When we think about Christmas, we think about family gatherings, lots of food, and of course all the presents. When we were kids, we got a lot of toys. As we get older, that switches to clothes and gift cards. When you are really old, you get food or booze because no one knows how long you are going to be around. We all like presents, but there are a few things that will really put a smile on a firefighter’s face on Christmas.
I will start with the top item on my list every year, and that is any remote control vehicle. No matter if it drives on the ground, flies in the air, floats in the water, or a combination of all the above, firefighters love to play with remote control toys. A competitive group of firefighters with remote control vehicles can be fun to watch, and it even helps pass the time when we are stuck working a holiday. Check with the other firefighter families and maybe you can get the whole shift one of these to play with.
Next on the list for a firefighter is food. We eat just about anything but you can never beat a good piece of meat. Smoked meat, beef jerky, and any kind of sausage. Firefighters seem to all enjoy spicy food, the spicier the better. Some of the more generous firefighters will bring their goodies to share at the firehouse. Don’t expect the top of the line snacks to be left out in the open.
If you are looking for a more practical gift idea you might consider replacing that nasty bedding that we sleep with every third night. Firefighters tend to keep their bedding way too long. I know of one firefighter who used the same bedding for 25 years. That bedding gets washed and cleaned but after that many years, it is nasty even right out of the laundry. Sheets, blankets and pillows will be appreciated, just make sure he throws that old stuff away and doesn’t bring it home.
There was a time when video games were popular in the fire station, but the video games we played together seem to have been replaced by individuals buried in their own personal phone playing games with people all over the world. You can replace the video game idea with anything that involves technology. Phones, tablets, IPods, and cameras are always good choices. Maybe a gift card to buy some high tech app for the phone or tablet would be a good choice.
What about those little nick knacks with the Dalmatian, fire hydrant, or nozzle, do we like those things? I would have to answer that with a yes. I have a collection of fire things I keep in a cabinet, probably every fire knick knack I was ever given is in that cabinet. In this category you could put Christmas ornaments. I have several firefighter ornaments that make it on the tree every year.
Make sure you enjoy the entire Christmas season this year, it’s not just one day. If you work on Christmas make the best of it, you will probably be off next year.
By John Morse
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