On Christmas, the world seems to come to a screeching halt. Unless, of course, you work in a hospital. Hospitals never shut down. Not even for Christmas.
So while families are snuggled up at home, opening presents and indulging on holiday feasts, emergency and medical service workers are on the job. And if that happens to be you, you’re probably not happy about it. You might even be slightly ticked off. And for good reason! No one wants to work on Christmas. Well, except maybe Santa. But his shift ends before sunrise so that doesn’t really count.
Working the holiday doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With a little Christmas spirit, and maybe a change of attitude, you can make the best of it. Not just for you, but for your coworkers and your patients. Here are 7 ways to have a merry little Christmas on the job.
Having a little fun with your outfit can set the stage for a better holiday shift. If nothing else, it will give people something to talk about. There’s no shortage of fun stuff you can find nowadays. A crazy Santa hat, jingle bell bracelets, blinking pins, Christmas scrubs, crazy Christmas socks, you name it.
Instead of your normal Bic, opt for an over-the-top pen. Maybe even one that lights up or plays music. It’ll make your Christmas Day charting a little more interesting and give your patients a laugh.
2. Celebrate early
Instead of succumbing to just missing Christmas, plan another celebration with your family. Who says Christmas has to come on the morning of Dec. 25? Your family can have Christmas on its schedule. On Christmas Eve, make breakfast for dinner and wear your PJs to the table, just as you would on Christmas morning.
Or you can pick an activity your family enjoys and call it your special Christmas. Who knows, you might start a new family tradition.
3. Make them miss you
Just because you can’t be there on Christmas Day doesn’t mean you can’t be there in spirit. Arrange for a special delivery of something meaningful for your family.
Think about what they’re really going to miss about you being there. Is it that you make a special dessert? Prepare it beforehand and have a family member deliver it around lunchtime with a note telling them how you wish you could be there.
4. Dine like royalty
Plan a pot luck with your coworkers in which everyone brings their favorite holiday dish. If bringing hot dishes is too much of hassle, have a dessert-only carry-in.
If even that is too much, surprise them with a simple deli tray and a few snacks.
5. Play staff Santa
Bring small gifts for those working with you on the holiday. It doesn’t have to be big, or even wrapped.
Here’s an idea: Buy a box of candy canes. Write a special note to each coworker and attach it with a Christmas ribbon. Leave them where they’ll be happened upon throughout the day.
6. A teaching moment
If you have kids, enlist their help in making special items for patients who are in the hospital on Christmas. It will help them better understand why you have to work and that others are also away from their families.
7. Set an example
Sitting around complaining about having to work isn’t helping anybody, including you. Throughout your shift, carry with you the spirit of Christmas and a will to help others have the best day possible.
Remind yourself that while it’s unfortunate that you have to work, the day is more unfortunate for the patients and their families. Nobody wants to spend Christmas in a hospital, especially as a patient.
It’s not all bad
Believe it or not, there are some advantages to working the holiday. You’ll likely receive overtime pay and you won’t have to cook the big family dinner!
So try and stay positive and remember that a little cheer goes a long way.
Thanks for reading,