A beautiful idea I saw on facebook – looks perfect for an Eid gift!
THE LITTLE WHITE ENVELOPE: “It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it – overspending and the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma – the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was on the wrestling team at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.
As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.
Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids – all kids. He so enjoyed coaching little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came.
That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed a small, white envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me.
Mike’s smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year. And that same bright smile lit up succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition – one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
The white envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children – ignoring their new toys – would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the small, white envelope never lost its allure.
The story doesn’t end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree. And the next morning, I found it was magically joined by three more. Unbeknownst to the others, each of our three children had for the first time placed a white envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down that special envelope.
Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.”
For the Man Who Hated Christmas
(A true Christmas Story by Nancy W. Gavin, December 2015)
We talked about giving charity, but how about specifically sponsoring an orphan as a gift to others?
This family did exactly that – this is definitely a gift that will keep on giving long after both the gifter and the recipients are gone..
This is by far one of my most favourite Thoughful Gifts!
Near the end of Ramadan, we invited the girls in our night classes to bring in a shoe box and we spent on evening decorating it and making Eid cards with a personal note inside. The girls then took them home and filled it with gifts – some suggestions were: Stationery/Stickers, Snacks/Sweets, Small notebooks, Small/soft toys.
They then brought it back to mosque and it was collected by Sufra NW London who then distributed them to Refugee children in the UK!
To kick us off on our Thoughtful Gift series for 2018, check this one out!
What can mean more than a gift that gives in the hereafter as well? And many of us give charity in others names, but this letter makes it very concrete and meaningful!
Now that they’re older, the novelty of finding coins in the calendar and popping them in the sadqa box has worn off.
As they tend to have some birthday/pocket money stored away, why not give them the opportunity to truly give charity and give out of their own pockets!
To help them put this line of dua into action – Allahumma ashbi kulli jaa’i, O Allah feed the hungry ones – they can pay £30 and give a family iftaar for a month. That’s only £1 a day!
A World Without Barriers make this very simple to do – simply click on the link below:
A weekend ago, an amazing event took place – combining fundraising, celebrating the beautiful personalities we celebrate in these months, as well as marking the powerful 3 months of Rajab, Shaban and Mahe Ramadhan. Am sharing with you here in case you want to do something similar in your communities around the world, be it this year or in future years! Details below:
As the children came in, they received this A5 piece of card – their ‘passport’ for the day! This lists all the activities that were around… take a look! All the activities had some Islamic link – either to these special months, or to an ayah of the Quran, etc.
This Passport was done by Aaliya Mavani! https://www.dropbox.com/s/
On the other side of the card was a Cluequest. The questions were based on the personalities whose wiladats we were celebrating.
The children had to first answer the initial question of which personality it was. They then had find the name of that personality which were stuck around the room in different places, and then look at the question that was stuck under the name. They then had to answer the question on the card above.
This Cluequest was done by Aneesa Merali! https://www.dropbox.com/s/
And here is a link to the clues: https://www.dropbox.com/s/
Parent and child, looking up the clues and figuring it out 🙂
And now to some of the stalls! This was the ever popular candy floss stall 🙂
Islamic link (as mentioned on the passport): “If you thank me, I will give you more.” (Sura Ibrahim, Verse 7)
This was the delicious food stall – with loads of donated goodies on offer!
Islamic link: “Eat of the good things which We have provided you.” Sura Taha, Verse 81)
This was the slime stall! It was by far the messiest – but the kids had a blast They mixed their own slime, then kneaded it into perfection, adding glitter for that personal touch.
Islamic link: “Indeed we have created man out of clay, out of altered form of dark slime.” (Sura Hijr, Verse 26)
This was the Henna and Face paint stall!
Islamic link: O Allah as you have beautified my exterior, so beautify my character.” (Dua for looking in the mirror)
This was the bulb planting stall!
Here the children planted a seed and got to take their pot home, water it and look after it and watch it grow! They talked about how the months of Rajab, Shaban and Mahe Ramadhan were like the process of weeding, taking care of and watching the bloom of our soul.
Islamic link: “Verily Rajab is Allah’s month, Shaban is my month, and Shahr Ramadhan the month of my Ummah.” The Holy Prophet (saw)
And here is a flower that was planted that day, growing nicely in a little girl’s home 🙂
This was the toys and books stall! Lots of amazing books and gifts for just as amazing prices
Islamic link: “Who is it that will loan Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it for Him many times over?” Sura Baqarah, Verse 245
So proud of the girls in the mosque classes, Mashallah!
After discussing the part in Ayatul Birr (Ayah 177 of Sura Baqarah) where it talks about the quality of righteous people giving away money that they love, we invited them to bring in some of their OWN money on Ashura day for charity…
They were told that any amount – or even no amount if they didnt want to! – would be fine, even a 1p coin. And yet they brought change, they brought notes, and they brought in large numbers! Alhamd they manged to raise over £140! Just shows how much we can do when we come together, even at the tender ages of 7 to 11 years…
May Allah make them of the righteous ones, Inshallah 🙂
Sharing is caring! A beautiful inspiring video to help our children learn that 🙂
Some inspiration for your children 🙂
What an awesome idea! I have to admit, I’m torn on the whole Trick or Treating… I don’t think it’s as sinister as made out to be sometimes, and like someone recently told me, if it’s not haraam, then why do we make it so? This is one thing that will make it more palatable for sure!