Christmas Eve is upon us, but for some Christmas Eve will not be spent at home with family, but instead with a whole other family – the family onboard. I have spent many Christmas’ onboard, but one particular Christmas Eve stands out. Most of the crew were sound asleep. As you can probably imagine the 24th of December is a day just like any other – the ship still sails and work still needs to be done. So I don’t think that anyone expected this day to be much different than any other.
But, the captain had a different idea. So, in the morning he woke us up through the speakers with a ‘Gooood moooorning everyone’ followed by a classic Santa HO HO HO and then a nice little Christmas speech. He then went around asking each one on board to perform a specific task for the Christmas dinner. Each one on board had to bring a HAND written Christmas card for another colleague on board, describing how they contribute to the good spirit onboard, and wishing them Christmas greetings’. With renewed energy the working day started and soon the Christmas dinner was ready. We were all ready at the table around the Christmas tree. And then yet another surprise: our dear captain showed up dressed as Santa Claus with a bag full of presents for all of us. It really set a fun and homely mood for a Christmas away from our families. Taken off guard and laughing we all took our seats ready to dig into the delicious food the chief cook had prepared. When dinner was over, the real Christmas-fun started. ‘Santa’ aka the Captain handed out presents, we gave each other our letters to whom they were written for and lastly we all song Christmas songs together.
Maybe a Christmas onboard was not the Christmas we all had hoped for but it definitely was the most rememberable one I ever spent onboard.
By a former 2nd Officer