My husband just got a notice from his work that he may be required to work over the Christmas holidays. I know that he is new to the company and I kind of expected this, but seeing it in writing, made it real I suppose. My question is – what can I do over the holidays to make this easier?
I can’t imagine having to spend Christmas without him.
Dear Celebrating Alone,
This is all too common in the industry and I know that the big holidays can be a lot harder to get through!
Here are a few suggestions to keep yourself busy, feel good about yourself and ways to make it a memorable time even with your partner so far away.
Donate blood. Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. Visit the Blood Services Web site at www.bloodservices.ca for more information or call them at 1(888) 2-DONATE.
Get involved in your community charities over the holidays. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, hospital or a food bank. Deliver food hampers if you have a vehicle. Take a few spare dollars if you can and go out to buy a toy for a local children’s collection. Perhaps your hospital or a radio station runs a program where you can donate toys for children.
Rummage through the clothes that you don’t need anymore. If you have some warm sweaters, jackets, boots, hats, mitts, scarves, etc., take them to the Salvation Army (find locations on the Web site at www.nro.salvationarmy.ca) or a local clothes recycling depot. There is always a need for things like this for less-fortunate families over the winter.
If you feel you can, host dinner for your family. Recruit a couple family members to help out and split up the duties for dinner. If someone else hosts the dinner, get involved by offering to help out.
Do you have a friend or two who may be free for some time around the holiday?
Take some time for yourselves and go see a movie or go out for an afternoon and just visit.
If you don’t have a cell phone, let your partner know where you will be over the holidays and phone numbers where he can reach you if you can.
It’ll be a hard time for him as well, so if he just needs to hear your voice, it’ll be nice if he can reach you.
Send one gift with him when he leaves and have him set out a gift for you. Get in touch on the phone sometime on the holiday and open the gift while you are on the phone with each other.
When your partner comes home, make a nice holiday dinner and celebrate! Exchange gifts, play holiday music, decorate and have fun!
If you have children, be sure to remain upbeat and re-assure them that just because their daddy isn’t home for the holidays, that he isn’t missing them too.
The holidays are what we make of them and who we are thinking of. Spend as much time as possible sharing with those you love and those in need. You may find that the holidays can be even more meaningful than before.
I wanted to get my husband something personal and special that he can use in the truck for a Christmas gift. What would you suggest?
Dear Gift Hunter,
How about a couple sets of sheets for the bunk? A cordless razor, a shaving kit bag, a watch with an alarm on it, a take out mug and a thermos, some tapes or CDs or a nice overnight bag could all be things he would use and love.
If you are looking for something a little more personalized, magnetic photo frames or a good clipboard with a photo of your family taped to the front(when he flips up his sheets, he’ll see you). Personalized T-shirts are quite reasonable now. You can get them made at most photo shops, or if you have a computer and a printer, you can purchase iron-on transfer paper at office supply stores and make your own T-shirts. A key chain that holds a photo is another idea for a stocking stuffer.
Just about anything that he uses all the time would be a good idea. Ask him what he needs and try to give it a personal twist. When he uses it, he’ll think of you.
– I encourage you to send in your questions and comments. I will try to answer as many questions as I can here.Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org