Hello there! It is so SO good to have you here! The month of Ramadan is coming to an end with Eid-al-Fitr right around the corner, along with the Memorial Day weekend. That’s right! This year we are celebrating Eid, and Memorial Day, on the same weekend. This got me thinking about a previous post from a couple of years back when the same thing happened. It's hard to reflect back on those times, especially with everything that's happening around us today with the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, this is a time of celebration with families and friends, even given the current quarantine situation. It may seem depressing when you think about the fact that we won’t be able to do some of the things that made those previous holidays enjoyable, like meeting families, having cookouts and feasting together, so I think it’s important to find ways to celebrate. This is the reason why I want to share my list of the 12 ways of celebrating this eid. Hopefully you too will find these tips helpful.
Bake Cookies - Cookies are easy to bake and fun (and trouble for the sweet tooth). They can be so festive during every occasion. I wanted to include my Eid cookies in the Eid bags to drop of to family, but my first batch wasn't looking so great! Try again?
Cook a Special Meal - Is there any holiday that doesn't involve (elaborate) cooking? Cook up a storm for the family at home and enjoy the special meal together. You can even drop off a dish for your other families.
Dress up - Eid is a major excuse to dress up and look our best in our ethnic attire #representculture
Group Zoom Call - Get on a zoom call with your families to celebrate Eid together-from-afar, show off your Eid outfit, your baked cookies, or take screen shots and selfies, or anything to enjoy the time on the call. I'm looking forward to my zoom call scheduled with families around the globe!
Draw Eid Cards - I made a few DIY greetings cards last year, but my lack of confidence in them got the best of me. So, I never sent them out! This year I've decided to share a few even if they aren't "perfect" - it's the thought that counts, right? Sit as a family, on your own, or with your kids to enjoy a craft session to create cards or any Eid craft project.
Drive by to wave at families/Friends - Dress up in the morning and go for a drive to wave at your relatives and friends. Make it even more exciting by capturing it all on video if you'd like and sharing with those afar. Every year we take turns driving around to and visiting each others houses throughout the day. I have a lot of families who live nearby. With this year being an exception, we thought of driving by to see (from a distance) few of our relatives who live close to us.
Mail out holiday cards - If you planned early enough, good for you! Since we can't celebrate with all our families, as we are used to doing in a yearly basis, my husband thought of sending out Eid Holiday cards or Eid greeting cards. So, at the last minute, we've decided to print out cards and drop those off during our drive as a family - all dressed up!
Deliver Goodies - Drop off gift bags or goodies for your family members, close friends, and/or neighbors. Something as simple as the cookies you've baked. We usually host an Eid gift exchange party with a massive feast for our families (60 people and counting). This year that obviously can't happen in large numbers.
Give Eidi In A Balloon - Okay, you can give Eidi any way you want if you are even doing Eidi for children. It doesn't have to be all extra with balloon. But I'm usually "extra." Kids love Eidi (which kid is not excited about it on Eid day?) or at least I did growing up. It wasn't about the amount, but more about the fun of collecting something from relatives through out the day. It was fun!
Apply Henna - I'm not someone who applies henna often, but I have friends and families who follow this tradition every year for Eid. If you enjoy getting your henna done professionally at an Eid "mela" (fair) every year, why skip it this year? I'm talking about the henna part, of course, not the Mela part. It doesn't have to be perfect to make a difference. You can order/pick-up organic henna from local professionals, and create a small piece of artwork yourself right on the palm of your hand.
Decorate Your home: Just as any other holiday, Ramadan can be a great time to decorate the house. If you haven't decorated for Ramadan, you can still throw something together quickly for Eid, and especially in quarantine, it doesn't have to be elaborate. Maybe a corner of the living room, a mantel, the dinning area, front porch, or the garage. Or, simply put up some lights and a DIY wreath for the doorway. Anything that suits you. With a toddler at hand full-time, I didn't do much to decorate for the holiday this time. I just focused on the credenza in our dining area.
What Gives You Joy: Each person has his or her own unique way of celebrating the holidays. And since Memorial Day is coinciding with Eid, celebrate it in whatever way brings you joy. We are planning on BBQ-ing at some point by keeping with the tradition of Memorial Day weekend. You can do chalk paint outside with or without kids.
I'm hoping that these ideas help you get through these trying times. You can go with one or combine a few of these to enjoy with your family and little ones. While we celebrate the end of the holy month and remember those who have fallen for our freedom on this Memorial Day weekend, we must also honor and not forget those who are making sacrifices for us, even as we speak, to get us all through this challenging period in humanity. Wishing you and your family lot of love and health.