Prepping for Ramadan has always been an important part of our family.
I spent most of my childhood in Pakistan and the Middle East and both countries being Islamic are very keen on celebrating this special month in a very festive way. I was about 8 years old when I managed to keep a proper full fast. Back in the day when my siblings and I would see everyone fasting around us we would be excited to fast as well. Not only did my parents pamper us while we fasted but also made our favourite meals for iftaar so fasting definitely made us feel special.
Celebrating Ramadan in Jeddah was the most memorable for me. For the full month, schools were closed, which made it so much easier for us to fast as we would spend Ramadan days relaxing at home. The whole city would be bustling after Maghreb prayers with people shopping and prepping for Eid or just visiting local restaurants. We even took day trips to Makkah & Medina from Jeddah to perform Umrah and that was an amazing experience in itself.
A lot has changed since I grew up in terms of celebrating Ramadan. Our time was definitely simpler with less focus on media and decor and more on just spending quality time with friends & family, prepping for iftaar together and focusing more time on ibadaah. Since there would be no school we would be up all night till Sahoor and sleep after Fajr prayers. In terms of Ramadan decor, I don’t remember decorating our house or doing Ramadan crafts in my childhood nor were these things ever considered necessary to make the month seem more attractive to us. It was just the simplicity that was sufficient for us to enjoy this holy month.
When I moved to Canada in my teens, it was definitely a challenge to fast while attending school and work but eventually we got used to it over the years. I pretty much follow the same pattern for Ramadan for my family that I experienced in my childhood. I do make efforts to make it interesting and informative for the kids but try to keep a healthy balance between old and new traditions. I do light decor around the house and Ramadan and Eid crafts and baking (banners, cookies, etc.) to keep the children involved. My children also help me make Welcome Ramadan gift baskets for friends and family. Before Ramadan starts we focus a lot more attention on prayers and talking to the kids about Ramadan and its importance.
For me Ramadan is a very special month of the year and I hope I am able to make it memorable and special for my kids as well 🙂