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What the Holidays Mean to Me

Every year it seems like Christmas decorations and Christmas lights go up sooner and sooner. We cannot even get to Halloween and it seems we are already seeing Christmas trees around at the local malls.

I think it is important for me to preserve the meaning of Christmas and that special time of year no matter how much the commercialization of the modern world seems to keep pushing it earlier and earlier. Our twin four-year-old daughters make this is a really special holiday for us. The magic of Christmas is alive and this is the most excited they have ever been for the holiday, which has reinvigorated my Christmas spirit as I see it through their eyes.

My beautiful family with Santa

December is a chaotic month for everyone and I believe it is very important for us all to really take time out for our families. For me, this holiday is about giving and sharing, and being with family (which is probably the most important). This is now the third Christmas since we lost my father, which is always hard through the holidays. We are so fortunate and I feel like I am with him every day in my office because we are surrounded by some of his amazing artwork and vintage paintings.

I’m looking forward to taking my girls to the Nutcracker and making sure we spend enough time together. I have seen many physicians’ surgery schedules leave very little time for family life and it is important for me to always take enough time out for my family. The children do not understand what “work” is, much less why daddy is not home so much.

As a plastic surgeon, professionally this is also a very busy time. I enjoy the spirit in the office. Hearing the Christmas tunes has been memorable no matter how repetitive they may get. I enjoy hearing the traditional tunes we play each year both when I am operating in surgery as well as when I am in the office with my patients. The Christmas decorations have brought an added joy with this being our first Christmas in our new office and we recently just celebrated our first holiday Christmas party. It was a special night that allowed us to have our staff and spouses together for a holiday dinner, which was enjoyable for all.

For some patients having plastic surgery may be their Christmas. Doing what I love doing, and helping make changes in people’s lives really makes me feel special. To know that I helped someone achieve a goal or be at a new place or feel more confident about themselves is really important to me, especially around this time of year. I love knowing I can help my patients make a change to improve themselves to get from where they were before to where they are now.

Receiving Christmas cards and hearing from patients I have not heard from in some time and seeing all the faces and people both in my personal life as well as in my professional life is quite enjoyable. Reading some of the same stories that my parents read to me has been very rewarding. What are some of your favorite traditions for the holidays?

My mother and I, when I was a young boy

Drive through your favorite neighborhood and really enjoy the lights and try to again see the wonderment in the lights and the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes. The Christmas season is over quickly and we have our New Year’s resolutions and then we are on to 2013. So let’s all take a moment before we do that and really slow everything down. We live in a rocket-ship-paced society now where we have very short attention spans and are continually texting and cannot go for five minutes without checking our e-mail or text messages. Let’s really slow down and enjoy each other and enjoy our families and take some time. That is my motto and credence for the holiday times.

Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season.