As many of you may have seen through my previous posts, this year I am using an advent calendar with my daughter. There are 30 good deeds for her to complete in the calendar. Each morning we read it, during the day we complete the task and then at night she gets a present. But am I losing the true spirit of Ramadan by over gifting?
The presents range from dollar store trinkets to toys from her wish list. The idea was to keep her excited for Ramadan throughout the month. However, I’m noticing that she is less excited about the good deed and more excited about the gifts.
I started to feel guilty about over gifting in Ramadan because it was taking away from the main spirit of Ramadan: be charitable for the sake of Allah. The way I have structured our Ramadan, my daughter is doing her good deeds simply to receive her gift at the end of the night.
Is she learning to be charitable through the daily gifts?
Like with most things, I started by evaluating my intentions for gifting. My intention was for her to be as excited about the month of Ramadan as she is for Christmas. I wanted to create a predictable tradition that was rewarding for her.
I do believe I have succeeded in fulfilling my intention because my daughter is so excited about Ramadan she can’t stop telling anyone and everyone about it! She has come to absolutely love Ramadan. But is she loving the right part of Ramadan?
I don’t want Ramadan to become reduced down to another commercialized gift giving holiday. After all, it is the holy month that has so much more potential. However, I strongly believe that we do need to add excitement from the perspective of children, which often means presents!
There is a fine line BeTween making the holiday exciting while stay true to it’s purpose.
So what do we do?
Though I don’t love gifting so much in Ramadan, I do think it’s necessary to instill the love of Ramadan in our children. I am hoping in the future as she gets older the excitement can come from the good deeds we do and traditions we create as a family.
Adults who celebrate Christmas talk fondly about the traditions and memories rather than the presents the receive. They talk about egg nogs by the fire place, or christian carols playing in the stores. I am hoping that as we celebrate many more Ramadans (inshallah) as a family in the states, we can establish traditions that are more meaningful than any presents.
What about you? Are you worried about over gifting in Ramadan?