Ayyam-i-Ha is often referred to as the “gift-giving holiday” for Baha’is but just because these days are a time for “providing good cheer” and “charity,” it does not mean we have to shower our children with possessions they don’t necessarily need (regardless of the price!). Of course if they need a new sweater for the upcoming winter, by all means, it seems a great time to give it to them!
But what else besides traditional presents (toys, clothes, school supplies they already have enough of) could you “gift” your child with? If you are looking for inspiration, check out these possibilities.
Here are some gift ideas that do not take much from the earth:
- Download audio stories to listen to during quiet time or car rides
- Download some new music to use during family devotions
- Sponsor a child in need for a set amount of time (and having the updates sent to the gift recipient)
- Recycle old cards to make new Ayyam-i-Ha cards for a nursing home or hospital children’s unit, then deliver them together
- Embroider or use material crayons to decorate a T-shirt (bought second hand) or upcycle an older/stained piece of clothing by tie-dying
Homemade gifts are always special. Here are some ideas:
- Create a prayer book
- Make a fund box or a piggybank
- Make a snow globe (super glue an object to the inside lid of a glass jar, then fill it with water and a spoonful of glitter)
- Fill a small basket or jar of cookies, dried fruits, and/or treats and decorate with a ribbon
- Decorate a shoe box for them to keep their treasures
- Write a story of a special time you spent together, print out pictures, and create a book
- Write a song for them
Experiences are treasured for a lifetime. Here are some ideas:
- A coupon for a family outing (to the zoo, a park, etc)
- A lesson in how to make something (ie necklace) or do something (ie fly a kite)
- A recipe card and ingredients for a favorite dish, and then help them make it
- Organize a trip together to a soup kitchen or animal shelter
Give Gifts a Special Way
You may also like to consider how gifts are given. Some families choose to use reusable cloth bags or pillow cases instead of wrapping paper. You can make your own special Ayyam-i-Ha gift bags that can be used year after year. Personalization shops often sell pillowcases that you can have your child’s name printed on, or you can make your own by sewing or using cloth crayons.
From Negeen: I learned about the idea of an “Ayyam-i-Ha flower” from my dear friend Tiffani who made felt flowers to lay next to her children’s beds during Ayyam-i-Ha. Each petal is actually a large pocket that holds a gift for the child, so when the child wakes up every morning during Ayyam-i-Ha, he/she checks that day’s petal to see what’s inside. Since the flowers only come out during Ayyam-i-Ha the children get very excited when they see them for those few special days.
What do you plan on giving your children this year, or what are some other gift-giving ideas you love? Comment and/or upload your own pictures below.
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