William Shakespeare said, “The eyes are the window to your soul.”
Lately, I have paid a lot more attention to people’s eyes. While wearing a mask, I have had to really play up the eyes. Lightheartedly, I said at the beginning of the pandemic that I should learn how to apply better eye make up, since that is all people would see. Now, 9 months into the pandemic, I have come to really appreciate people’s eyes.
Although I miss seeing a person’s mouth turn up into a smile or the laughter bubbling up in someone’s mouth, I have learned to focus on the nuances of someone’s eyes. The way they squint when someone is fully smiling, the way they widen in disbelief, or the way they narrow when someone is angry. Reading a person’s expressions has always helped me gauge a conversation, especially when a topic was difficult.
However, now, 6 feet apart, wearing a mask, the act of truly engaging or having human interaction with another individual can be challenging. So, how can you still feel that closeness or share a bit of laughter with a friend, all masked up?
That acknowledgement through a text, a phone call, a 6 foot apart greeting, is telling another person “I see you.” “I am here with you.” “You are not alone.”
The holidays are nearing closer, and more than ever isolation is closing in on so many people. Let people know you see them.
So, I was thinking about ways to adapt or alter Holiday Fun this year.
In 2019, these were some of the top holiday favorites:
Driving to see Holiday Lights
Enjoying a Night at the Theater or Ballet
Annual Holiday Christmas Parade
Baking with Family and Friends
Decorating Gingerbread Houses with our friends
Christmas Carol Sing Along
Large Family Gathering to celebrate Christmas
Traveling out of State to Visit Family
In 2020, these are top holiday favorites:
Hallmark marathon in the attic- see who falls asleep first!
Secret Elves- Delivering hand painted ornaments and garden treats to neighbors
Baking with our Immediate Family
Dance Party with the 4 of us in our Home
Zooming with our relatives on Christmas Morning
Enjoying a night in our car looking at Holiday Lights
Enjoying a hot meal in our home.
Although this year is quite different from last year with festivities, what I find is the most important is to let people know how much you care for them. I was reminded today of how many people have lost their homes in the past year. In our small city, there are thousands of families who are struggling financially right now. Food and money is scarce.
Take the time to smile even with your mask on, make eye contact with others when you are walking down the street. A simple acknowledgement could change the outlook for someone during this season.
My mom used to always tell us growing up that she knew when we were not telling the truth. She would say, “I can tell in your eyes that something is wrong.”
After all, “it’s true about the eyes being the window to the soul. Your face can be etched with worry, and twisted by ageing, but the eyes tell the true story of who you are.” Shed some light into people’s hearts this holiday season. See them for who they are and remind them that they have purpose.
Day 10: Recipe
⅓ cup of masa harina
1 ½ cups of water
One 5 inch stick of canela or 3- 2 inch cinnamon sticks
½ cup of packed dark brown sugar
2 cups of milk
1 cup of heavy cream
One 3 ounce tablet of mexican chocolate or 2 ounce extra bittersweet chocolate chopped.
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan combine the masa harina and the water. Stir until smooth. Add the canela and cook over medium high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened,whisking constantly. Add the sugar, milk, cream and chocolate and stir to combine well. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat, then simmer uncovered over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, stir in vanilla extract. Strain and discard solids and serve immediately. Makes 5 cups.
I shared this yummy drink with my cousin last year at the Las Posadas Festival in downtown Los Angeles. It was a cold night, but our hearts were warm after sipping this tasty drink and eating pan dulce!