I stopped by my friend’s mother-in-law’s home the night of Eid. I felt shy walking in because I did not want to disturb their family gathering. My friend insisted, so I stepped in and told her I would leave in a few minutes. My kids already made their way into the crowd, found their friends and sat next to them.
I observed about 20 young children sitting together in front of their grandmother. They all looked happy and had an excited look in their eye. My friend told me they were all second cousins. The parents sat against the walls watching the children with smiles on their faces. I was unsure as to what was going on.
I asked my friend and she explained that every Eid, the families give out Eidi envelopes to each child. The child’s name was called, and the loving grandmother handed the child their envelope. The kids were so excited when it was their turn to run up and get their envelope. If the child fasted for the first time, it was noted, and she/he received a bit more money. I was so taken with the sheer joy and innocence the kids projected. It was also encouraged for them to donate part of their money to good causes in the community. MashAllah what strong values these kids were being taught!
I realized how important it is to have family traditions for Eid and the value of having a large family. We grew up meeting our cousins often and those were some of the best memories of my childhood. Bismillahs, Ameens, graduations, and weddings were huge celebrations in my family and we would drive 14-23 hours to attend the functions. Seeing my friend’s Eid family gathering motivated me to gather with our extended family (and friends too, as oftentimes they are like family too) so we can give the children a special time where all the focus is on them for a long period of time. Most of the time, we let the kids run around in gatherings and don’t really pay much attention to them. How wonderful it would be, like in the above Eidi example, to motivate children to do good and make them feel special.
What traditions do you have in your family during Eid or any other time of the year? How do you try to gather the group of family/friends together?