Working on Christmas
Christmas Day has managed to be the one day of the year when the world shuts down; tranquility reigns and people allow themselves the luxury of some well earned down time. In my lifetime I have seen other holidays crumble as the fast paced world we have created overtakes our need for peace on earth. Thanksgiving is quickly becoming a retail nightmare; Fourth of July is all about the Bar-b-que grills, Memorial Day and the rest of the Monday holidays are now simply reasons for sales!
But not Christmas. This is the day where all work stops, and families reconnect, and life is lived the way it is best lived; by not working!
Unless, of course, you’re working.
But don’t despair, I have thought long and hard and have developed 10 reasons why it’s okay to work on Christmas Day…
10- In sacrifice we find redemption.
Sacrifice sucks, pretty much. But with sacrifice comes honor. We do not sacrifice our time, our families comfort or our lives for just anybody, or for just anything. There is something worth the sacrifice, and we see it clearly, and do our part to keep the things we hold true alive and well; not just for ourselves, but for every person living, dead and yet to be born, hoping that they too will have the opportunity to see it as clearly as we do.
9- What better gift to give to our fellow man than our time?
The best gifts do not come in packages, are not wrapped with pretty ribbons and bows and cannot be bought in a store. What better gift to give to the people who hired us and those we protect than the peace of mind, safety and well-being that our being on duty or at work provides?
8- The best gifts are the ones we give
Giving is and always will be the true spirit of Christmas, and we ask nothing in return, other than our pay. Is there a better, truer or more perfect feeling than how we feel when somebody appreciates a gift we have given them? By giving freely we receive abundance in return.
7- Everybody else feels bad for us
What can I say, I’m human. A little sympathy goes a long way. A few Christmas cookies never hurt either!
6- There’s nothing as sweet as the camaraderie with everybody else who is working
There is a Band of Brothers mentality that lives within the hospital staff, hospitality workers, retailers and public safety personnel who work when everybody else relaxes. You can feel it in the air, especially on Christmas Day, as the few, the brave and the dumb enough to work enjoy each other’s comfort and misery.
5- There is less chance of disappointment
All the preparation, the frantic pace, the relentless positivity and uplifting music of the Holidays is enough to drive the sanest person mad. There is comfort in letting it all go, putting on the uniform and walking out the door with a frown that quickly turns upside down when you realize that it’s just you and whatever comes your way. No kids to disappoint, no spouses to worry about, no family to entertain with tales from whichever crypt you find your career lurking in. No expectations are liberating!
4- Chances for better gifts improve due to sympathetic gift givers
First things first; it is imperative that everybody working on Christmas Day announce their misfortune on the day after Thanksgiving. The more people who are aware, the better the chances of lavish gifts given in your memory.
3- You probably won’t have to work that hard
One fact holds true for the Christmas Day workforce; there will be a heck of a lot more Indians than Chiefs punching the clock.
2-Christmas is time for doing a little extra for someone
Work a little, rest a little, do a little extra and the spirit of generosity will find its way back to the people who earned it. Give small gifts to give to the patients if you are a medic, wear a Santa hat if you are a cop, have a friend deliver a dessert or something to the holiday gathering telling everybody you wish you were there. You are stuck at work, no sense being stuck in misery.
1- Because somebody has to
We’re firefighters, cops, EMT’s and soldiers for a reason. We didn’t choose this way of life, it chose us. We take the good with the bad, and stand up when many sit down. It’s the way we’re wired. We work so others can enjoy the very thing we are working to preserve. And just as importantly, we work so that what we are working to preserve will be there when our work is through, and it’s our turn to enjoy. It’s sweeter having earned it.