Family Story: ‘We’re celebrating Christmas two weeks early, so that my first responder partner gets a proper festive day’

We don’t usually celebrate Christmas on December 25th.

My partner is a police officer, and it’s a really busy time at his work so it’s all hands on deck there. He’s working seven days straight over the Christmas and New Year period this year.

We get creative about it, which means that most years we move it to a date that he’s not working.

Our families live interstate, so he needs a stretch of time off for us to go and see them.

This year, we’re celebrating Christmas two weeks early so that my partner gets a proper festive day and we get a family Christmas lunch. We’ll go to see my family, who live three hours away – they’re happy to move Christmas so that we can all be together.

His family live further away – too far to go on his two days off – so we’ll celebrate Christmas with them when my partner has leave in January.

His roster comes out about a month in advance, so we have plenty of notice about what Christmas is going to look like. I feel lucky that we get to plan it.

I think one of the difficult parts of the festive season for first responders is that people get used to you not having any time off around Christmas, so they do their own thing. My partner’s daughter goes away with her mum every year, so she isn’t around. He’s working, but it does leave him by himself over the Christmas period.

My plans were originally going to be different for this year, too. I was thinking about going to see my family interstate over Christmas, because he’ll be working so much. But I changed my mind because I feel bad leaving him on his own during the Christmas period. He’s working a lot, but he’s not working 24 hours a day, so he’d be sitting around by himself at night.

Instead, we’re moving the date of our celebration again so that we can be together. I wouldn’t miss that for the world.

As told to Fortem Australia