The problem with tradition is that most of the time, it is dated and does more to hold us back than to propel us forward. It is for that reason that we, as a family, have been moving forward from our dated Eid traditions in order to create a more festive and inviting experience for both the kids and ourselves. Gone are the days of sitting around and watching telly in between the cousins popping in and out of the house, and in are the days of blowing up balloons, unwrapping gifts, and playing games with the kids.
As someone who is very big on DIY crafts, it was important to really place my stamp on the first of our party-style Eid and so I gathered all my cute stationery and got cracking. The bunting, pictured below, was probably the most straight forward thing on the planet. It was made by folding a piece of coloured card in half and replicating some of the confetti-style designs on these free Eid printables by Iva before looping it through some bog standard ribbon. Life would probably have been easier if I had just printed these, but you know me, always buying things I want instead of need, like ink for my printer…
Also pictured with the bunting are the gifts for the kids that were wrapped in some super adorable tissue paper from Tiger – between you and I, this paper was actually used to wrap my glass bottles of chocolate milk, but I love keeping cute things so I never threw them away (clearly that was a good move!). To complete the look, I tried to keep with the fun theme by creating individualised gift tags (again, inspired by Iva’s free printables) and going totally over the top with the ribbon – I can absolutely say that the kids bloody loved tearing these open no matter how much it pained my heart to see pieces of tissue paper flying all over the show.
You’ve probably noticed by now that this golden ribbon has been a huge part of my crafts and décor, but I’m not done with it just yet! I wanted to have something that could be played with by the kids, like a mobile of sorts, and so I got cracking yet again with my coloured card and arsenal of Sharpies. This drop down mobile, pictured below, was dead easy to make. I literally just cut up a cloud shape and 3 circles in the colours of my choice and strung them together using the gold ribbon (and obviously extras to get all the curls). I then wrote ‘Happy’ in the cloud, and the letters “E”, “I”, and “D” in the circles.
These small but definitely effective décor decisions meant that already, the living room was looking like a festive place to be for one of the two biggest religious celebrations we have in the year. Of course, I was also determined to break the very formal dining tradition that seems to plague us as a community. We’re always determined to be the host with the most, but what we don’t realise is that not only do we make it more work upon ourselves, but it also feels super awkward eating in those conditions. So, in a bid to break away from this dining experience, I set up a table of small plates and snacks that were both topped up and accessible throughout the day for everyone walking into the room. This table meant that everyone could help themselves AND it would save me like a million dishes at the end of the day. I also thought well ahead about the potential spills and stains and used a disposable table cover from Poundland (comes in a pack of 2!) – trust me, it doesn’t always fit the aesthetic but it’s worth doing to save the table looking worse for wear in the long run.
The finger foods I had out were a real mix of both traditionally Bangladeshi and English(?), so they appealed to all the generations. This table was pretty much set and ready to roll by about 10am because the early birds in our house almost always go for the first (7am) or second (8am) Eid prayer and so by about 1pm, they’re all ready for the lunch spread – after which this table was topped up and laid out again. Here are some of the snacks featured on the table:
All in all, the day was absolutely wonderful and the kids had a blast, which was the most important thing. We were able to do for them what wasn’t done for us, and honestly, that is one of the biggest focuses in our home at the moment: creating a version of life for the generations to come that we could only dream of. We want our future generations to embrace the concept of living in the moment with the people we love whilst developing safe spaces for trust and communication without the constant worry of financial and emotional circumstances. I can only hope and pray that our efforts now will benefit the kids in the long run in creating lives for themselves that are directed by positive thinking and open communication regardless of the situation.
May all our loves be the light of their own lives.