For the first time in 15 years, I found myself working on Christmas Eve as well as today (Boxing Day for folks who know/care about/celebrate such things.) When I first moved to San Francisco (said 15 years ago) I had a retail job to make ends meet while I stayed with relatives and figured out this city. So without (many) friends, family, or traditions it didn't seem like such a big deal to work Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas.
This year, however, I felt it. Close friends and my partner all had this time off and I didn't. This morning I woke up with a new appreciation for those who do work during the holidays. Even though it may not matter to some people (for various cultural or religious reasons, or lack thereof) I still think of this season as a time to reflect on the year that's passed. I realize how much I've taken for granted--the managers and colleagues I've had who chose to work during the holidays--so today I salute you. Today I'm right there with you.
Next year, however, I plan to make it clear to everyone that I'll take this week off to recharge, reflect, and reconnect. And I'll be even more thankful for the people who grin and bear it and work through it all.
(Like the people at the Chinese restaurant where my friends and I have dinner every Christmas Eve...)
(Or friends and family who only have one day off to spend with loved ones...)