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I hope this doesn’t come out wrong. I type this with sympathy and understanding.


My husband works Christmas Eve this year. Bummer but it isn’t anything that is going to suck our Christmas fun away. I hate that almost more than Christmas Day, as weird as that sounds, but even then I’m not usually too upset. I , know that it’s highly likely that he will be working on any given holiday, so maybe because I expect it, I don’t get upset? Everyone in my family gets it, no one makes a big deal about it. They may say, “Is WJ working?”, which doesn’t bother me but it seems to bother some wives. Maybe it’s the tone in which is it asked with them, tone is hard to tell when reading sometimes.

Working Eve means that I don’t stay up and put Santa out. Santa has already come to our house. You see, my 11-year-old is in the know about the HO HO HO, and my nearly 3-year-old doesn’t understand the theory of the fat man coming and leaving you gifts for being good all year. So, why wait? Working eve means I don’t get to share Santa’s milk and cookies with him, but it also means that this year I can share them with my oldest. Working eve means we have to wait to open gifts Christmas morning because daddy gets off at 8 am, has to check everything off to the next guy and drive home. The little one won’t know it’s time to open gifts, but the big one will be chomping at the bit!

I don’t feel alone. SO much to do and cram into one day… leaves little room to be too upset about him not being by my side. Of course, if I had it my way he would never work a holiday but what about the others who will still have to? I’d rather him work his fair share. With such a small department, and so many of the guys having small kids, there really isn’t anyone to relieve any of them.

Accidents and emergencies don’t take holidays. If anything, sometimes holidays are busier. Especially holidays associated with adult beverages, like New Years Eve or Fourth of July. I’m just a SAHM, I will not go into JUST a SAHM today, so I do see my husband a lot more than women who have jobs.  Even when I worked, I felt ok with the holidays sometimes having to be celebrated on a day other than what the calendar says.  Our public safety has to be on 24/7/365.  Job security isn’t always fun.

If you are dating a firefighter and don’t know what to expect, you need to expect less.  I’m probably pretty sure you’ll be expecting way more than what you’re going to get from a non public safety man, much less a fireman.  There will be lonely holidays.  There will be OT sometimes.  There will be missed functions.  There will be anger, loneliness and heartache but YOU have to form a way to cope.  No cope = no hope.  Relationships can’t survive on resentment.

If you’re married and do not have kids, hold on tight if you plan on having children.  If you think you get cheated now, just wait.  I’m not saying don’t have kids, but if you already feel resentment and anger over missed holidays, kids just intensify that if you let it.

Fire families have to come up with traditions that fit the schedule.  Ones that would sound nuts to traditional families.  Things that make the missed calendar appointed day less empty…

The first thing we all have to try to do though is not be upset.  Don’t take it personal.  Not be anger at our husband because he is scheduled to work.  Don’t resent the fire service, aka the mistress!  You can’t treat him badly or let it cause arguments.  We have to be their #1 fans, even when we’d rather get a refund!  It’s an all or nothing kind of deal when you’re committed to a fireman.  It’s all tough but all of the horrible feelings that come along with your fireman and holidays have to be converted into good energy!  Happy, happy, happy!

If you’re a fireman reading this, maybe I could point you in a good direction for a little help if your woman is seeming like she might be resenting you for missing holidays. Lori over at FireFighterWife.com has a guest post over at California Casualty that might help you! Check it out!

I hope you all have a VERY Merry Christmas, safe travels and make it through the Christmas Craze!

Are you playing a bad hand well, or are you trying to fold?