This year as all of us are going to be staying home for Eid (even if lockdowns are easing down it doesn’t mean infections aren’t happening – so taking precautions for the vulnerable and those in healthcare is still as important), it’s for sure going to feel very different. For us, those routine things that “make” our American Eid like the Eid prayer aren’t happening.. I know it feels sad; and we are all at the point where we are starting to get a little tired of this situation; BUT I’m here to remind you that WE CAN DO THIS Eid at home thing, trust me! Just like we did with Ramadan inshallah:):)
Sharing a few simple ways to make eid at home feel special and also how to document it in photos.
(All photos from Eids from the last few years. )
Make one meal feel really special
Okay, this isn’t for the amazing chefs who are going to make the whole day full of amazing menus but for the ones who run away from cooking (or the cleaning & chaos that it makes when you don’t have help). I like to make one meal feel really special which for us usually is brunch. I love doing the traditional halwa puri nashta because Anya really loves it. But having one celebratory meal can do the trick really, – turn on the candles, bring out flowers and your best dinnerware and just make it feel so special. This year I’m planning to try Shehr Bano’s baisan and sooji halwa.
PHOTO TIP : Don’t focus on only the food but also document expressions and that whole “feeling” at the table. I like do a few quick ones before everyone comes to the table and then click a few before putting my camera away so the photo-taking does not interrupt the family meal together.
Add Simple decor
You don’t really need fancy decor to make it festive (bonus: simple & reusable is actually best for our planet too). My go-to basics right now are flowers, candles, letter boards, a banner maybe. I actually love that my generic “Celebrate” banner can be used for Eid just like for so many other occasions. Within these, I still try to make it a little different every year.
Incase you are looking to add decor items that you are able to reuse year after year (for a variety of occasions) here are a few ideas : These twinkly lights / this banner / this letter board / this light box (i just ordered similar lights & that banner).
PHOTO TIP: Do document your decor. I love to take photos of the decor in natural light during the day but also love to capture the candlelit / twinkly lights feel once it’s dark. For night-time photos it’s best to turn off overhead lighting directly above you and use ambient lamp lights. It can also help to plan your location for decor with your family photos in mind so it can make a nice background (More on how to choose that coming up).
PRO TIP: Feel free to bump up your ISO if photos are turning out too dark (on DSLRS it’s easy to do but did you know phone cameras let you do that as well when you use apps like Halide. ALSO decor photos are really to play around with bokeh if you own a wide aperture lens like the popular 50mm 1.8.
Set a little time for family photos
You know how usually the photos can feel so stressful with trying to force them between Eid gatherings and all of the plans but with not much else going on this year, taking these photos can become a perfect ritual to fit into our Eid day plans. It helps to keep aside a 30-60 minute spot open for making them happen. It is also the perfect chance to get some photos of you and your babies if you normally don’t make it in front of the camera a lot.
PHOTO TIP: Use a tripod, it makes the job so much easier! What works for my family is that I will set up the camera on it, take test shots to make sure things look good before I call everyone. That makes it easier for both the ‘easily irritated by photos’ & the ‘can’t sit still’ type family members. Looking for family photo tips? Check out this earlier post with more tips for family photos including info on stepping in the photos yourself.
Make the gifting feel extra special
Even if you are giving each other Eidi or small little items, I love to wrap them beautifully (I love the ideas here) and to set up a little gifts corner. I also love to keep / include any gifts that maybe arrived earlier to make it feel more special. Here’s a post I had written on Eidi and how we do it with our friends.
PHOTO TIP: Document your kids opening the presents, reading the cards.. all of that. I also love to take photos of the gifts (here’s an idea relating to that I had posted about) and especially the handwritten notes.
Embrace the rituals & the little things
With our usual big celebrations and festivities not happening, I love that this Eid can be all about embracing the small rituals and the little things. You know that is my love language already but finding ways to celebrate the small things can feel so amazing.
Here are a few ideas: Make those virtual celebrations feel extra special with a virtual invite (linking my favorite place) whether for Eid or Chand Raat. If like me you’ve never focused too much on cooking on Eid, this time find a way to set up a small dessert table. Do an Eid namaz of your own. Put on a fun movie (or Pakistani drama) as you sit down to put henna on your kids’ hands.
PHOTO TIP: Make sure to capture the in-between details, all the little things: Lovingly bought outfits and accessories (or passed on from loved ones that is true for us many Eids), your kids sweet little hands, talking to friends and family virtually (I am planning to bring out my camera for these), the random-ness in-between. Its really fun to look back on these later on.
That’s it you guys. Hope you guys have a wonderful Eid whenever and wherever you are celebrating.
Lots of love