It's one of the most fulfilling things you can do.
It nurtures love, heals wounds, and spreads deep joy.
(and the AMAZING thing is that the YOU experience all of these things more than the recipients do!)
The problem is that over the years gift-giving has become ritualistic.
We find ourselves giving because 'it's in season' and the recipients of our gifts, although grateful, naturally forget about our offering after a few hours or days.
It's not our fault and it's definitely not theirs.
We live in unprecedented times. Our attention is a commodity. We are overwhelmed by stimuli and things like the extremely intimate act of Eid gift-giving are, as a result, 'squeezed in'.
The deep warmth and love that is meant to fill our hearts when we give and receive Eid gifts often dampened and short-lived.
That's not how it is supposed to be.
This became very clear to me about 10 years ago when I received my first handcrafted tasbih from a dear friend. I give and receive gifts all the time, but this was different.
I soon found myself making zikr more that I ever did before. I found myself using my tasbih in the most important moments of my life. The moments where I sought comfort and healing. The moments I was grateful. The moments I was in need. The moments I had nowhere else to turn.
Every time I turned to my tasbih in these precious moments, I remembered my dear friend who gifted my beautiful tasbih.
And my love for them increased profoundly.
I felt a connection to them was stronger than ever (despite the fact we didn't see each other as much).
To be honest, It was only then that I understood what a gift was.
Fight the urge to overthink- To worry if the tasbih is their style. This is one of the most important elements of the art of Eid gifting.
Give them the tasbih that YOU see to match their personality and spirit.
The current culture of gift-cards is convenient and well-intended.
But, a thoughtful gift, even if it differs from what they would have chosen themselves, sends an amazing signal of love and concern that is simply, well, beautiful.
May this Eid be unlike any other.