Making cards for Ayyám-i-Há

Posted: 2020/02/28

“Mama, today I told Kelton that we celebrate Ayyám-i-Há”, said eight-year-old Thomas while setting the dinner table.

“That’s great! What did he say?” I responded.

“He asked me what Ayyám-i-Há was about, but I had no time to explain because the bell rang and we had to go inside for class,” said Thomas matter-of-factly.

“What do you think you will do next?” I asked, “He has now heard about Ayyám-i-Há and does not know what it is about.”

Thomas thought for a while and said, “Maybe I can make an Ayyám-i-Há card for him so that I can explain. And I can also give him a small Ayyám-i-Há gift. Remember, he gave me a Christmas gift and made a card for me. But because we do not celebrate Christmas, I did not give him a Christmas gift. I also want to make a card and give a gift to my teacher because she does not know about Ayyám-i-Há. I want to tell her about Ayyám-i-Há, and maybe about the Bahá’i Faith.”

I hastened to respond, “Let’s make the cards and prepare the gifts before we forget or run out of time!”

Thomas finished dinner before everyone else that night, and we took out all the construction paper, markers and pens in the house to create Ayyám-i-Há cards for his friends and teacher; he was very excited to wrap the little gifts.

When I saw some parents the next day, they expressed their appreciation that an eight-year old child spent the time to create these cards. One of them asked me what the meaning of Bahá’í was, but before I had a chance to explain another parent said, “There are two websites included in the card. We had a great read about it.”

Reflecting on the conversations about these Ayyám-i-Há cards and gifts, my husband and I felt moved to emulate our son’s example. We gave Ayyám-i-Há cards and gifts to our colleagues the next day. The appreciation they expressed and their interest in the Bahá’í Faith was so great and genuine that I wish I had included them, at least to some extent, in all the Ayyám-i-Há celebrations over the years.

After all, they have always given me Christmas cards and gifts, and I have always reciprocated at Thanksgiving time or the end of the school year. Why can’t I change my gift-giving time to Ayyám-i-Há season?

– Mei Qu

One of the cards that Thomas made for his friends.