Working Over the Christmas Period.
We often think about the key emergency services working across the Christmas period to keep us safe, but there are so many others who spend time away from those they love, to look after us too.
As Christmas fast approaches (where has this year gone?) my thoughts turn to those who have to work across the Christmas period. When we lived and worked on a Scout Activity Centre we were able to close our doors for the two week Christmas period. This involved draining down buildings, so that the pipes didn’t burst, turning off street lights, and excess power sources and making sure everything was secure.
We did a daily check around the 86 acres when we walked our dog twice each day, but otherwise we were able to enjoy a complete break from work. Our volunteers and staff went home, and we had the whole Centre to ourselves. It was bliss.
However, I was always mindful that among our friends and family there were those who didn’t stop working. If they were lucky, they would have a day or two off, but for some they continued to work throughout the Christmas period.
Whilst we all know that the NHS continues to run, the Ambulance, Fire and Police are still on duty and caring for us, we probably forget that there are many others carrying out their day to day tasks to ensure we can enjoy our time off.
When you begin to think about it the list is endless. Water, electricity and gas are all necessary components of our day to day life, someone has to provide them and maintain them, especially if things go awry due to bad weather.
Then there are those working in TV and Radio, providing us with the entertainment we look forward to each year. The Clergy, Choirs, Bell Ringers carrying on the traditions in our Churches. Publicans, Restaurants and their staff, opening up to feed and water those who prefer not to eat at home. The volunteers who feed the homeless or support those in crisis.
Then there are those ready to support the families who lose someone they love over this Christmas period that should be filled with joy, but becomes unbearable; the Funeral Director who is on standby. They will be there to care for the loved one’s body. They will support, advise and reassure.
For my profession the Winter is a busy time, and in particular the Christmas and New Year period. Celebrants across the country will be ready to support and help the families during this time. We will have Christmas Day and Boxing Day off, but for the rest of the two-week period will be on hand for those who need us.
I feel so grateful that we were able to enjoy that quiet two-week period together for many years as a family. I know that it was a luxury that very few people have. I have always been, and will continue to be, grateful to those who work to keep us safe, warm, fed, entertained etc on those special days. I will be proud to be able to serve my clients and support them during this difficult time. It is something I feel privileged to do throughout the year, but it is even more humbling at Christmas time.
If I had a wish, it would be that no one loses someone they love over the Christmas period, but sadly nature and life do not recognise these events. Rest assured though, that for those it does happen to there is a team of people ready and waiting to support them.