November 25th today. Exactly one month until Christmas. I never liked Christmas in general in part because I am a heathen, but mostly because I find the commercialism and the saccharin sweet muzak played throughout the malls the second Halloween is over to be simply nauseating. And Santa, wasn't his image as we know it invented by Coca-Cola?
Although I don't think I will ever be a fan of Christmas, I was slowly won over by the spirit of Christmas when I became a firefighter. Christmas Day was the first shift I ever worked. I had just graduated from Training and finally came on the floor as a full fledged firefighter. It was the best Christmas present I could have ever asked for.
There is something magical about working on Christmas. We set up a tree... usually some plasticky (and I am sure flammable!), lopsided, sad looking Charlie Brown tree that someone found in their Aunt's basement or at the local Goodwill but I love it all the more because it's the firehouse tree. Neighbours of the firehouse always stop by with cookies and clementines and hot chocolate. Turkey and all its trimmings get started soon as shift begins. And I have to attest that it is far better and more civilized sharing a meal with the boys than some of my relatives from my extended family. There is less baggage... that's for sure. And even if we get interrupted by a call during our meal, we don't care. It is Christmas after all and somebody needs us. And I think that is why I love working the holidays..... it is nice to be needed... and nice to be of help. And when I can help, that is when I am the most centred and at peace.
Now that I have children, I get to see Christmas through a child's eyes. Last year Jacob picked out his own real tree and his face shone like the North star. And for reasons like this, I won't be working Christmas this year. But I may just have to swing by the station with kids in tow anyway.... Christmas or not, you can't keep me away from the firehouse for long. ;) xo