So here we are again, on the home straight to Christmas Day. The shop tills are jingling – which must be music to the ears of management in retail. The roads are clogged with people heading to their holiday destinations or home to see family and have some chill down time catching up with relatives, meeting the new cousin, niece, nephew and so on.
For some people though, there is no rest over Christmas. Stop and think of the police officer on Christmas Day who would rather be at home with family, instead of having to make our streets safe because a few lunatics mean we cannot do it ourselves. Stop and think of the firefighter, especially if they are in a rural brigade where the god awful monotone of the fire siren is holidayus interruptus, who might have suddenly have to put on their gear and go to a motor crash or attend a scrub fire. Stop and think of the St. John ambulance crew who might be on their way to check on an elderly person whose medical alarm went off. They have family and lives too.
Think also of the City Mission and so forth who put on Christmas Day lunches for those unable to have a proper feed themselves. For them and the many that this selfless act brings immeasurable relief and no doubt some joy to, money can help pay the costs, but it cannot buy the happiness that all of these people will feel.
Those of you with connections to the New Zealand Defence Force might be aware of someone who is serving overseas at the moment. They might be in Iraq or Afghanistan or on the Sinai Peninsula. Wherever they are, spare a thought for them being on service overseas on a day when New Zealand will for the most part come to a stop.
And then there are fellows like me who work because our employers are in industries that do not shut, even on Christmas Day – the rental car industry, the service stations, and so forth – even though the amount of work their employees might do on Monday will be relatively minor. In local Government there will be people working on Christmas Day monitoring Civil Defence in case an earthquake triggers a tsunami (not necessarily in New Zealand), or co-ordinating public transport movements (Christchurch buses for example run until 1800 hours on Christmas Day).
Oh, and, if you have survived reading this…. it would be rude not to say Merry Christmas.