traditional / fancy clothes.
The idea is to keep it basic & simple and much like a usual playdate, except maybe include a craft & henna for the girls and that’s it.
I know some of these (most) were done for Eid ul Fitr so you can change it up for Eid ul Adha as needed. If you’re feeling super adventurous you can make it an open house party for your neighbors or neighborhood. I personally find kids parties easier and more fun to do but some year I do want to host an iftar for our neighborhood inshAllah!
Do you have any other ideas to share? Would love to know!