Not everyone will be home on Christmas Eve, snug in their beds with visions of sugarplums dancing through their heads. And while many families enjoy traditional holiday activities, get-togethers, religious services and leisurely breakfasts the morning after Santa visits their homes, others won’t have that luxury.
There are plenty of people who would like to participate in the merriment of the season, but they’re busy keeping others safe, healthy and informed. On Christmas day, they do something most people could never imagine — they go to work. And most times, when duty calls, they’re happy to answer.
Many professions require employees to log nontraditional hours, including nights, weekends and holidays. Such work schedules may be inconvenient, but they come as no surprise to the good people who toil around the clock, many of whom have dedicated their lives to putting others first.
Health care workers, firefighters, public safety officers and emergency call-center employees and some store clerks and restaurant operators are used to missing out on family time and typical night and weekend activities. Things that others take for granted — such as eating dinner with a spouse, watching a primetime television show, tucking children into bed or heading to an evening sporting event — aren’t options for those whose jobs demand their attention at odd hours.
These hard-working folks don’t ask for much in the way of recognition. The satisfaction they derive from helping others and dedicating themselves to their professions often is enough. They stand by, ready to respond to accidents and fires, care for the sick and sell that last-minute gift or grocery item to someone who is headed to a Christmas party or dinner. Long before they settle into their chosen professions, most holiday workers are aware of the time demands they’ll face. And they’re fine with it.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a little gratitude from time to time. So, as you’re scurrying about this week, making plans, shopping and preparing for St. Nick’s visit, why not go out of your way to thank the people who keep the world running so others can safely and comfortably enjoy their holiday breaks? A plate of cookies or a greeting card really will go a long way to make a person feel special.