Being a Police Officer is what I signed up for, but I have to admit it can be tough around the holidays. The day I chose this as my career, my entire lifestyle changed. I have to stay in shape, pretty much get no weekends off, deal with long work days and last but not least, NO HOLIDAYS OFF!
As it gets closer to the holiday season, overtime at work becomes abundant. The most difficult part is explaining to family, friends and your kids that you won’t be home for Christmas, New Years, and oh yea don’t forget to save me the wing from the Thanksgiving Turkey because I won’t make that either.
As a solution to missing out on all the great food and family time, I created my version of a Cop’s Thanksgiving. This new family tradition inspired by the Police Department and my Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) has really worked for my family. I pretty much have a family comprised of Law enforcement. This includes my husband, brother, and sister. They all loved the idea of the guarantee that we will still all get to hang together for the holidays, and help me by participating in every way. Stop missing out due to your busy work schedule and create your own new family tradition.
Here’s how to create your own Cop’s Thanksgiving Holiday:
Planning Your New Holiday Celebration
1. Pick a new date.
Try to avoid the actual week of the Holiday in mind. I usually pick a week or 2 prior which still catches people in the Holiday spirit. If you pick the week after people tend to be tired of the Turkey and string bean casserole. In addition, as an Officer, we are usually swamped with different Overtime( OT) details or assignments during the Holidays. So staying clear of the week of is usually best.
2. Go all out!
What’s the point if you half-ass it. We get the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, even decorations. This day shouldn’t feel any different than the real date. Especially for the kids, it can’t feel like just another family dinner. When people come through the door I greet them with Happy Thanksgiving.
3. Invite Everyone and Expect a Crowd
Holidays are all about spending time with family and friends. So invite everyone, and communicate how important this day is for your family. I always stress that we may not be able to attend dinner due to work so can you join us for our Holiday dinner. Normally everyone invited shows up because they know how important it is to you.
4. Enjoy your Favorites
Same rules apply everyone can still bring a dish. You shouldn’t have to miss your Aunty’s famous Sweet Potato Casserole because I have to work. I kindly ask Aunty and everyone else to bring my Holiday favorites. Its family, they tend to oblige.
5. Keep the Kids Entertained
As a Mom I always try to create “moments of memories”. At this Thanksgiving Dinner, I used the Trader Joe’s, Turkey Kit. It’s a Play on the Christmas classic Gingerbread House but with a Thanksgiving twist. The kids were occupied and happy while I enjoyed capturing all the fun moments.
To Police Officers, Firefighters, Correction Officers and all first responders who usually miss out on the big family dinner due to work, always find time to create your own memories. Don’t let your career take those memories away.