By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm
This is the time of year when many drivers are trying to get home to spend time with their families over the holidays. Drivers who run with their significant others, or drivers who do not have family to go home to, will often times stay out on the road to give drivers who do have small children or family an opportunity to spend the holidays at home.
We have a few hints for you before going home for the holidays. If possible, get all your laundry done ahead of time so to free up precious home time you could be using for activities with your family that are a lot more fun. Those moments are precious and you can never get them back! If you are at all like we are and take the opportunity to shop on the road, (being an OTR driver affords us opportunities to buy such unique gifts!) take the time to wrap those presents. We both carried the wrapping supplies with us so that whenever we had a little down time we could get that out of the way. It will be one less thing to do at home and you’ll be ready to take them in the house and slip them under the tree. Get creative in hauling them in your sleeper, it will help get you into the Christmas spirit as well save more of the time you want to spend visiting with the people that you love. We used our top bunks for storage, put rectangular laundry baskets up there. They ride well and make great organizers plus, they are awesome for hauling more than just laundry from truck to house and vice versa!
I’ve been reading a lot of Facebook posts recently about the kind things drivers are doing while at home to help other drivers who are not as fortunate. Some took homemade Thanksgiving dinners to local truck stops and distributed them to the drivers who were sitting there. My mom always asked us to go to the truck stop, and if anyone we knew might be in town, bring them home for the holiday. She couldn’t stand for any driver to be lonely. Others would bake pies and take them to share a piece of homemade pumpkin or apple pie with the drivers. I think this is a wonderful idea, at Christmas maybe you could come up with a new family tradition that would involve wrapping a few small gifts and doing the same sort of thing? Maybe go to the truck stop and give a few drivers a present to open on Christmas? There are many little things we could do to show drivers that we appreciate their hard work, a small stocking stuffed with some fruit and nuts would be very sweet and well received by a lonely driver far from home during the holidays.
I think any driver who is just starting out has to, many times, work through a major holiday or two, so, even if we get to go home this year, we need to remember that it wasn’t always so. Roger and I always worked through Thanksgiving so that we could be home for Christmas, but even then we took the very first load after Christmas. SOMEBODY has to. The freight must move.
BUT, while you are at home, get in the spirit and enjoy your time at home with your family! Bundle up and go out to see the Christmas lights with someone you love, take them out for hot cocoa afterwards. Pop popcorn and string it with cranberries to make a garland for the tree or use it elsewhere, almost no-one does that anymore! Take the time to teach these things to the younger generations, show them how to make a snow angel, make a snowman together using a carrot for a nose, sticks for his arms and the whole deal. Make it a fun memory! We all work really hard all year long and every driver deserves a break to have some fun and make some memories with the people they love!
Merry Christmas and have a Safe and Happy New Year!
Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!
Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.