I can’t believe how this year has flown by! Christmas is right around the corner and, before we know it, the New Year will be upon us. As I spent some time decorating the office for Christmas this week, one decoration in particular made me stop and think for a moment about something I believe is especially important this time of the year.

Christmas decoration, sleigh, Darlene Sand Wall DMD, dentistry

This festive little sleigh, adorned with twinkling lights and gingham ribbon bows, has been one of my favorite holiday decorations for more than ten years. Every Christmas, I bring out the sleigh with its smiling snowmen and pine needle boughs, and I have to smile at all of the memories it carries. I love this cheery addition to the office and the unmistakable holiday spirit it contributes to the ambiance of this space.

Even as I marveled at how the sleigh has inevitably found its place here for so many years, I was able to recognize the fact that it is, admittedly, a little dated. Compared to the other, more modern décor around the office, this little basket of Christmas joy doesn’t shine quite as brightly as I initially thought. I love it all the same, of course, even with its little imperfections, but it really got me thinking. This revelation, I realized, can be aptly applied to what we do here every day when we help our patients improve their smiles and their health overall.

I suppose I can sum it up like this: It’s important to remember that you can love the old while still welcoming the new, particularly as the beginning of a brand new year approaches. As you make your New Year’s resolutions this January, I invite you to think of the way you perceive your smile. It isn’t necessarily something you regularly think of improving or changing because it’s a part of you that you’re so accustomed to seeing in a certain light. And while you may be content to accept it as it is, imperfections and all, maybe the New Year is the perfect time to take a second look at how it really makes you feel. If there’s ever been a time to give yourself the gift of a brighter, healthier, more confident smile, it’s definitely now!

While I don’t think I’ll ever part with this adorable little family of Christmas snowmen, I do think I’ll start a new tradition this year. My resolution is to look at the old in a new light whenever possible, to appreciate and love what the past offers while still keeping my eyes open to a tomorrow that’s newer and brighter. I hope you all do the same and enjoy the very happiest of New Years!