Christmas Means Happy Times Are Here

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun

Most of you will recognize the above lyrics are from John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Happy Christmas (War Is Over).

Christmas is here. That means it is end of the year. It is time to take stock of things. It is time to ask some questions and time to plan for the next year. Christmas is also time for friends and family to rejoice and renew their love for each other.

Each year is interesting in its own way. There are many things one can look back on and be grateful about. Equally, there are many things we can look back on and be unhappy about. Sometimes the glass is half full and sometimes it is half empty. And sometimes the glass isn’t there.

But the spirit of Christmas is always there. I find that so wonderful. So many people put in so much effort to make the occasion a happy one. There is something for everyone. Especially for people who are disadvantaged and marginalized in our affluent society. Christmas brings cheers for them as well.

There are about 1.8 billion Christians in a total world population of 5.5 billion, making it the largest religion worldwide. Most historians peg the first celebration of Christmas to Rome in 336 A.D. Christmas was largely a non-event in America until the 1860s. No one was really in the habit of exchanging elaborate gifts until late in the 1800s.

There are so many traditions associated with Christmas. I wonder how many people really know their origin. For example, mistletoe has apparently been used as a decoration in houses for thousands of years and is also associated with many pagan rituals. Mistletoe was banned in churches throughout the Middle Ages. Hanging of mistletoe over the front door is a Scandinavian tradition for goddess of love (Frigga).

But does it really matter what traditions you follow. I don’t think so. What matters is the spirit of love, happiness and peace as the city grinds down to a slow pace for Christmas and New Year.

The hospital will be empty accept for the very sick. Most doctors and health professionals (except those who are on-call) will get some time to spend with their families.

As Boxing Day comes, emergency department gets busy – thanks to too much food and alcohol. There will be patients with tummy ache, diarrhea, and vomiting – probably due to food poisoning. Some will have bowel blockage, some will have stomach and intestinal bleeding, some will have gall stone attacks, and some will have pancreatitis (due to gall stones or alcohol abuse).

Some will come with chest pain and heart attack. Some will be in heart failure. Some may get asthmatic attacks, some may get migraine. Unfortunately, some will get involved in motor vehicle collisions, and some will get involved in fights.

Those who survive all this will soon recover to get ready for the New Year’s Eve bash. There will be more food and more alcohol. And then there will be a hangover and 2008 will be history!

Don’t drink and drive. Make sure you are safe and have fun. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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