We had some of our décor: balloons, banners and framed posters up from Eid still, with a colour theme of pink, purple and blue. Some of the balloons had deflated, so the night before, my neighbour came around and helped to put up some new balloons, wrap gifts and prizes and help put up small fairy lights.
The hexagonal lights at the back are some kind of party lights that my husband brought home from a house move (he has a removal business) along with a few packs of colourful fairy lights. They respond to sound and flicker according to how noisy it is. I thought they might be useful to distract the children. Gorgeous was being good and helping me get things ready and tried to get the lights hooked up. I did ask him a number of times to leave them alone, of course he only did this after they stopped working, so they tuned out to be not much use.
As always , the main thing is getting the food right. I made chicken biryani from scratch (I usually use the packet) from this recipe and thankfully it was well-received.
Harlequin's chicken curry:
The samosa's were from a neighbour, my mum supplied the kebabs above and my other neighbour made the dhai bhallay below.
The aloo ghosht curry below (lamb and potato) was from this recipe. The lamb got too tender and broke up a bit, but it tasted amazing.
As the weather was good, we put the kids in the garden. As they were out of sight they ate little and went crazy on the drinks, but they were happy enough outside and we got to eat in peace.
After lunch we had games for the kids including pass-the parcel.
We then gave out awards with prizes for best behaved girl and boy, most helpful boy, best dressed girl and best dressed woman and the woman with the best hair and make-up. I'm not sure if this was a good idea as the results were a very much contended, debated and appealed by the kids. I tried to make sure that at least one child from each family got something.
After all of that we kicked back and chilled and ate desserts.
Shutterbug has really good habits when it comes to eating healthy mash'Allah and supplied the fruit. My neighbours daughter assembled the lovely fruit trifle pots.
My kids are jelly mad, so I made these little jelly pots which they went mad over. I'm sure Little man had an unreasonable number of these.
There was also a super-rich banoffee pie which I tried for the first time and chocolate cake which a good friend brought along. The ladies hung around for hours after the party finished as my husband tends to stay away when ladies visit and they felt very relaxed.
Alhamdulillah one of the sisters spent some time talking about her travels to India for dawah work and the need to engage in dawah and about how we must protect and refresh our iman. This was because of the following hadith:
The Prophet (saw) said: "No people sit in an assembly without mentioning Allah, and without asking Allah for blessings on their Prophet, except that it will be a cause of sorrow upon them. Thus if He (Allah) wishes He will punish them, and if He wishes He will forgive them." - At-Tirmithi. See Al-Albani, Sahih At-Tirmithi 3/140.
The Prophet (saw) said: "No people may rise from an assembly in which they have failed to mention the Name of Allah without it being as if they were getting off a dead donkeys rotting back, and it would be a cause of grief for them." - Abu Dawud 4/264, Ahmad 2/389. See Al-Albani, Sahihul-Jami' 5/176.