Happy Ramadan -2016

Asalaam alaikum and Ramadan Mubarak from myself and my family.

This year was the first year we celebrated as a “family,” because it was the first year my husband, I, a very pregnant  were together since I was in Morocco.

One thing on my mind since I got pregnant that I realized was important for me was to start our own family traditions.  I have found since even before the birth of my daughter that Pinterest and social media can make parenting all that much more stressful because of the sharing of super parents that do it all – and its perfect every time! Ack!

So I love the idea of having it all but I know realistically its just not going to happen.

I did however decide that I wanted to create decorations for Ramadan/Eid that we could enjoy for this year and future celebrations.  Mind you – I am still working on the finishing touches of some of the things or I haven’t even gotten started but its on my list of things to create.

As I grew up celebrating Christmas and Hannukah in the winter season – there are certain traditions that I have always enjoyed and stuck with me throughout the years.  First and foremost is the advent calendar.  I never grew up with one that was made of fabric – my mom would purchase one for me and I enjoyed opening the little windows and finding the new picture or chocolate each day in anticipation of Christmas Day.

So I thought, why not create a Ramadan advent calendar?  I scanned through Pinterest and found many different ideas and ultimately decided to sew my own.  I found the fabric I wanted at our local quilt shop named New Pieces.

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I also want to create interchangable velcro banners so I could use this for other occassions or months.. but I haven’t gotten to those yet.  I also desire to make small soft stuffed icons for each pocket.  I also saw a different twist on advent calendars where instead of just getting a small toy, chocolate etc you put a nice deed you could do for someone each day in each pocket.  So that’s what I am doing this year and will continue even after the small stuffed icons are made.

I have also seen people creating “prayer jars,”  using tongue depressors with different people’s name written on them.  How it works is you pull a prayer stick out of your prayer jar and for that day or that prayer time you make dua /prayers for that person. Some people even go as far as cutting out a photo of the person, painting the tongue depressors and sticking the photo to the top in addition to writing the person’s name on the stick.  I picked up a pack of these at the dollar store and I am excited to create these prayer sticks.

During Ramadan I will stick one in each pocket of my advent calendar and then keep them in a nicely decorated jar the rest of the year.  I plan on gluing glitter star shaped cut out to the top of each individual stick to jazz things up.  I will use a glass pasta sauce jar to keep the prayer sticks in that I will decorate with washi tape.

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I also decided to create a banner with a little help from Target’s party section.  I bought the banner for $4.99 and then three packs of sticker letters from the dollar store.  Total project cost $8.

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I also wanted to post the prayer times in a decorative manner so while I was at Target I picked up a decorative chalk board in the “Dollar Section,” for $5.

Combine all three and you get my Ramadan wall –

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I also saw a DIY dollar store Ramadan door wreath that I really wanted to make.  So I got a foam wreath for $1, two spools of black satin ribbon $2, a spool of white ribbon from Michael’s for $4 and gold glitter cardboard sticker letters -2 packs for $8.. and with tape I had around the house created the wreath below for our apartment door.  I still need to secure things with a hot glue from a hot glue gun.. that I don’t have yet.

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As for getting out to the masjid with a toddler this Ramadan it has not happened due to multiple factors such as my husband’s work schedule and then not wanting to possibly have to deal with mean “Aunties,”who will make going to the masjid a negative experience for myself and my daughter.

InshaAllah perhaps next Ramadan we will be getting out more and doing more in the local community for Ramadan.

I would love to hear about your family Ramadan traditions and ways to include your kids 0-18 in Ramadan in an age apprioprate way.