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Stuck working on Christmas? No, it's a gift to others by Idowu Olabode : December 25, 2016, 09:39:33 PM
For many, Christmas is a time of wrapping presents, eating holiday food and spending time with family. But for others, from nurses to firefighters, Christmas means working and spending the holiday away from family.

Anderson Regional Medical Center nurses Christy Bell, Kristen Anderson and Savannah Skinner McCrae all volunteered to work Christmas Day so their colleagues could celebrate with their families.



"I don't have small kids or a big family that's coming from out of town," Anderson said. "And working on Christmas Day doesn't take the meaning out of it for me. You can celebrate Christmas every single day. It's not about presents; it's about care and love and I can do that Christmas Day at work."

Bell described working on Christmas as a "bittersweet" experience, especially when caring for patients.

"We try to make it as easy as possible. They're there to get better. They want to be with their families but they can't," Bell said.

"Working on Christmas allows me to not only give back to our patients but also to my fellow coworkers and my managers as well," McCrae said.

All three said they volunteered to work on Christmas to give others the chance to be with their families.

"I just remember waking up early Christmas and being able to open presents with my family," Anderson said. "I would rather give somebody else the chance to celebrate with their children so they get to experience the stuff I got to experience as a kid."

"(My favorite traditions are) making cookies and watching the kids open their gifts. That's all the Christmas I need," Bell said. "I go to work knowing I still get that family time and I'm giving someone else the same."

For McCrae, celebrating Christmas at work has an additional benefit.

"Working on Christmas is kind of like spending Christmas with my second family because I consider my work family to be my second family," Savannah said.

This sense of a second family extends to the firefighters on the C shift at the Meridian Central Fire Station.

Firefighters Vince Vincent, Rocky Godwin, Adam Ridout, Caleb Weaver, Brandon Davis, Jordan Dale and Peter Malone will also be working Christmas day, spending the holiday cooking their own Christmas meal.

"It's like having your brothers together," Ridout said. "It's another family."

Some of the firefighters, like Ridout, have small children at home and celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve with their families, moving the gifts up one day so everyone can participate.

"We just tell them Santa Claus came early," Ridout said.

"But the public is really supportive of us during this time of the year," said Vincent, adding that neighbors often stop by with cookies to thank them on Christmas day.

"And it's always nice to have extra cookies around," Godwin said.

Last year, firefighters responded to a cooking fire on Christmas day. Firefighters said they hoped for a less eventful Christmas this year.

"We surely don't want to see anyone that day," Malone said.

Source : Meridian Star

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