One of the downsides of working as a vet tech is you may have to do a shift on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. While everyone else is relaxing with family and friends at home, eating delicious foods and drinking their favorite beverages, a vet tech somewhere is cleaning pee and poo out of kennels, walking dogs, giving food and water to boarding animals and hospitalized patients . . . and more.
Family, friends, and romantic partners of vet techs who have to work on a holiday can do many things to help their vet tech feel loved and supported.
1. FOOD! – Order your vet tech’s favorite food and have it delivered to the clinic or hospital where they are working. I guarantee they will be THRILLED to get a surprise delivery. If you can personally deliver the food–all the better. Even if they can only talk to you for sixty seconds, your personal delivery of food will be even more wonderful.
Gift Cards for Food Delivery Service Apps – Another food option for your vet tech is getting them a pre-paid subscription to a food delivery service. If you don’t know what your tech likes to order for delivery, or they are fussy, this might be a good option.
2. Delay Opening Gifts Until Your Vet Tech Gets Home – While everyone might want to open their Christmas presents the second they wake up Christmas morning, consider waiting until your vet tech comes from from their shift. Also, if they are exhausted let them shower, sleep, eat something and then have everyone open their gifts with their vet tech. Adapting to a vet tech’s schedule will make them feel loved and supported.
3. Romantic Partner Christmas Private Spa – Set up a romantic private spa experience for your vet tech when they return home from their Christmas Eve or Day shift. This is a tricky thing to set up and execute because you have to assess how tired your vet tech is upon arriving home, and how stressful their shift might have been too.
There are many things you can do to set up a private spa for your vet tech:
1. Wash their favorite towel and dry it so that it is clean and smells good.
2. Set up a hot shower or bath so that it is ready and timed well for their arrival at home.
3. Have their favorite Christmas music or relaxing music playing in the bathroom while they take a shower or bath.
4. Set up your bed as a massage station. If your budget is low you can use extra virgin olive oil instead of store bought oils. Put candles around the bed (be fire safety conscious, don’t leave lit candles alone in the room). Give your vet tech a massage after their shower. (Or, if they prefer, before they shower/take a bath.)
5. Bake their favorite cookies, cinnamon buns, or something that will fill your home with a relaxing and delicious smell.
6. Have their favorite post-shift snack or meal ready for them to eat.
7. Have their favorite alcoholic beverage or non-alcoholic drink ready for them.
8. Lay out their favorite post-shift comfortable clothes.
4. Prepare a Box of Christmas Foods in Tupperware – If everyone’s schedules and locations just will not coordinate so that your vet tech can open gifts with family and friends together, and they won’t be around for Christmas Eve or Day dinner . . . get a set of Tupperware and fill the containers with turkey, stuffing, dessert, etc. This is a great two-in-one gift because the vet tech can use the Tupperware afterwards too.
5. Organize a Christmas E-Card or Video Message Family, Friends, and Romantic Partner Blitz – Contact everyone you can that is close to your vet tech. Ask them to write and send a Christmas E-Card (there are free online sites), and set up a time for everyone to send them simultaneously to your vet tech. Personal short videos wishing your vet tech a Merry Christmas is another way to make your vet tech feel loved and supported.
6. Fully Stock Their Fridge – This requires you to know your vet tech well, or be able to ask their romantic partner or close friends what they usually stock their fridge with. Helping your vet tech out by buying a week’s worth of groceries is a great gift that they won’t be expecting. Toss in their favorite Christmas food and drink too. If you don’t have the time to go shopping as well as easy access to your vet tech’s home–consider getting them a gift card for their groceries.
7. Gift Box for Your Vet Tech’s Pets – Vet techs don’t make a lot of money, so odds are they won’t be able to spend much on gifts for their pets. Do some research, however, before you buy pet food, snacks, toys, and other items for your vet tech. You need to know if their pets have any allergies. Depending on the type of relationship and communication style you have with your vet tech, you might consider asking them for a list of things that they feel are safe and appropriate for their pets.
8. Envelop of Cash or Money Transfer – Some vet techs are barely able to pay their rent, bills, travel costs, and groceries. Use your judgement on whether or not you think they will use the money responsibly (some might not). If you think they might blow the cash on wasteful things, then gift cards are probably a better option. But, that being said, if you think they are mature and responsible, give them a gift of cash.
9. Warm blankets, heated blanket, or a heating pad – Depending on where your vet tech lives, it might be very cold and snowy. Coming home from working Christmas Eve or Day to new blankets or a heating pad is a nice surprise if you’re tired and had to travel through wintry conditions.
10. New Pajamas and Slippers – New fleece, or whatever material your vet tech prefers, pajamas and slippers will help them feel comfortable and to relax after a long shift. If your budget allows, consider looking at kiwisheepskins.com. They have really high quality comfort items that will help keep your vet tech warm and cozy.
If you like what you’re reading on this blog, please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.