Saturday 23 April 2022

Eid Shopping the Hard Way

It was a loooong day today. I had made plans to get lots done today and I asked Allah SWT to put barakah (blessing) in my time and help me to get all of my tasks done. I usually do my Eid shopping before Ramadan so that it is out of the way and there is no last-minute panic and I can focus on my worship during Ramadan. This year that just didn’t happen. So I made plans with the kids to get it done today. I got up early and did the housework and laundry first thing to get them out of the way and then dragged the kids out of bed at 9am.


We started off at the shopping mall (Westfield Stratford City) for the boys to pick tracksuits and new trainers. Gone are the days when I would pick them preppy little chinos and cute shirts. Now we have to sit and discuss the pro’s and cons of rows of trainers that all look the same to me. That’s before we start on the technical points of football trainers (Astro, soft/hard surface, metal vs plastic studs, sock boot) and I just want to go “eeny, meeny, miney, mo – just pick one!” I tried to bring the price range down, they both tried to bamboozle me with reasons to get the more expensive ones. My older son managed to get a pair of football boots in too. When the younger one tried to get a Liverpool shirt and goalkeeper gloves I drew the line – this was definitely not Eid shopping.

(First stop: Westfield Stratford City)

We sent both boys home on the bus and Little Lady (19) and I made our way to Green Street in East London to look at Asian clothes. I wouldn’t recommend doing both places while you are fasting and in a rush to get back home. We started at East Mall and I found lots of hijabs and abaya’s I liked but I decided to leave them and focus on Eid shopping. We saw quite a few nice outfits, but didn’t end up settling on any. Instead, we made the trek up and down the length of Green Street and made our way methodically through the shops.  There was a lot of the same type of thing: bling long after it has fallen out of fashion, dresses too heavy for little girls, fabrics that are too delicate for the embroidery on them and probably wouldn’t last many wears because the beads or gems catch and create pulls in the delicate fabric.  But in between the shops full of samey things, we found a few gems: Chiffonz stood out for their styles and prices, also Imaani and Maahir. I had to check the receipts for the names of the shops where we made purchases from - UR Boutique and Fashion Designer, bith independent little shops tucked away amongst the larger stores.

(Second stop: East Mall, Green Street)

The other thing about Green Street is the throng. It was a Saturday and two weeks from Eid, so there were crowds along most of the length of the street (about one and a half miles long), in some places too thick to easily get past. I also find that there is often a lot of barging through people and people blocking the way (shop entrances, the road, passageways in shops), completely oblivious to anyone else. I tend to try and be polite and say excuse me to people, my daughter decided to say excuse me in the most aggressive way she could, tell people off for trying to barge past without saying excuse me and generally not put up with the usual behaviours I find when I go to Green Street.


On the plus side, the good thing about Green Street is everything is cheaper than my local shops and the variety for Asian clothes is crazy. We managed to find sharara suits for the little girls, although not in the colours we wanted as the style had sold out except for the last few sizes. My daughter bought a very pretty pink and white salwar kameez with elegant thread embroidery and unexpectedly, picked a sari. I was planning to wear something I already had, but spotted a dark sea green suit in a window and fell in love, so treated myself.

My daughter was luckily keeping one eye on the clock, so as soon as I had my suit, she pushed me to make my way home. By this point my feet were aching and the bus journey home was a welcome sit down. I was in a rush because my youngest daughter (Baby, 7) had an invite to a birthday party – at a trampoline park miles away. I didn’t fancy making the trek on the bus while I was fasting and so close to iftar time (4:45 to 7pm and fast opens at 8pm), but she rarely gets invited to parties and her friends mum had made a special effort – and the little Wildling has my heart and there was no chance I was going to say no to her. So on getting home I did my prayers and my oldest got her little sister changed, hair done and helped her write out the birthday card.


Then we were straight out of the door. I have to admit, I struggled through the two hours or so we were there and had hoped to leave earlier, but she was having fun, the guests were gracious and sometimes you just have to suck it up. As soon as they finished the trampoline session and the cake was eaten, we were out of the door. 


I got back home, prayed and then set off to parents for iftar. I brought fried masala fish and a Turkish platter with me. Mum made kebabs and prepared lots of fruit (there is something extra yum about the fruit my mum cuts for us alhamdulillah).

After we had eaten and prayed, I vegetated for a little while, while my sisters cleared up and played games with my children. Once I had a little energy back, I gathered my kids and led them back home and to bed.  The girls wanted to read in bed with me for a while, but the Wildling couldn’t fall asleep fast enough after all that jumping and excitement.


It was a long, busy, exhausting and fulfilling day alhamdulillah. I have been praying to Allah SWT to place barakah in my time so that I can fulfil all of my responsibilities and do everything I need to do as a mother, wife, daughter and Muslimah. Today felt like a day that I got a lot done alhamdulillah.

I think I might go a bit slower and move a bit less tomorrow 😊

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