When we pictured families opening our Diwali Love + Light box, we found ourselves imagining not only our Indian friends, but the friends that have come to garba with us, the ones that we tied saris on for their first 4 hour-long Hindu wedding ceremony, the ones that tried chana masala, naan, dosa and sambar with us for the first time and are still hooked. The friends of dual cultured homes that make it a point to honor holidays like Diwali and Christmas equally.
With our Diwali offering, we hope to shine love and light in all homes. We hope to shine light on the importance of celebrating Diwali alongside the many others that our families get so excited for this time of year. We hope that you find our box beautifully convenient, easy to incorporate into your busy lives plus thoughtful + meaningful.
When we imagined a family experiencing our box…one that really showcased what it all meant and what it should mean, our dear friend Amanda came to our minds. And while our friendship has only recently begun, we truly feel at home with Amanda from South Coast Style OC. We feel like we know her family from her openness and beautiful shares. She radiates universal love and light and we’re honored she chose to have our box be part of her home as well as share her thoughts on it here with all of you.
With Love and Light, Chai Mommas #loveandlight2018
What about our box speaks to you the most?
I love the excitement it brings to have a ‘gift’ waiting to be opened by your little ones. My husband, Darshan, would explain Diwali to me and equate the excitement of it to Christmas for him growing up. One of the most exciting things about Christmas is that you get to open and share goodies you get with your loved ones. Everything in the box is so much fun and most importantly, interactive! Toys are great for kids, but what is most enjoyable as a family is eating good sweets together, playing games, and making memories together – the contents of the Diwali box help to facilitate that entire experience and that is what I appreciate most. Also, the book has already become one of Rajan’s new favorites – he was quick to point out that the kids in the book look like him and as a parent it felt heartwarming to see that he truly connected with the characters of the book and felt a relation to them. It was so sweet and innocent.
How do some of these rituals in our box relate to your own heritage?
I am Mexican American, so for me, any reason to celebrate a new year and new start is exciting. Sparklers have always been something that I loved ever since I was a kid. There is just something magical about them. I love fireworks and the beauty and emotion they evoke. Sparklers feel like a miniature version of fireworks and they just make people smile and I love that! In the culture I was raised in, family and traditions are always priority above anything else, so if we start something together…we do the same thing every year and it is something we always have to look forward to! This year Rajan loved the sparklers, which he has always been terrified of in the past, and as small as the act is, just seeing his pride and excitement over finally feeling brave enough to hold a sparkler on his own makes me want to carry on this tradition every year for Diwali.
What’s your son’s favorite way of celebrating Diwali?
Our son is 100% a social person by nature. He loves family events, being around others, and having a good time. Any excuse or reason to have a house packed with family to celebrate, is fun for him! Now that he is getting older, he can understand that Diwali is a fun event to look forward to and gets excited about the celebration, which as parents makes it more exciting for us. His grandparents do a wonderful job of keeping the Indian culture present in our lives so when he sees that something is important to them, he really does a great job of emerging himself into the emotions of how they are feeling and the excitement!
How has celebrating Diwali made you and husband closer?
One of our best memories of experiencing the excitement of Diwali was when we traveled to India together in October 2013! We were there just the week before the Diwali celebrations were going to begin so everyone in every town we went to were in full preparation. We were able to see the parade floats being built, there were decorations everywhere we went, and all of the family we were visiting were telling us about their upcoming plans. We regretted so much that we had to leave right before the celebrations were about to begin! What we realized though is that we wanted to bring the tradition home with us. His family here in the states didn’t celebrate in a big way any longer because all of the kids of the family were grown up, but we made a promise to one another that once we had kids we would carry on the tradition as much as we could and really encourage his family to get back into it because we really got to see firsthand how exciting the holiday is for everyone in India.
What are your hopes for Rajan in the new year? How do you keep the love and light in your daily life?
Celebrating Diwali with our son is something my husband and I value and place a ton of importance on. Living here in the states it can be so hard to carry on his childhood cultural traditions and holidays because they are the not the commercial norm. It is so easy for our son to be excited about Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, all of the holidays I grew up celebrating, because it is in his face 24/7 whereas the holidays my husband grew up celebrating are not as ‘in your face.’ Because that is just the reality of things, it is our job as parents to create the same level of excitement and to place equal amount of importance on holidays such as Diwali in our home. I believe that if my son sees our excitement he will grow up to do the same. My hope and prayers for my son are that he always cherishes and holds on to the memories we create for him. As parents, I hope that we do a good enough job of making these memories with him and sharing the importance with him so that as he gets older he can carry on the same traditions with his family. Overall, our goal as parents is to raise a good human. No matter what he believes, practices, or remembers as he gets older, the number one thing I hope he takes away from seeing his mom embrace and practice traditions of another culture is that he can do the same, and that he will always be respectful of others and their practices, religions, and family background. If that is just the one teaching I leave for my son, I will have done my job right. Family cultures, religions, and beliefs will vary no matter who you marry or where life takes you, but respect for others and the world around you will always be defining character in all of us.
To see our Love + Light Diwali Box, go here.