If you can’t be home for the holidays, bring the holiday spirit on the road with you. Truckers away from home during the holidays can brighten up their cab and sleeper interiors – and state of mind – easily and on a budget.
Dress for the occasion.
Jann Bray, a trucker’s wife from Connecticut, says her husband of 35 years wears an elf hat when he’s on the road during the Christmas season.
Other truckers say they get a kick out of dressing up like jolly ol’ St. Nick by wearing a white beard, red plaid shirt and suspenders. Motorists – adults and children alike – get a dose of holiday cheer when a Santa-driven big rig rolls by.
Take along a Christmas tree.
Tom Loyd, a driver for Floyd and Beasley from Munford, Ala., says he’s seen trucks with a little Christmas tree set up inside the cab. “It makes the holiday seem more festive,” Loyd says.
It’s easy and inexpensive to construct your own in-cab Christmas tree. Sharon Anderson and Pete Nelson give tips and instructions for do-it-your-selfers on their show (www.hgtv.com).
One easy way is to take a plastic-foam cone, wrap it in red and gold drapery cord and then glue it to a spray-painted pot.
Many versions can be made with the plastic-foam cone. Fill little presents with nuts and candy and place the wrapped treats around the tree. It’s festive and can double as a snack.
Spruce up the dashboard.
Bray says her husband goes all out when he’s decorating his cab interior. “He even will decorate his dashboard with tinsel and ornaments,” Bray says.
Tinsel, balls, ornaments and a variety of other decorations can be purchased inexpensively at discount and hobby stores.
The tinsel can easily be attached to the dashboard of a truck and lined with balls and ornaments to add a variety of color to your dash.
Carry a passenger along.
Heads turn when you add the right passenger to your holiday décor. “Bob has a Santa, reindeer and snowman that he rotates each year in his truck. They are huge and sit in the passenger seat. He has a cord wrapped around each one of their right arms. When he sees a small child looking up at the truck, he pulls the cord so it waves at the children,” Bray says.
Take the smell on the road.
A jar of cinnamon potpourri leaves a lingering holiday scent in your cab. A huge variety of flavored scents and colors can be purchased cheaply at any discount store. Try holiday themes like pumpkin, bay, pine and citrus. Another way to satisfy the
nose as well as the stomach is to take along festive holiday tins filled with baked goods from home. They can give any cab the sweet aroma of fresh-baked cookies and make for a delicious snack on the road.
Decorate with a little piece of home.
For those with small children, a stack of Christmas drawings is not hard to come by. Place them in any open area on the dashboard or wall of the cab, and those little stick-figure Santas and reindeer can add a cute reminder of those at home.
Pin up pictures of your family around the Christmas tree or your kids sitting on Santa’s lap. The memories will keep you warm.
Lay to rest.
Add holiday-themed pillows to your sleeper. Red, green and gold pillows or pillow cases with embroidery stitching or a simple paint job on any size pillow would do the trick. They would even make a good gift idea for children or other family members who want to give their trucker a memorable keepsake.
Don’t forget the mistletoe.
For those with a special someone waiting at home, don’t forget to hang up the mistletoe above your door for a big welcome-home smooch.
If you decide to decorate the exterior of your truck with Christmas lights, check frequently that they are all in working order. If one of the lights goes out, the truck could get pulled over for a violation.
“Bob doesn’t decorate the outside of his truck,” says trucker’s wife Jann Bray. “With the weather and the movement of the truck, it is hard to keep lights in working order.”