Christmas has been rescheduled.

by | Everyday, Fire Family Life, Holidays

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 I am bummed!  Big time.  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.  I know once I let myself mourn the loss, my heart will grow two sizes and maybe I’ll be able to get myself out of the Mrs. Grinch mood.

My advice for anyone (and my self…) who is struggling with their firefighter working on holidays…


…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 kids 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 and emergency 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.


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.

Your Fire Life is different.
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Jessie -

Just a small town girl married to a firefighter since 2008, but she's so much more than a Fire Wife. She's been a member of the FirefighterWife family since 2012 and knows marriage takes a lot of work, even when it's in the best seasons.


  1. Kellie Wilson

    My FF is on his 48 Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Our 2 still at home (17 & 16) still want to be together so on Christmas Eve the kids and I load up with Dutch Bro’s in hand and go enjoy the lights and then open our “tradition -jammies” then Christmas morning we are heading to the station at 5 to open presents in the bay and then we will be back for dinner with the crew. We have done this through the years if he was on shift and it just works for us.
    I agree though, throw “normal” out the window and just do what works best for your family <3

  2. Malyssa Hildebrand

    My FF is on Christmas Eve only. After 18 years we make it work. I plan on putting soup in the crockpot and watching lots of Christmas Movies with my kids. I am sure my kids will eat their weight in candy and junk. It is all okay …this day will be Simple and wonderful! We have done it all in the last 18 years…got the kids up supper early so they could open gifts before dad’s shift started…opened gifts as soon as he got home… taken dinner there… had dinner the day before or the day after… we have always seemed to make is special and make it work! The first years were the hardest… when the kids were little “Santa Coming” while dad was at work was a little sad and rough on mom …but our family has always figured it out. The people who say oh I would love a fire schedule have no idea they forget about these times. The 9-5ers sometimes just don’t understand. Thinking of all the FF families with a FF on shift! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  3. LaBrett

    Thank you… this is also my 1st year of my chief working 24th and 25th.
    I am really struggling with it… because this will also be my first empty nester Christmas as my kids 24, 22, and 17 going to be with their spouses families and my ex’s family. So nobody at my house either day but me and my dog and my cat.
    Not all is lost~
    We will be celebrating Christmas on the 28th. (at least I have extra days of shopping 🙂 )
    THANK YOU this was just what I need to hear. I was a bit on my pitty pot.

    • Jessie - She's Fully Involved

      I know the days of an empty house will come soon enough, I hope your nest is Merry and Bright 🙂 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  4. Amanda

    This is my first year that my FF is working as well. He will be covering part of a shift on the 24th and pulling a 24 on the 25th now. We are thinking of cooking a holiday dinner at the station for the guys. Any suggestions?

    Mery Christmas!!!

  5. Maria

    My FF is actually home this year! But we have had three previous years of 48s over either one or both days followed by 48s on the new year. My girls and I survived by keeping a good attitude and being busy. I made sure everyone knew ahead of time that my guy was working. It kept the “where’s the man?” Questions to a minimum. And instead I got kind words of encouragement. The kids have been great and never complain when Santa came at odd hours or days. Some years he had bribed his partner to swing by in the rig so he could sneak a quick holiday kiss and some cookies. :). It truly is about keeping a positive attitude and making the most of it. And when you’re down to let him know it but not by complaining. And making him feel guilty. It’s about being honest and acknowledging the sadness but findin a way together to work through it. Merry Christmas ladies!

  6. Jerah

    My husband goes in Christmas morning. We say Santa makes exceptions for heroes’ children! We will celebrate Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day we will be busy playing with toys! Luckily His family works with his schedule and they schedule around him so our family get together for Christmas will be Friday! We’re having a big slumber party!!

    • Danielle

      I love husband has been on the dept. for 13 years but this is the first he will be on duty christmas day with our 7 yo now understanding santa I was trying to figure out how to still pull off santa.

      • Carolan

        Made adjustments with my FF husband’s schedule for twenty three years. Now my FF son is having to make the same adjustment again this year but with a daughters sixteenth birthday thrown in the mix.

  7. karen

    This is our 30th christmas, I would love to have a dime for every holiday dinner that I cooked at the station, And of course just has we were sitting down, the alarm would go off, so would he, but if he was on a fire, i would load everything into the squad and who ever was on the fire, ff or local law enforcement they had turkey stuffing and all the fixings.
    But now that he retired he is still working christmas eve day and christmas day, but he will be home for dinner.

  8. Heather Isaacs

    We celebrated Christmas on the 23rd (family gifts) and 24th (Santa gifts). Christmas Day was spent with my FF at the fire house. I did my first ride along (stay tuned for a blog post about it) and didn’t get to see any action until around 4PM, but once we got one call…we were busy.

  9. Brenda Taylor

    Whatever Your meal selection, make sure it isn’t time sensitive. You can count on being interrupted by a run, especially if they run rescue from your station. Christmas is infamous for burns from preparing turkey in the new fryer, crashes on the new bikes and motorcycles, etc. Be sure to plan a meal that will hold well if the fire phone rings!

  10. Regina Barwick

    My FF works Christmas Eve. My teen son wanted to spend time with his fathers side of the family this year traveling (who wouldn’t want the adventure of travel right?) So it’s just me and my two kitty cats Christmas Eve. I have to work a half day that day so I will be occupied and I saved all the Christmas present wrapping for that day. I get to celebrate partially with my FF on Christmas day and we will have our family gift with my teen son the first weekend in January after New Years. Friends have asked me to join them Christmas Eve but I am actually looking forward to my quiet before the busy time.

  11. Lucy

    My boyfriend is new to being a firefighter, but the journey to becoming one had been hard. We have been dating for 5 years and have not spent one christmas together. Im not handling it well, and Im trying to stay positive but this year he works on Christmas and Christmas Eve. At this point I dont think we will ever get a Christmas together. Any advice? Trying to get through the holidays alone is tough, not sure i am even in the mood for Christmas anymore

  12. Tammie

    Being on the EMS side for 26 years now – and being an empty nester for awhile, our Christmas has always been on Christmas Eve. Until this year, it has worked!!! However, my son started his FF/Medic job and the days were not known til too late to trade. Yesterday was our Christmas – this year he has a 6 month old son – they are finding their own tradition early. God bless everyone who gives during these holidays and makes it work! It is a blessed day – but we can do our days anytime. Love and hugs to all!!! Merry Christmas!!!

  13. Gayle

    Glad I stumbled on this post. Excellent advice to throw the calendar out. I’ve been a firefighter wife for 48 yrs and both our son’s are firefighters so celebrating on alternate dates has been our life.



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