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Holiday quandary
Posted: Monday, December 8, 2008 2:00 AM
Dear Crew Confessor,

I have been working on yachts for a few years now, and really love it. Unlike most other crew I don't mind working during holidays, I'd rather spend them on board with my crew working. My "real family" has never given me what I need emotionally and I'd rather just be working with a bunch of people that I like more than my "real family." For the first time in years we don't have a charter or the owners on board for Christmas. Unlike nearly everyone else onboard I don't really want to go "home." I know my parents would be overjoyed to have me at home for Christmas, but I am convinced the visit would turn dramatically sour. I dread the thought of it. And then after my brief, stressful visit, back to the boat and attempt to regain a positive attitude. That said I would hate for them to discover that I could've come home for the holidays and chose not to. It would hurt their feelings! I don't know what to do. Spend a week in a hotel? Go to my parents? Or just stay on the boat and catch up on projects and reading. As a plus if I stay on the boat the mate will be free to go home for the holidays (he was low man on the totem pole), something I know he would love to do. Help me Crew Confessor, what to do? Feel'in Guilty Cause I Don't Feel the Family Love
Crew Confessor
Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 12:10 AM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94

Dear FGCIDFFL, Sometimes I think that the "holidays" are misnamed. For some of us there is little to celebrate when we spend time with our "family." I don't know what your family history is. If you have a seriously dysfunctional family I would encourage to do what you think best. If, however all we're talking about is the silly, uncomfortable, family dramas that happen to us all when we return to home and hearth, then pack your bags and suck it up. I promise you, there will come a time when your family will change forever and you will wish you could have one more Christmas with a person who is gone. Your parents will die, you never know what might happen to other members of your family that you care about, and you can never turn the clock back for a redo. Particularly in your case, since you say that "for the first time in years you won't have the owners or a charter on board," give them all a treat and show the f*** up. As for the rest of you crew out there who are not able to go home for the holidays here are some coping suggestions. 1) Remember it is just a date on the calender. After the owners or charter guests are gone make a point for all of the crew to get together and have a special holiday dinner, better yet invite crew from other yachts too and have a big celebration for everyone who had to work. Call it Christmas in January. 2) Get into the spirit on the boat with decorations etc... Deckies give a hand to the stews inside and deck the companionways... if the guests have little children on board all the better. Their enthusiasm for the Christmas is what it's all about. 3) If you're not working but find yourself far from home make friends with your neighbors neighbors in the marina. Yachties are from everywhere and they like to party! That hippie looking couple on the funky catamaran might just BE rocket scientists. Some of my most memorable holiday celebrations have been spent in exotic locales with people from every corner of the globe. Everyone contributing a special dish. 4) If your owner or guests are of a religious persuasion that does not celebrate Christmas re-read suggestion #1! Perhaps a very Secret Santa celebration amongst the crew is in order. These are just a few ideas. I'd love to hear from other crew and how they cope with working/or not over the holidays. One more thing: don't forget to be thankful that you have a job. Not everyone does. Happy Holidays, Your Crew Confessor .
Crew Confessor
Posted: Saturday, December 20, 2008 9:05 PM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94

Tis I Again! For more suggestions on coping with the holidays check out the featured article today on Oh, There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays By Janine Ketterer Carry On! Ho Ho Ho, Happy Hannukah and my favorite holiday of them all, Happy Festivus! (the holiday for the rest of us)
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