Holiday seasons can be difficult for many people for different reasons. Holidays can feel exclusive, lonely, frustrating, and misrepresentative of culture and history. Whether you enjoy the holidays or dread them, there are ways we can be mindful, give thanks, and celebrate in our own ways. We can transform our negative emotions into positive ones by spreading joy to others through acts of kindness, healing through being present in the season and dedicating time to ourselves or spending time with those close to us. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and excluded by a cookie-cutter definition driven by the propaganda of what the holidays are supposed to look like, we want to take a more inclusive approach. Here are several ways to spread joy, show gratitude, and make a positive impact.
Support a cause you are passionate about and find a local or virtual event to attend. Giving back to your community can be a great feeling! There are so many great causes to get involved in. Perhaps you are passionate about people or animals. Showing support for something close to your heart will bring you joy and a sense of purpose. Here are eight great events to attend this month in Arizona:
(Click on the event name to be directed to the link)
Shop an extraordinary selection of Native Crafts online from November 9th through the 21st! Native Seeds/SEARCH “seeks to find, protect, and preserve the seeds of the people of the Greater Southwest so that these arid-adapted crops may benefit all peoples and nourish a changing world.” Proceeds help support Native Seeds/SEARCH.
Support neurodiverse children with Down syndrome on Saturday, November 12th at Mica Mountain High School. Help educate, advocate, and celebrate!
Take the family or come with your friends for a fun evening benefiting the Arboretum. Drink wristbands and raffle tickets will be available for purchase and proceeds will go directly to the Arboretum. This event is located at Peace Surplus, 14 W Route 66 in Flagstaff on November 12th.
Roll out your bikes beginning and ending at the infamous Phenix Raceway racetrack. Choose between a 60, 40, or 20-mile bike ride. Pedal for doctors, nurses, patients, and staff at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Phoenix Children is committed to providing world-class care to its patients and families. This event takes place on Sunday, November 13th.
Support PACC and all their furry friends on November 13th at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas. PACC has been improving the lives of animals for 23 years and provides a voice and support to abused, neglected, or injured animals. This event will help at-risk animals find forever homes and allow rescue groups to receive medical funding. Featuring a live and silent auction, a beautiful program filled with stories of animals who were saved, and a delicious meal.
KBI’s mission is to “promote U.S./Mexico border and immigration policies that affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity.” El Recuerdo benefit concert for KBI takes place on Saturday, November 19th at MSA Annex, 267 South Avenida del Convento, Tucson, Arizona. They will be accepting donations including diapers, coats, pants, shoes, and long sleeve shirts. KBI is Located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, KBI’s vision is to “help make humane, just, workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality.”
Raise a glass for the cats on November 27th at the Arizona Wine Collective in Tucson! Vegan wine and snacks, and raffle prizes will be available for purchase. Proceeds go to PAWSitively CATS No-Kill Shelter. PAWSitively CATS is a cage-free No-Kill shelter located in Tucson, Arizona. They are largely volunteer-based and their mission is “to provide a No-Kill shelter and compassionate care for homeless cats in Tucson, to find loving permanent homes for these cats, to promote TNR for feral cats, and to educate the public regarding spay/neuter and responsible pet ownership.”
Book your calendars for Book’em Storytime on Wednesday, November 30th at the Native American Fatherhood & Families Association in Mesa! Take your Pre-K little ones to join the Mesa PD and the NAFFA for snacks and stories. NAFFA’s mission is “to strengthen, keep, and reunite families by responsibility involving fathers and mothers in the lives of their children, families, and communities to provide happy and safe families.” Their vision is “to support fathers and mothers in becoming models of healthy parenting everywhere."Release negative energy and join a wonderful gathering of music and kindness every Monday. Donations are accepted and this event is located in Grounded 32 North 32nd Street in Phoenix, Arizona.
There are so many wonderful organizations and charities to donate to. Help animals in need, support raising mental health awareness, sponsor a child battling cancer, or donate to other humanitarian efforts. Supporting a cause and being a part of something will brighten your day and make you feel a part of something larger than yourself.
Reach out to local organizations to lend a hand. Many organizations rely on volunteers to help carry out their mission and initiatives. Volunteering is also a great way to meet other like-minded people and occupy your day.
Learn a new song on your High Spirits Flute or hand drum! Soothe your soul and play until your heart’s content! Music is a great way to heal, occupy your time, and experience enjoyment. Mastering a new song will give you the feeling of accomplishment!
Love to cook or bake? Take the day to make something scrumptious for someone else. Host a dinner party or bake for a local bake sale. Try a new recipe or make something for your furry friend. Use your creativity while doing something you love!
Connect with people all over the world and make new friends! Check out sites like PenPal World and Global Penfriends. Make sure to read the privacy settings to find the site best suited for you. Help each other through hard times or learn about someone else’s culture. You never know the positive impact you can have on someone’s life or the impact they can have on yours!
Have you always wanted to learn a new language or take a cooking class? If you have time off for the holidays but don’t have any plans, it’s a perfect time! Focus on spending quality time with yourself and learning a new skill or taking a class in a subject you enjoy!
We recommend the Native American Style Flute if you haven’t tried playing yet! Already play our flutes? Try our drums! Expand your music collection and teach yourself how to play something new or find a different hobby to try. Take a pottery-making class, explore painting, or start a DYI home improvement project!
Research the history of the land you live on and become familiar with the tribal lands in your area. Learn ways in which you can contribute to the environment and have a positive impact.
Giving back to others and your community can feel empowering and rewarding. Be the reason someone smiles today and make their day a little brighter. Pay someone a compliment or bring a meal to a local homeless person. Sit down with someone who is lonely and have a conversation. Small acts of kindness can go a long way!However you choose to spend your holiday season this year, strive to be inclusive and compassionate towards others. There are so many great ways to get involved, spread a smile, or help someone out. We hope you find this list useful. Have a musical and magical holiday season!