Happy Eid to friends and family celebrating the Ramdan holiday!
This year Ramadan ended just after July 4th so it felt a little celebratory staying up late this weekend with a special Iftar dinner at my brother and sister in law’s, fireworks and then blowing through naps on Eid with festivities at Tete’s and a morning chalk full of presents.
This year was the first year I decorated for the holiday, just a banner and a strand of lights over the mantel. I also got a couple books from the library on the meaning of the holiday, although it was a good lesson for me as well as I am Christian and still learning of my husband’s faith. We are constantly learning from each other. Not just of our faith, but our temperaments, our behaviors, our communication, even our likes and preferences. We have been married for five years, does this learning curve ever level out?! Haha!
Eid this year started off with opening of a few special gifts for the girls. I am a good little squirrel and collect things I see as I shop about leading up to a holiday. I am not too much of a planner or organized enough to be one of those like a cousin whom I remember would shop a year in advance and stock things away for holidays. However, I do slide a few trinkets under my bed here and there.
For the girls I found these little easy cotton tank dresses with fun colors and prints from Sears! I love a watermelon print! I also caught a shoe sale at Nordstrom randomly a couple weeks ago and found these awesome canvas slip ons by Tucker + Tate. I was familiar with their cloning line which I love, but the shoes were news to me. I loved the fun colors and patterns, again, and also that they seem easy to slip on and have a reenforced rubber toe, oh, and no laces! Shoes and clothes are a traditional Eid gift for children, similar to Christmas. Fancy dresses or clothing, and special jewelry is also sometimes given. The children dress up for the big Eid celebration. I wore a striped dress which in retrospect was a horrible choice and I do not even LIKE looking at myself in the photos now! Cringe! What was I thinking?! At least I was happy with the girls in their dresses…
We also got the girls new art supplies. Man can things like that add up if you aren’t careful! Ten dollars here and five dollars there…So I saved the new colors, crayons, and fresh coloring books, a box of watercolors and paper pad for Eid. Remy has been showing extreme interest in painting! Today we broke open her new paint palette and she worked for a while on a painting out on the patio before announcing to us that she was going inside to “frame” it. I asked husband about it later while making dinner, and had an inkling of where to check for it, and sure enough, she had put it where I thought she would! Ever have that happen with someone you love?! I teared up a little when I saw she had set it upright on the front table where we have framed photographs. What a sweetheart. Arlo has shown extreme interest in coloring. She LOVES her “kullers…” I love her excitement when she opened her coloring books!
Remy was such a good big sister the morning of Eid! She helped Arlo open her gifts when she needed some assistance starting a corner, yet she didn’t bull doze and tear it open. She showed such happiness for Arlo when she saw her watermelon dress and new shoes, it was so darling!!! Of course, celebrating any big holiday with little ones also means gifting of new toys. Remy had been asking for Shopkins. It seems all of the mothers out there are as confused as I am on the significance or meaning behind the tiny rubbery objects, but the toy biz has started a “thing” with these guys and the young girls love them! I overheard a mother and daughter talking about them in the toy aisle at Target on one of my indulgent, solo Target runs, and I smiled to myself as I heard their dialogue about why the girl wanted to get them and she was unsure of what they were exactly. I am glad we got them last minute, because they were a big hit for Remy.
I got Arlo a little Fisher Price school house that opens and has little figurines and desks and even a tiny merry-go-round that I thought she would be totally into, but it seems she was more fascinated by Remy’s Shopkins. I love her peering over at what Remy was opening the entire time. Sums up their relationship on a day to day.
After gifts and our morning oatmeal it was off to Tete’s, grandma in Arabic, for traditional brunch of a dish called tusiay, a large bowl of hot chick peas, hummus, small bits of pita , nuts and spices. YUM! I had two helpings and I was full the entire day! You eat the sale with slices of onion, and hard boiled eggs on the side. There was also a traditional breakfast dish called fhool, also made of mediterranean beans, parsley, oil. Simple ingredients, but the way they are prepared…incredible! I have grown to really love Arabic food since dating and marrying my husband, and his mother’s cooking can’t be beat in my book.
The girls were so thrilled to see their cousins and family on my husband’s side and they were spoiled further when aunts and uncles gifted them with money, we are so blessed, also a traditional gift and practice for children at Eid. By the time the dessert spread made its debut, it was well past nap times, and my burgeoning belly was too stuffed to even have the sweets! Still sad about that, but we were sent home with some of my favorite date filled cookies which I have already ate four.
With each passing year we celebrate Eid together, it becomes more special than the last. Perhaps it’s the addition of children that my heart has softened and I have started to want to create traditions around the Eid holiday. It will never be Christmas to me, as I grew up celebrating, and we will continue to celebrate, and I won’t truly feel or understand those same sentiments and nostalgia around it, especially since I don’t fast and am not Muslim, however, the notion of being together, with family and friends during a time of worship and praise for the Creator, that rings true across many religions. There are many more details involved with the holiday of course. Some of which include a very rigid month long fasting, giving to the less fortunate, showing restraint and not over indulging, leaning on one another for support, focusing on God and prayer….complex as they are simple. Ultimately, I like to take from Eid, and the month of Ramadan, principles that I can relate to and understand, interpret them and adapt them into meanings suited for me as a Christian woman. I have always felt welcome and included in Eid festivities regardless of my beliefs and it has been a privilege and wonderful experience getting to share in these celebrations.
Here’s a few photos from our morning at home.