As you head over the river and through the woods this holiday season you are likely enjoying a day or two off from work (except when you check your e-mail).
However, thousands of Washingtonians are still grinding away so that the rest of us can enjoy time with our families. USA Today estimates that about a quarter million Americans will work on Christmas Day. Some of these include:
The most obvious are the first responders. The police, firefighters, EMTs, ambulance drivers are on duty and ready to serve. We can add to this list all those who work at your local hospital – doctors, nurses, technicians plus the thousands who keep the lights on and the food hot.
Traffic and transportation do not take a holiday. You obviously see that if you are flying through Regan National. But, don’t forget the Metro continues to run as do the taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers.
The hospitality industry never takes a day off so be nice to the front desk clerks, waiters, and waitresses. Tip generously this holiday season.
At one time retail was the rare category that was off on Christmas but with the abundance of doorbuster sales, this is no longer the case. Let’s also not forget the pharmacists who make sure you can fill that prescription you just ran out of.
For those struggling during the holidays, a telephone call can be a lifeline. A big salute to those who cover the phones at your local crisis and suicide prevention hotlines. And, of course, those dedicated 911 operators who are ready to respond to any emergency at any time.
In the DC area, we are surrounded by security agencies. From those on watch to protect our embassies and government buildings to all the spies at the NSA, DIA, and CIA. We would tell you what they are up to but we don’t have that level of clearance.
If your car breaks down on the way to grandmother’s house, AAA stands ready to send you a tow truck. Now, the mechanic probably won’t fix it until the 26th but at least you won’t be stranded on the Beltway.
The media is in full employment mode. TV reporters and anchors – along with all the support technicians – are bringing you the news, though “A” team is usually not on duty. Newspapers, radio stations and all the hidden minions who make sure the internet can see your dog dressed up as a reindeer are keeping the flow of information moving.
Our dedicated members of the military always deserve our respect and support and Christmas is just another workday for them – often far from home and their loved ones.
Planning on attending a Christmas day service at your church? Your priest or pastor doesn’t have the day off.
How about the NBA? Christmas Day has turned into one of the league’s biggest events. Players, coaches, referees and plus the hundreds of support staff at the arena are all on duty while you are sipping eggnog.
And, we can’t forget the Pandas at the National Zoo! Someone has to feed them and the hundreds of other animals who have no idea what day it is.
Finally, the person who is working the hardest on Christmas Day has to be Santa Claus. At least the elves finally get a day off.