Working through Christmas

If you find yourself working through Christmas, you are not alone. Many employees today find themselves in a job where you need to schedule the holiday off to take the day. For people who may not be aware, this is done in one of two ways:

  • Requesting part or all of your vacation time to coincide with Christmas
  • Requesting Christmas Day off

Either method will require advance notice, possibly months ahead.


Working through Christmas seems to be moving more toward the norm rather than the unusual in modern society. Here are some statistics for you to consider:

  • 25% of people working Christmas feel they need to because there is too much work to do
  • 58% more people could not request the day off fast enough to get the time off
  • 75% of people who work for either a government unit or public service said they work Christmas day
  • 10% of business owners work Christmas day

Rescheduling Ideas

If you are scheduled to be working through Christmas, here are some rescheduling ideas which may at least provide some relief:

  • Family - work on possibly having a big Christmas Eve or maybe a huge New Years Eve instead; even the day after Christmas could still work
  • Work - most employees will have shortened shifts for the holiday; try to work the celebration into a later or earlier time of day;

Time Swapping

If you are scheduled to be working through Christmas, and really want the time off, try these ideas

  • Switch shift with someone who does not celebrate the holiday
  • Take an overnight shift
  • Switch Christmas with the family to Christmas Eve
  • Check to see if you can work a split shift

Minimize the Effect

If none of the above ideas work, and you are still working through Christmas, try to minimize the burden by making the season last longer

  • Have 12 days of Christmas where you give one gift or memory each day
  • Have an impromptu party at work with the other employees
  • Call a family member during the day
  • Play seasonal music and start singing at work
  • Remember you are not alone

Finding yourself working through Christmas isn't fun. Finding a way to keep the job from depressing you during your shift is the main concern. Knowing that you have a job and can still celebrate the season in some way should help put things into perspective.