Sheri's Solutions: Deck the office

2013 08 14 15 37 19 36 Doniger Sheri 2013 200

"How do you celebrate the holidays?" The holidays are a festive time. Everyone is celebrating the season, and we do not feel we should be immune or empty of holiday cheer due to the professional nature of our practice. We are, after all, people in addition to being professionals.

Sheri B. Doniger, DDS.Sheri B. Doniger, DDS.
Sheri B. Doniger, DDS.

My history of holiday decorating goes back to the beginning of my practice years, when I first opened my doors. When my mom was working the front reception, she went all out and put up holiday cutouts and lights. December was not the only season she would place decorations. We had seasonal reminders for everything from New Year's, Valentine's Day, and spring's arrival to Fourth of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. We have a small homemade tree that was placed on one of the tables in the reception area, in addition to a very tiny fake tree that she decorated each year with floss and toothbrushes. Crazy though it may see, patients remembered. Although we may have decreased the amount of glitz that we used to use, I have continued the tradition of decorating for the holidays, for both the memories of holidays past and the exciting ones of the future.

As November seems to fly into December, we get into the holiday spirit early. In the office, our patient conversations from Halloween on are usually focused on dining and recipes. Halloween pumpkins are replaced by Thanksgiving decorations. I recently went to a glass-making class and created my own glass pumpkin that was on display in the office until Thanksgiving, when it graced our holiday table.

Over the years, we have always decorated our office for both the Jewish holiday of Hanukah and Christmas, as we have patients of both faiths. We will display any holiday cards received on our entry door to the treatment rooms. Although we may not have a coffee or water service area, we will always put out holiday chocolates. We traditionally have scented fixtures throughout the office, which we change to a more holiday scent. Also, in addition to our normal bouquet we have at the front desk, a poinsettia is present and will go home with my dental assistant on our last day before Christmas.

None of this detracts from our outstanding patient care. It does create an atmosphere of welcome. Small touches remind our patients that we are thankful for their continued support and confidence. Our practice is mainly adults, and they do appreciate the gesture. My feeling is that while everyone else is enjoying the holiday spirit, it would be hypocritical to pretend the seasons are not occurring. I hope you add some festive touches to your own offices during this special time of the year.

I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a peaceful, prosperous, healthy new year! Thank you for taking the time to read my posts! I truly appreciate your support and following!



Sheri B. Doniger, DDS, practices clinical dentistry in Lincolnwood, IL. She is currently vice president and president-elect of the American Association of Women Dentists and editor of the American Association of Women Dentists "Chronicle" newsletter. She has served as an educator in several dental and dental hygiene programs, has been a consultant for a major dental benefits company, and has written for several dental publications. You can reach her at [email protected].

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