Christmas is quickly approaching and I’m trying to keep the joy of the season from escaping me. My firefighter will be working both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I’m not new to the fire world but I am new to missing both of these days and to be honest, I’m trying my best to not let it steal my Christmas Spirit. We’re happy, healthy and have so much to be thankful for. Christmas has been rescheduled, so I must adjust.
My advice for anyone struggling with their fireman working on holidays…
THROW THE CALENDAR IN THE TRASH
…make your own calendars. If you have to move a holiday to a regular day, do it. That doesn’t take anything away from the special occasions, only your attitude about it does. The traditional calendar does not work for the fire service.
We’ll be visiting the station on Christmas Day but the thing is… we are a blended family so that means we still won’t all be together. My oldest daughter will be with other family until late Christmas Day. My youngest doesn’t really grasp the concept of Santa Clause and when he actually comes yet, so skipping Christmas morning will not be a big deal when it comes to that, I am mostly hoping that it doesn’t feel depressing. I’ll spend those two days blaring Christmas music and enjoying the magic. Soaking in the beautiful decorations and lights. Watching the sappiest of sappy Christmas movies like my ALL TIME favorite, It’s a Wonderful Life.
I will have a few family gatherings with just the 3 year old the first part of the day. I can handle doing everything on my own; it’s the void I have when the person who is my other half is missing that I hate. I am thinking of something comical to say when I am asked over and over, “Where is your husband?”. Does anyone have anything good to use? Obviously everyone should know if he isn’t at a family function, he is at the fire department working… because fire never sleeps, takes vacations or breaks for holidays.
I have big plans to make this holiday ours though, well… I have big plans to make big plans.
We’ll wait until December 26th to have Christmas. We’ll wait for my fireman to come home around 8:30 am and we will have our family all together then. I’m contemplating a big breakfast, fruit and veggie trays to munch on later and making a large early dinner of maybe a turkey with all of the trimmings (because he also worked Thanksgiving and my family had ham…so none of us got turkey!). I’m sure being lazy and watching movies and playing with new toys. While my oldest doesn’t believe in the fat man in the red suit any longer, my youngest does. She probably will not understand, or care, but we will make a big stink about Santa knowing Daddy had to work… so he waited to come to our house.
I’ve not set any of this in stone but that is pretty much how I see my holidays going. I don’t plan on us having to leave the house for anything on “our” Christmas, unless we do one last trip to see all the gorgeous light displays that will still be up. Anyone else wanting some of his time will have to wait until his next day off, December 26th is off limits. That isn’t being rude, that is making time for our family and sometimes you have to block off your calendar that way. Luckily his family plans around his (and other family member’s) schedules, so I am sure we’ll be doing Christmas on New Year’s Day… which is just all the same to us.
MAKE IT WORK
It’s important in this crazy fire life not to get stuck on the days specified on a calendar. Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Anniversaries… I don’t care what day they fall on. If he is on shift, pick another day to celebrate no matter what the holiday or occasion is. You pick a day and make it your own, make it special, create your own traditions. Be happy in celebrating together and don’t worry about the rest of the world who get normal hours and holidays off, they might not understand but they don’t have to. To be honest, just talking about my plans has boosted my mood and Christmas Spirit.
Is your fireman working Christmas Eve, Day or both? Do you have special plans to make time to make it special for you two or your family if you have children? Share them with us! Let us know how you keep special occasions feeling special.