On assignment and far away from home this holiday season? Don’t let that make you any less merry. Check out these tips for Travel Nurses on how to make your location home for the holidays — and however you decide to celebrate the season, may your days be merry and bright, and may all your travel adventures be a delight!
Do As the Locals Do
Get out and experience the holiday traditions of your current location. Take in a parade, a tree-lighting ceremony, or a holiday lights tour. Find out what local museums, zoos, theaters, and other such cultural hotspots are doing to celebrate the holidays, and you are sure to find a bounty of fun (and sometimes even free) events. Buy gifts from local merchants and artists and export them to friends and family back home — they’ll love getting something so unique that’s not available in your hometown.
Get in the Spirit
Remember that even though you may be far from home, for the most part you can still indulge in your usual, favorite holiday activities — even if that means a little tweaking here and there. Do you always look forward to Aunt Sally’s annual cookie party? Buy a bag of flour, crank up the Christmas tunes, and bake up a big batch of cookies — then share them with your co-workers or neighbors. Love to decorate? Just because it’s not your permanent address doesn’t mean you can’t deck those halls! Even if no one will see it but you, don’t let that stop you from going on a tear with the tinsel or creating a masterpiece of pine. Click here to download and print your very own Travel Nurse tree ornaments. Not into Christmas trees? Hang them in your locker, on your front door, or rearview mirror to get in the spirit.
Whether you volunteer your time or money, getting out and giving to those in need is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. If you’re longing for home, volunteering can help get your mind off of that for a little while. And, while it’s true that you already give so much every day on the job, working with, giving to, or serving people in need is also a great way to gain valuable perspective and give even more to community you’re working in. Contact local shelters and charities, or visit VolunteerMatch.org to find the right opportunity for you.
Celebrate with Others
Just because you may be flying solo on assignment doesn’t mean you have to be alone for the holidays. You could organize a holiday meal or gathering for fellow Travelers. Model it after The Gypsy Nurse’s Thanksgiving gatherings for Travelers and use the power of social media to bring people together, or, simply post a notice at your hospital and/or others in the area and wait for local Travelers to come out of the woodwork.
You could also be a special guest star at someone else’s holiday gathering. Accept invitations from colleagues and new friends in the area. You may not be with friends or family from back home, but you can still feel like part of the family.
Another way to celebrate with others from afar is to have yourself Skyped or FaceTimed into your family and friends’ holiday shindig. Make them pass you around so you get a chance to see everyone — it’s the next best thing to being there.
Maybe you are just more of a solo artist! If all you want for Christmas is some me time, create your own new, self-contained holiday tradition. Make a delicious meal for one (or treat yourself to take out), grab a bottle of wine, make an ultra-cozy blanket fort, and have a holiday movie marathon. Home Alone, anyone? Some other classics for marathoning include Scrooged, A Christmas Story, Love Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life, and, of course, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Medical Solutions!