Christmas is a time to be surrounded by family and friends but when you are miles away from loved ones, still working away on a yacht, your Christmas spirit can easily lose its sparkle. Whether you have non-stop charters, a quick boss trip or are lucky enough to have some days off, here a few steps to make sure you and your crew have the best Christmas possible.
1. “It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas…”
Just because your home is floating that doesn’t mean to say you can’t go full steam ahead with the Christmas décor. From a few simple fairy lights, rustic festive decorations and creative floral wreaths to fully-clad Christmas trees, there is so much onboard that you, as crew, can do to turn on the festive cheer. If you have guests onboard, you will no doubt be doing this for them anyway, but make sure you don’t leave the crew mess looking like scrooge’s flat. The onboard decorations are also a great way to get any children of guests involved or, if it’s crew only, it’s surprising how enthusiastic those deckhands can be with some tinsel.
2. “Eat, drink & be merry…”
Let’s cut to the chase here, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without good food and drink and with an expert Chef onboard, this could be your most gourmet Christmas yet (mum’s & gran’s best recipes aside). From Bucks Fizz breakfasts and traditional turkey to the non-stop chocolate consumption, each family tends to have their own special menu, so make sure your crew family start a new or continue a tradition. Get your crew together and list each person’s favourite, edible, thing about Christmas and go from there. This can also be weather dependent, for example, if you are cruising the Caribbean you may want to switch up your egg nog for piña coladas! Even with guests onboard, make sure you find time for a crew Christmas lunch, take the teamwork level up a notch or two to make sure everyone gets time to enjoy some festive food.
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3. “The greatest gift of all…”
Whether you are in the Caribbean, on charter, having some downtime in a yard in the Med or on a remote island in the Pacific, yachting locations aren’t the easiest for Christmas shopping. Not only that, but who actually wants to spend their limited time off scouring streets for a viable crew Christmas present?! So, why not make the crew Secret Santa a bit more fun this year: Swap out the presents for games and experiences, be creative and make the gifts, choose a good cause and donate, or even put gift money in a kitty and have a crew day out with it instead. Doing something a bit different with gifts will make sure you have a Christmas to remember and will be everyone’s preference versus a fancy shower gel or, god forbid, socks.
4. “We wish it could be Christmas everyday…”
When you are working away, you tend to miss out on the festive lead up and those homely traditions that make it feel like Christmas. No matter your schedule, make sure you find time for a few festive activities to do during the run up to the big day. It’s a great idea to plan some Christmas crew activities, which you can do each year, no matter how hard you have to work around the period. From festive volunteering on land, Christmas fancy dress, craft days, Christmas cocktail hours or Christmas movie sessions there is plenty to organise to get you in the festive spirit. It’s also a good idea to find out what the Christmas tradition is in whichever country you happen to be in, always check out the marina for local events
5. “Calling home for Christmas…”
The magic of technology now means it’s easier to touch base with your family and friends back home, or wherever they may be, than ever before. Whether you’re on a beach in St Maarten and your mum is skiing in France, you’re in the marina in Tahiti and your dad is at home peeling potatoes, or you’re in the shipyard in Italy and your sister is at her American boyfriend’s family home: No matter where and who, there is always time to call loved ones. Make sure you schedule in the right time, depending where everyone is in the world, and support your colleagues with their needs too – a FaceTime or Skype can make you feel so much more connected and bring you closer to the festivities. It can be tough working away at Christmas so it’s also a good idea to organise something special to look forward to when you’re next home, even if that means having Christmas dinner in April – who says there needs to be any time restrictions?!
Wherever you and your crew may be working this December, be sure to have a very Merry Christmas!