"Must be willing to work holidays."  Every flight attendant job application will include these words in bold font.  There's no getting around it.  If you're going to be in the airline business, you're going to miss family gatherings.  It's unfortunate, but someone has to be there to help other people get to their loved ones.

Growing up, my family hardly ever celebrated holidays on their calendar date.  With dad working as an airline pilot, we learned to be flexible.  We might celebrate Christmas the weekend before or even as late as the first week of January.  We couldn't reschedule the
 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but our Thanksgiving meal featuring mom's delicious cooking and our cousin's famous mashed potatoes - that we could rearrange for a time when my father was home.  The only celebration we couldn't reschedule was the 4th of July.  (The city's fire marshal wasn't keen to let us shoot fireworks weeks well past our country's Independence Day celebration.)

Now I'm grown up and married and somehow being away on the holidays is much, much harder than I expected.  The holidays don't stop or rearrange themselves when I'm gone.  There is enormous guilt in knowing that your loved one will be home alone going to Easter church services or that your spouse is unwrapping gifts Christmas Eve with his family while you're stuck doing a Miami turn.  Working on the holidays is certainly one of the LEAST glamorous parts of being a flight attendant.

Below is a photo journal of the working holidays I've taken since beginning my career as a flight attendant almost a year and a half ago.

I hope you all had a blessed Easter this past Sunday!  
Jesus Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed!

~ Jenn Grahams

Easter 2015
I got stuck with in Washington D.C. with an afternoon Chicago turn assignment.  In the morning, I went to a church service before heading out.  I found these beautiful cherry blossoms on my way to the church! 
Jenn Grahams
Easter 2015. Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.
Jesus Cross
Easter 2015
Christmas 2014
I was assigned a two day trip with a San Diego layover.  My co-worker and I decorated the beverage cart with Christmas lights.  :)  Unfortunately, I can't post any pictures of myself in uniform, but here are a few snapshots from that trip.
Flight Attendant Insert
The galley flight attendant who used the aircraft prior to me was nice enough to leave a fully stocked insert. :)
Chicken Florentine
My sister-in-law left me a delicious post-Christmas dinner in the fridge! She even had it gift wrapped for me!
Thanksgiving 2014
I had a pretty amazing three day trip with a LONG layovers in Miami, Florida and Vancouver, Canada!  Since Canada's Thanksgiving is celebrated on a different date than in the United States, all businesses were open!  My co-worker and I splurged for a delicious steak dinner on the water at the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill.
Jenn Grahams
Thanksgiving 2014 in Vancouver!
Easter 2014
This was a very depressing day for me.  I was stuck in New York City at my crashpad sitting "on reserve" which basically meant the only reason I couldn't go home was because I was the "back up" flight attendant on call.  I wasn't even assigned a trip.  My flatmate tried to cheer me up by buying me some chocolates.  :)
Chocolates
Easter 2014 at my crashpad in New York City
Christmas 2013
I was on reserve in New York City, but I had company!  My dad snagged a NYC layover and my mother and sister flew in standby so we were able to spend the day together!  We attended an amazing Christmas Day church service at the Korean Church of Queens.  Even though the songs were sung in Korean, we could recognize the tunes of the classics such as "O' Come All Ye Faithful" and "Joy to the World".  Also, the pastor included a translation of his sermon on PowerPoint slides.  In was actually a really amazing experience!  That night we visited the Christmas market in Bryant Park!
Korean Church of Queens
Christmas 2013 - Korean Church of Queens in NYC
Christmas in New York
Christmas 2013 - Empire State Building in New York City
 


Comments

Joshua Martin
04/07/2015 17:43

I feel for you, Jenn. It must be very difficult for you to endure so many holidays away. I've had a few myself where I was away for storm restoration work when the power lines went down. Like Christmas 2013 where I was gone all week nearly to New Year's. Or Valentines Day a few years ago where I managed to mail order flowers to arrive for Angela. We make do the best we can, though, don't we!

Reply
04/08/2015 11:25

I remember that storm back in 2013! What a crazy time for you!

It's kind of amazing that before I started this job as a flight attendant, both my husband and I had occupations that allowed us to avoid working on the holidays! I'm sure that's NOT the case for most people living in the United States. If I recall correctly, when I lived in Germany it seemed like businesses were more willing to close down for holidays. Did you notice that as well? Even on Sundays, most of the businesses in my area were closed. I would inevitably have an empty fridge by Sunday and end up going to the Turkish vendors to eat a doener for lunch AND dinner. ;-)

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    Jenn Grahams

    is a flight attendant and an aspiring writer.  She lives in the Midwest with her husband, many pet fish, and two chinchillas named Kuzco and Pancho.

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