Come on Riyadhis! We can do better than an azeema with a bouncy castle, right?
Picture 30-something kids gathered on the largest carpet any of them has ever seen. All silent despite the pent up excitement that’s threatening to spill over as their eyes scan the mountain of presents. As my cousin finishes reciting the rules with the seriousness of a boxing referee, I wrap my hands around the rope as tight as my 10-year-old hands can and watch my other cousin do the same. This is the closest we’ll ever get to war. This is Eid.
Somewhere between then and now, that excitement somehow faded for most people. We have to remind ourselves of how special this holiday was and can be. So if you’ve made the decision to stay home during the holidays, let us attempt to take back what is arguably the most anticipated holiday in our calendar. We can even make it for the adults again too! If you’re onboard, here are some missed Eid opportunities we could be capitalizing on.
As with every event worth seeing, we have to put some effort into its advertising. Why not spend Ramadan afternoons creating holiday decorations with your family. Make one DIY paper lantern with your kids everyday and light them all on Eid. Instructions for these easy to make decorations are available online.
Don’t worry if an everyday commitment doesn’t fit your schedule. Whenever you find time, hang up cutout paper decorations your family drew around the house. Or just print them off the Internet (no judgments here). These will keep everyone entertained and build up the suspense to Eid.
Once Eid rolls around, make sure to take full advantage of the day.
What’s better than a Eid breakfast? Brunch, of course! It’s all the yumminess of breakfast with the fulfilling-ness of lunch… the prefect meal. Eid breakfast is a staple of the holiday. It’s meant to be the first meal you have in daylight after Ramdan. If you’ve kept up the tradition of a family breakfast on Eid, good on you! If not, don’t worry about it. All you have to do is make it a brunch (for the sleepers in your family) and make sure everyone’s up and ready by then.
Now that you’ve invested all this effort in decorating and have treats to go around, invite friends and family over. Most people have a traditional family gathering on Eid, but make sure you have your own traditions as well.
This is one of those missed opportunities that truly breaks my heart. How often does your entire family gather in the same place? Take advantage of the moment and snap a picture for the times. You never know when you might need a little momento of that moment.
While you’ve got everyone over, play some games. If your family is the active type, come up with some team games to play outdoors. If not, there’s no going wrong with a good game of charades. Whether you decide to go with a water fight or monopoly, just make sure to get everyone involved. And remember: It never hurts to have goodies for the winners, especially if it ends up being you.
Last, but certainly not least, Eid would not be the same without the no-strings-attached wad of cash we like to call Eidiya. Since this is the one tradition everyone looks forward to, why not make them work for it? Hide the Eidiyas in envelopes around the house and set up a treasure hunt or a game of hot and cold. In the spirit of giving and family, if you have house workers please remember to involve them in your celebrations.
Eid is one of the few holidays we all celebrate, so why is it that we skimp out on celebrating it to the full extent? Eid used to be a lot more fun… Let’s take it back.