Favorite holiday traditions in our optometry family


Let’s take a positive look at the holidays…even in 2020.

Optometry Times® asked Editorial Advisory Board members about their favorite holiday traditions.

See how they compare to yours!

Justin Bazan, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member

Brooklyn, NY

Holiday party and the shenanigans that inevitably ensue!

Michael Brown, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Huntsville, AL

Walking my dog through our well-lit and decorated neighborhood on a crisp, clear night. We walk slow, so she gets to stop and sniff all she wants. I take in a feast for the eye—the glowing glitz of my neighbors' displays and the twinkling of stars so bright that not even the ambient, artificial sheen of suburbia can snuff them out.

Related:Holiday dos and don’ts for ODs in 2020

Ben Gaddie, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Louisville, KY

Drinking a good bottle of bourbon with my father, Bruce Gaddie, OD.

Related: 2020: What drives ODs crazy during the holidays

James Hill, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Charleston, SC

My family gets together on Christmas Eve in the afternoon, watches a Christmas movie, goes to the candlelight service, comes home to eat a meal worthy of Thanksgiving, opens one gift, and watches another Christmas movie before the kids set out the milk and cookies for Santa.

Jade Coats, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member

Rogers, AR

My favorite office holiday traditions involves taking a half-day off work to spend quality time with my staff. Unfortunately, 2020 really put a damper on that, but I look forward to making this up to them when it is safe to do so.

Chris Wroten

Editorial Advisory Board member

Hammond, LA

Dinner with family and friends. Giving gifts. Attending candlelight service at church. Looking at Christmas lights and singing carols with family. Watching favorite Christmas movies with a fire in the fireplace.

Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Bowling Green, OH

Getting together with family—the most important thing for me.

Related: ODs look to what 2021 will bring

Paul Chous, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Tacoma, WA

Sitting by the fireplace with my wife and kids, drinking coffee, eggnog, booze, or all three while discussing politics, culture, science, and philosophy.

Playing a spectacular, instrument-only Christmas CD called “The Gift.”

Putting ornaments on our tree as a family.

Kathy Mastrota, OD, FAAO

New York City

A bayberry candle is a gift from a friend—on Christmas Eve, burn it down to the end. An old saying goes: “A bayberry candle burned down to the socket, brings luck to the home and wealth to the pocket.” I have one every year!

Bill Townsend, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Canyon, TX

Delivering presents to friends and (until recently) caroling at the homes of friends and older individuals, especially those who have recently lost a spouse.

Leo Semes, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Ponte Verde Beach, FL

Family tenderloin dinner with “blind” wines.

Milton Hom, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Azusa, CA

Before COVID-19, traveling to see my parents and spending time with my family. Sitting around the tree and opening presents.

Marc Taub, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Memphis, TN

Every year, whether visiting or living in Florida, my family makes a big feast with stone crabs. We have been doing it for over 20 years. Well, this year we are not traveling, so my wife ordered a lobster dinner feast for us in Memphis. It can’t replace seeing all of my family, but it will be our way of celebrating!

Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Sacramento, CA

I enjoy celebrating the miracles of the season with family and friends.

Jeffry Gerson, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Shawnee, KS

I think there will be a lot of new traditions made this year.

My favorite tradition is days off with family at home, relaxing.

Mo Rafieetary, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Memphis, TN

Seeing my children enjoy the holidays is my most favorite part.

Pamela Miller, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Highland, CA

I have only one tradition, and that is to be with my family. We are only a few, but that is the most important tradition and it goes throughout the year. All the other stuff is just stuff and not really important.

And yes, I actually have been known to keep my Christmas tree up all year, especially if it has been a really stressful one. It helps cheer one up to walk into the house at the end of the day and see the lit tree or the decorations from whatever holidays you celebrate. It’s a perk in the day so you can end on a high note.

Diana Canto-Sims, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member


Every year our huge family (50-plus people) get together to celebrate the holidays doing a secret Santa. This year, we will be doing a Zoom party and donating to our local shelter to help feed those in need.

Barbara Fluder, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member

Valdosta, GA

We get together Christmas Eve and play white elephant/Yankee swap gift exchange and other funny games.

Related: What ODs are grateful for this Thanksgiving, COVID edition

Scott Hauswirth, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Aurora, CO

I enjoy having the decorations and lights up—to be honest, I would leave them up year round! There is something warm and comforting about sitting with some cocoa (or other adult beverage) in front of a fire and enjoying the quiet times. Those are special “zen” moments for me.

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