by Eleonore B. Iguban, MD
HOPE…JOY… LOVE… PEACE… and CHRISTMAS EYE CANDIES
Eye candy is defined as something purely aesthetically pleasing to look at. It aptly describes the overwhelming array of hues and colors that stimulate our sense of sight this Christmas season -- the myriad of twinkling lights lining the busy streets, the shiny ornaments adorning each Christmas trees, and the colorful wrappings exchanged during gift givings. As we welcome the “ ber” months in, there seems to be an invisible cloud of happiness and goodness that drape every home much like the early morning chill that we all enjoy. Smiles greet you in every corner, grouchiness disappears, and everyone seems to want to go that extra mile to help. Never mind the horrendous traffic that everyone braves just to complete their shopping lists or the endless errands that you have to do in preparation for this big event. Every year, this assault of the senses is what I look forward to.
This festive occasion is also often accompanied by a flurry of joyous activities – from family reunions, exchange gifts, decorating homes, and seemingly infinite shopping expeditions. As a child, there is no question why Christmas season has been one of my favorite parts of the year. It meant unwrapping toys, playing with cousins, and singing our carols while Lola played the piano. It was straightforward merry making, and that time, in my simple view of the world, every thing seemed perfect every Christmas time.
As my view of the world grew, the Christmas season took an entirely different meaning. It became less of an “I” occasion, and focus shifted to the people around me. Christmas meant choosing to give rather than receive, to help rather than be apathetic, to be kind rather than cruel, and ultimately to love more than hate. It is the time for forgiveness, hope, and making fresh starts as we look forward to the New Year ahead.
Christmas is also, more importantly, about family and loved ones. It is a chance to reconnect and catch up on each other’s lives. It is about spending quality time with those you love even if it just means endless talks by the dinner table or mundane sessions of charades. Christmas is the time when each family strives to be complete as they celebrate the year that was and the year that will be.
The year 2016 has brought a lot of changes in our country and the world. It has brought out different views and opinions from each one of us. In fact, divisiveness, hate, strife, and war have been mainstays in the evening news and social media accounts. There is also this perennial problem of horrendous traffic, illegal drugs, and other crimes. At this point, in a mind that is deluged with uncertainty and cynicism, one could not help but wonder… is Christmas still worth celebrating?
I have always believed that the true message of Christmas is that of hope, joy, love, and peace. I wish for hope so that each one of us would always look for that silver lining behind every cloud. I wish for joy and contentment even if it comes from the simplest of gestures and things. More importantly, I wish for peace and love, not just amongst family and friends, but more importantly for our brethren who are torn apart by poverty, sickness, and war.
More than ever, let this Christmas season be a venue for creating a positive change in our selves, our homes and in the world. Let us strive to be a blessing to the people around us. And when everything seems dim and uncertain, let joy, hope, love, and peace blossom from the “eye candies” that one encounters in everyday life. A blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to everyone.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
-Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata"
About The Author
Eleonore Iguban is an External Diseases/Cornea and Vitreo-Retina Specialist. She has an insatiable love for dogs, books, and travel. A self-confessed nomad at heart, she wishes that she can someday traipse around the world. At present, she is trying her hand in yoga and meditation.
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