Ramadan is finally here.

Muslims (and their friends, allies, co-workers, non-Muslim families) all over the world will unite in month-long activities of fasting, praying, performing extra good deeds, reading Qur’an, giving in charity and more. And despite the seriousness behind the month — where many also abstain from “frivolous” activities such as social-media, teh Internetz, television, movies, swearing,  Torchwood, or backbiting — it really is a wonderfully fun and rewarding time.

Now that Eryn is a little older and can understand so much more about the world around her, I wanted to do something really special and start a new family tradition. Growing up, I loved opening up the doors on my Christmas Advent calendar — wondering what special picture or chocolate I’d find behind each one.

Now Eryn can do the same with her Ramadan Advent calendar.

Each night when we break our fast with some dates and water, she’ll get to find and open one of 30 bags filled with trail mix, lollipops, dates, pipe cleaners, crayons and stickers — counting down the days of Ramadan and making each sunset that much more special. As the years go by, I’m hoping to include a few small verses from the Qur’an for her to memorise, or simple charitable tasks for her to fulfill. But for now, I’m really happy that a pipe cleaner keeps her entertained for hours.

I made Eryn’s calendar from simple white and blue ribbon and tulle bags. The bags were stapled to ribbons of different lengths, and I decorated the centre string with jewel, butterfly and star decals. I then painted the decals with a crafty sparkle lacquer to really make them pop. I also made the centre string more festive with some curly silver, green and blue gift ribbons.

My favourite piece of this project was making the numbers. I bought some black scratch-art paper that reveals a really sparkly silver foil when scratched with a stylus. I love how they’re slightly Burtonesque. But they also make this simple calendar look impressive and do a great job of hiding the goodies.

I can’t wait for Eryn to open her first bag!

Happy Ramadan everyone.