Monday, December 20, 2010

KCAT CAN: The last time I heard Christmas carols

Merry Christmas in 5 days! 

The last time I heard Christmas carols
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
December 20, 2010

Colorful Christmas lights are everywhere, Christmas songs are playing, and Christmas trees are up! Christmas! Christmas!

Christmas! The most eventful day of the year is only a few days ahead! Are you ready to celebrate it?

Since I was a child, I have always looked forward to the month of December because it means I would be receiving lots of gifts, a couple of Christmas parties to attend to, and lots of delicious and festive foods to eat.

However, as I grew older, I came to learn and understand the very essence of Christmas: it is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ; and I felt so grateful for it!

In 2005, I thought that I would not be able to spend Christmas day at home when I was confined in the hospital for two months since I still had an unknown cause of infection. I was praying really hard because I really wanted to go home. I was anxious because Christmas day was nearing and I was still lying in the hospital bed. But three days before December 25, I received God’s Christmas present for me — I was discharged from the hospital.

I last heard Christmas carols in 2005, because the following year, I started celebrating my Christmas in silence.

Nonetheless, I am not wallowing in self-pity. Christmas is still Christmas for me. Nothing has drastically changed except that I cannot hear and move around. Christmas is still the festive day that it should be.

Since my cochlear implant in 2007, Med-el, the distributor of my hearing device has invited me to their annual Christmas parties, together with the other cochlear implants recipients, who are mostly kids and their families.

Despite their disabilities, they are very talented in their own ways. Many of these kids participate in Christmas programs, and their performances have been amusing — the deaf singing, the deaf dancing to a beat, the deaf playing a musical instrument, the deaf program-hosting, and a deaf with a cochlear implant enjoying the performances to the max.

Christmas is not all about gifts, decors and parties. It is the season when we celebrate the reasons why we are able to enjoy our many blessings.

We commemorate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ in our hearts. It is the celebration of life and love — the very life of Jesus and His never-ending love for us.

I remember several days after Christmas in 2004, one of my friends asked me what the greatest Christmas gift I had received was and I answered him, without hesitation and second thoughts, that they were strength and hope.

Immaterial things. Intangible gifts. Nobody can steal them away from me. But they are wonderful gifts that I have decided to share, not to a mere one or two, but to countless people out there. I received strength and hope for free. It is but right that I share them for free too.

In about five days, I will be celebrating my fifth silent Christmas. Even without hearing the Christmas
carols and the season’s greetings, I am excitedly looking forward to spend it with lots of fun and with a happy and ever-grateful heart.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

May we all find peace, joy and love beyond the tradition of the holiday gift-giving and meal-sharing.

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