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I Wish You a Merry Christmas!

By Dr. Peter W. Kujtan, B.Sc., M.D., Ph.D.

Article printed on page16 in the December 22-23, 2007 issue
Reprinted on page 11 in the December 19-20, 2009 issue
under the title: "I Really Wish You a Merry Christmas" in
The Mississauga News under the feature: Health, Wellness & Beauty, Medicine Matters.
Portrait of Dr. Peter W. Kujtan, supplied 2005
Dr. Peter W. Kujtan

As we enter this wonderous Christmas Season, I would like to pay tribute to my wonderful supporters, friends and readers. I thank you for your comments and feedback, and hope that together we will continue to explore and ponder issues that affect us all. Those who know me understand how I hate the profit-driven commercialism that dominates this time of the year. That is because I believe in Santa Claus! I tend to inquisitively stare deep into the eyes of patients, friends, strangers and family alike, and wonder if they see him too. He can rejuvenate the human soul during the shortest, bleakest days of the year. Take a moment and contemplate what it means to be alive. Without challenges and hardships, we could not fully appreciate the joys of achievement and contentment. In my world, Santa appears every time I see a communal spirit of caring, aid or volunteerism. When families and friends rally around an ill person, Santa appears in the calmness that ensues. When I see groups of volunteers rebuilding schools, manning soup kitchens, preparing churches for Christmas celebration, traveling afar to defend our democracy, it proves that the spirit of Santa is alive and strong. I find myself working this Christmas season, and salute those that sacrifice special family time to keep our community running.

Let the first comment of your day be a positive one. One of the most effective medicines that I know is laughter. I have seen it heal deep wounds and restore fractured souls. You are a unique individual. No one will ever know that unless you share your thoughts and ideas. Tell your loved ones that you love them. Don't assume that they just know. One of the most plentiful commodities on the market is criticism. Use it sparingly, if at all. Whether you are born here or arrived here from another land, learn to appreciate the greatness of what this land has to offer. One of the greatest gifts that I have witnessed people squander time and time again is called potential. The ability to persevere, succeed and fail all depends on potential.

Learn to recognize that you are surrounded by family. My family extends to include hundreds of people. A true appreciation of this concept goes far beyond genetic linkages and dysfunctions. Take family gatherings for example. One of my patients defined Christmas dinners as an annual event to revisit and refine family dysfunction. I urge you to travel beyond the anticipation of family squabbles and look at why this event repeats itself over generations. You may discover spirits within us attempting to reconnect with primordial bonds that define time itself. People congregate for similar reasons. The bonds that bind us need to be celebrated. Embrace, revel in and build on this concept. To discover why you sit breaking communal bread, look beyond the table and not across it. Let people know about the good you see in them. It is they who will make you a better person. Please have a safe and wonderful Christmas season!

Christos Rodivsya! Bon Natale! Sretan Bozic! Seng Dan Fai Lok! Wesolych Swiat! Colo sano wintom tie been! Vrolijk Kerstfeest! Joyeux Noel! Kala Christougenna! Frohlche Weihnachten! Buon Natale! Linksmu Kaledo! Boas Festas! Nave sal di mubarka! God Jul! Priecigus Ziemassvetkus! Su Kaledoms! Feliz Natale!

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