Holidays and firefighting are like oil and water. They don't play well together! However, part of being in the fire life is adjusting, adapting, and forcing lots of square pegs (like relatives) into round holes (like the black hole of holidays in the fire life). It means celebrating on random days, at random times, when you want to celebrate at home. I'm lucky as far as Santa goes - Minion has always known that Santa comes early/late for some kids, because their mommy or daddy has to work. Plus it makes it easier when he gets to split his work up over a couple of days!
I actually just came from firehouse thanksgiving. Minion is with my ex today, so it was go to the station, or hang out on my own all day. I was actually really happy that some of the other wives wanted to go up there, too. This was my second firehouse thanksgiving, and I enjoyed both. Also, the dispatch gods were with us - not a single call! Granted, that means that tonight will be pure hell for them, but, I'm happy we got to enjoy the meal all together.
I like doing Thanksgiving at the station. I've gone by on other holidays, but never for a meal, usually just to drop goodies off and sneak in a kiss on my firefighter. [cue the AWWWW! and maybe a smidge of *gag*]
We have never spent a Christmas day together, and this will be our 5th Christmas together. This year, he's on his 3 day, so he'll be off the 24th, 25th, and 26th. The almighty double time at the part time job called, and I gave him a look, and then told him he could do it, we'd just do Christmas before he left that morning. (It was a lot of freakin' money!) He said no to doing it during the day (because he knows how important this Christmas is to me!) and that he'd see about snagging the night shift for that one. It was already gone, and while the money would be nice, it will be nicer still to have him for the day. On top of everything, Minion is home with us Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hooray!
The years that Minion isn't home, and I'm sitting home on my own, really suck, honestly. I think the next time it falls that way, I'll just invite myself to cook for the station. I like having a purpose! Plus, it's seriously freakin' depressing to be all alone on Christmas Day, knowing your Minion is elsewhere. We celebrate on the 26th on those years, but the 25th is still hard for me.