We asked our Women Surgeons to share with us their Holiday traditions and some of their favorite memories of the holidays.
Please enjoy these delightful stories from fellow AWS members — and feel free to share your own in the Comments.
Happy Holidays from all of us on the Blog team and the AWS!
Minerva Romero Arenas, MD, MPH
What holiday do you celebrate and what is the special meaning of this
holiday to you?
We celebrate Christmas Eve because in the Catholic faith it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. My family traditionally gave us kids gifts on Día de Los Reyes Magos (The 3 Wise Men), which correlates to the gifts presented to Jesus. In addition to reflecting on the spiritual meaning of the Christmas holidays, I also like to take time to think about the previous and upcoming years and to remind my family and friends how special they are to me.
What are some family traditions you have related to this holiday?
Being Mexican in the US means my family celebrates both cultures. We still celebrate primarily on Christmas Eve, we pray and sing carols, and have a Posada. Dinner varies – traditionally turkey is on the menu for this day- but we change it up according to what everyone wants to eat. One of my favorite memories was when my grandmother showed my cousins and I how to make tamales. Other years we have enjoyed catered Chinese or Indian food. After having lived in the US many years we adopted the tradition of exchanging presents on Christmas morning. On January 6th, we try to continue the tradition of eating King’s cake.
Do you have a good memory of patient care during a time you worked during
I’ve had several years in residency that I could not travel back home for the holidays. I am thankful for technology like FaceTime, which enabled me to share some special moments with my family while away. Nonetheless, during the holidays the patients who are in the hospital are usually very sick & grateful to have us around helping keep an eye on them in their recovery from surgery or trauma injuries. I have to admit that some of my favorite memories are sharing food with nursing, our mid-level providers, attendings & OR staff. In particular, I am thankful for having co-workers and mentors who have invited me to join them for dinner.