Missing Christmas at home might not be ideal, but there are plenty of ways to maintain your Christmas cheer when you're on a FIFO roster. Here are five helpful tips.
Missing Christmas at home might not be ideal, but there are plenty of ways to maintain your Christmas cheer when you’re on a FIFO roster. Here are five helpful tips.
1. Talk about it
In the lead up to Christmas, let your family know that, even though you won’t be able to make it home, you’re thinking of them! Even though they might miss you when the day comes, it’ll be so much easier for them, if you’ve told them how much you care.
2. Get connected
One sure-fire way to ensure a smooth ride through Christmas, for both you and your family, is to maximise your connectivity. Send text messages whenever you can, make long phone calls and, if possible, schedule a time for a video call. Even if it has to happen early in the morning or late at night, on Christmas Eve or on Boxing Day, make it happen! There’s something so comforting about being able to see someone’s face.
3. Organise an alternate celebration
You might not be able to make it home for December 25th, but that certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate at all. Many families find it affirming and even exciting to organise their own special Christmas on another day. That way, you still get to take part in all the regular festive activities – gift-giving, showing gratitude and affection, and, most importantly, feasting and drinking! Celebrating before the actual day is really effective, especially if you have children.
4. Snail mail
Even though most of our contact is digitised these days, there’s something magical about good old snail mail, especially at Christmas time. Opening a package is still one of the most enjoyable things, ever, particularly if you know it’s been sent by someone you love. So, one good strategy to ease the FIFO Christmas blues is to give the post office a visit. Bundle up some special items that you know your family will appreciate and send them on their way. Try to include personalised gifts, such as hand written cards or hard copy photos or even poetry (if you’re feeling inspired!). You’ll feel great for having shown your support in such a thoughtful way and your family will feel sure that you’re there for them.
5. Don’t fly solo
Don’t shut yourself off from the world on Christmas Day! Some FIFO workers feel tempted to hide in their rooms, alone, but it’s much, much better to get together with people who are in the same boat. That way, you can comfort one another and share similar stories (and maybe even a sneaky beer). It might also be a good idea to let your family know that they can make contact with other FIFO families.
A FIFO Christmas might present a few challenges, but with some courage and planning, you’ll be sure to make it work – for both you and your family.