Major Event – A Slice of the Spirit of Giving: The Istanbul&I Holiday Market
A Slice of the Spirit of Giving: The Istanbul&I Holiday Market
The Istanbul&I Holiday Market event was held on December 25, 2021, and was attended by around 40 people. It was a spirited flea market centered around one of the most important themes of the holidays, which is giving. All manner of donated clothing, shoes, books, bags, and other items were available for the generous attendees to purchase, doing so for a good cause. The event featured many more activities to usher in the new year as well, and to dive deeper into the holiday spirit. Arts and crafts stations galore with cookies and warm drinks were provided for the attendees.
While the city’s weather took a nosedive into the single digits, there was warmth in the hearts of the Istanbul&I Holiday Market attendees. People were welcomed with songs that rang with holiday cheer, and the classic 1966 television special How the Grinch Stole Christmas! played on the projector. The donated items were neatly folded and some were on a clothing rack to best accommodate those wanting to chip in for a good cause. A stand featuring various toys was also set up for donors looking to support the kids Istanbul&I volunteers work with in our Homework Help project by helping Istanbul&I purchase them more toys. Cookies, chocolate, biscuits, and warm drinks were provided as well to keep everyone’s spirits high. To come together on Christmas Day and participate in the Holiday Market truly embodied the meaning of the holiday. After all, isn’t the heartwarming feeling of giving, the greatest gift of all? The attendees could also get festive with DIY ornaments that they were able to make themselves on the arts and crafts table. Another activity to spark inspiration was for those looking towards a new year of hopefully new beginnings: a notepad for those looking to put their new year’s resolutions in writing and a small envelope for them to place it on the Christmas tree in the middle of the room. For those wanting to inspire others with their resolutions, a board was provided with thumbtacks to place their cards. People could declare things they would do less of and those they would want to do more of.
Overall, the event went a long way in bringing the community together, providing a space for those needing a place to go to during the holidays, and raised funds for great causes. The night ended with a dance around a fireplace projected on the wall. The event succeeded in keeping the tradition of unity and community through the holidays alive.
Fateme, a student and Istanbul&I volunteer attending the Holiday Market said, of the event, “The market had a lovely atmosphere. A lot of people gathered and mingled.” She continued, “It was such a joyful, memorable end-of-the-year event.”