5 Ways Nurses Can Celebrate The Holidays At Work


Whether you are a new or veteran nurse, going to work during holidays can be dreadful. Just the idea of everyone else having fun while you’re stuck in the hospital can be enough to make you feel bad about yourself. Plus, there’s short staffing to make things a lot worse.

Instead of sulking and thinking negatively about your work, here are some of the best ways you can celebrate holidays while you’re on duty.

1. Celebrate at work.

Although you’re at the hospital for such a festive occasion, it doesn’t mean that you’re missing out. If you are on duty, it’s a good idea to bring the celebration with you at work. After all, you’re not the only one who’ll be celebrating the holidays at the hospital. You have your colleagues as well as your patients.

“…it’s a good idea to bring the celebration with you at work.”

You can organize potlucks and put up decorations at your station. You can also involve your patients in creating crafts and arts if their conditions permit and if they want to.

“I remember the last holiday I had at work. We had so much food in the station, the nurses baked cakes and the patients’ relatives brought home-cooked meals. The doctors got boxes of pizza delivered. We really had a blast,” a ward nurse shared.

2. Get gifts delivered.

If you can’t be with your family at the dinner table during the holiday, you can send them some gifts instead. This way, you’ll be able to let them know that you were thinking of them while you’re at work.

Giving gifts is a way to show gratitude and appreciation.
Giving gifts is a way to show gratitude and appreciation.

Aside from your family, you can also share some of your blessings with your co-workers. It doesn’t have to be a grand act. In fact, it can be as simple as writing notes or treating them with their favorite cup of coffee. You can also give special greeting cards to your patients to lighten up their mood.


3. Set aside a special time for your family.

Your shift can only last for 8 to 12 hours. You’ll have enough time to celebrate with your family before or after your shift. They won’t mind the date as long as you’re with them to spend the special occasion.

Holidays should focus more on the idea- not the place, date or time.
Holidays should focus more on the idea- not the place, date or time.

“I was on duty last Christmas day, but I was able to eat a special lunch with my wife before I went to work. My kids stayed up all night and waited for me to come home after my shift to celebrate, too. I ended up with a double celebration,” an ER nurse said.

4. Be appreciative.

It’s easy to feel angry or upset about the situation, but keep in mind that your emotions can affect the quality of care you give to your patients. Working on a bad mood can also affect your co-workers. They’re likely to end up with the same negative thinking as you.

“…be appreciative that you’re able to work on such a special day.”

Instead of giving in to your emotions, rewire the way you think. Breathe deeply and be appreciative that you’re able to work on such a special day. Be thankful that you have a job and that you’re able to impact so many lives with your job. Nursing is not an easy task, but it’s incredibly fulfilling.

5. Don’t overindulge.

When you’re in a bad mood, you’ll find it hard to resist stress eating, especially since there are a lot of treats available. Instead of grabbing a second serving, try to save it for later. During such a busy day, the last thing you want to experience is bloating or severe stomach cramps.

How do you spend holidays at work? What do you do to make holidays at work more special for your patients?


Rozzette Cabrera is a registered nurse pursuing her childhood dream of becoming a professional writer. She spent a few years putting her profession into practice until she decided to take her chances with freelance writing over a year ago. Her life has never been the same since then.