Diamond, lace and pearl stringed garlands dripped from the walls. An ocean of aqua and teal coloured streamers accented the food station. Glitter. Flowers. Individualized costumes. Cartoon seaweed placards, fish-themed mats, and a gleaming pearl shell-of-hounour. It was the perfect decoration job for a mermaid-themed party.
While Arial serenaded Eryn and her school friends, a few of us mothers got together to chat and have our own little party. It didn’t take long before praising the hostess on her amazing decorations turned into questions on how each of us are creating Ramadan memories for our children — and how sometimes, the pressure to decorate is just one more thing added to the unrealistic expectations placed upon mothers and primary caregivers in this month. There’s just not enough time, and memories can be made with good food, asking children to pass out dates, festive music, Ramadan-themed crafts, and anything of significance to inspire family traditions.
Regardless of what you do, decorating for Ramadan can be easy. And even though we’re almost at the mid-way point, it’s not too late to decorate!
Last year I was fasting and parenting alone for half the month and found that the absence of preparing elaborate meals for the family freed up a tonne of time to create decorations. This year we don’t even have one picture up on the wall, and I couldn’t remember where I packed the Advent Calendar — so I wanted to do something quick and easy.
I had dreams of creating an elaborate wreath for the front door, but that was quickly replaced by glitter glue, leftover scrapbook paper, and pre-cut foam stars. I cut out the words while Eryn and Ivy glued and peeled. Yeah. We were done in about 15 minutes.
I then did a quick Internet search for holiday-themed crafts. Stars and crescents seem to be a Ramadan standard — but so are lanterns and fairy lights. And a bonus of Ramadan being in the summer is having access to discounted Christmas lights and patio lanterns! Then I decided upon my colours (I dunno, blues and greens always catch my eye) — and off I went to the dollarstore to grab mesh bags, ribbon, and scratch craft paper.
If you want to get the kids involved, you can get them to tie the bags to the ribbon, or make your own scratch paper by scribbling with multiple coloured crayons on a piece of paper, going over it with black crayon, cutting out 30 squares, and taking a fine instrument like the end of a paper clip to draw the numbers over the black to let the colours shine through.
Each bag is filled with a sticker, candy, nuts or chocolate — which the girls get to open at every sunset.
But honestly, our decorations pale in comparison to the amazingly creative talent out there.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a quick roundup of some Ramadan decorations and craft ideas:
- Check out the #RamadanWithKids hashtag on Facebook
- Confessions of a Muslim Mom-a-holic has posted her annual crafting photo collection
- and Zumz on Pinterest has collected some great Eid decoration ideas
Do you decorate for Ramadan? Do you have some fun ideas to share? I’d love to hear it so I’m better prepared for next year!