When Working on the Holidays is Your Responsibility

Here are four suggestions that may make working on the holidays a little more bearable.

David Cox | December 17, 2019

Working on holidays: Roles and responsibilities

Many will be working on holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Day. Though millions of people will spend these days at home or visiting with family and friends, many others will not enjoy the same opportunity. These individuals work in positions where their essential functions are necessary, even during the holidays.

Imagine what would happen if medical professionals, uniformed service members, and other first responders insisted on taking off on holidays? In fact, many other employees work for a variety of businesses that never close. All of these individuals will be on-the-job and available if needed.

Four suggestions that may help

Lynze Wardle Lenio is a freelance journalist and blog writer from Salt Lake City, Utah. She wrote an article offering a few suggestions for people who are scheduled to work on holidays. I want to share some that will hopefully prove helpful in making your holiday responsibilities at work a little more bearable.

1. Negotiate

Working on holidays is often unavoidable, and you may have few options to negotiate. Still, you could ask your boss if you can work from home. If that’s not an option, ask about splitting a shift so that you only work half of the holiday.

If you have to be at work the entire day, ask about getting an extra day off over the next holiday. The promise of a four-day weekend over New Year’s might seem appealing. Having a few additional days to visit your family may make working on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day seem worthwhile.

2. Reschedule the Holiday

Large families, with children and grandchildren who require significant travel time, often choose to reschedule the holiday. They do this to accommodate as many family members as possible. If you’re scheduled to work on a holiday, you and your family could take a similar approach.

There’s no real reason to celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November or Christmas on December 25th. If you must work during a holiday, consider a rescheduling alternative. Ask your family and friends whether they would be willing to reschedule holiday plans to accommodate your work schedule. Doing so may also be helpful to other family members.

If they can’t reschedule for another day, consider planning a post-holiday event. You might be surprised by how many friends would enjoy an opportunity to share their Thanksgiving leftovers at a post-Thanksgiving potluck. They might enjoy a break from family activities to have a December 26th holiday movie marathon. If you can creatively reschedule a holiday with family, friends—you won’t feel like you missed out on all the fun.

3. Avoid Social Media

You’re at work on a holiday, and possibly feeling a bit isolated and bored. You may feel it would be a good idea to log onto Facebook or spend some time scrolling through Instagram photos. Unfortunately, checking your social media communities while at work on a holiday is usually a big mistake.

Looking at pictures of everyone else celebrating with their families while you’re at work is a formula for depression. Instead, if you need a break, go for a short walk, or grab a snack. If you take periodic breaks, you’re more likely to stay focused and have more energy. Additionally, you’ll avoid the self-pity that comes from looking at pictures of your friends having fun without you.

4. Accomplish something

What’s worse than working on a holiday? Working on a holiday and being so discouraged, distracted, or preoccupied that you don’t accomplish a single thing. It’s challenging to be productive if you’re the only one in the office when you would rather be with family and friends. However, you’ll feel somewhat better about being at work if you make the most of your time there.

Write a list of tasks you hope to accomplish during your shift and cross them off one-by-one as you complete them. Not only will you feel productive, but I guarantee the time will go by much faster. Undoubtedly, if you spend the day sending text messages and imagining what you could be enjoying, the day will seem much longer.

Working on holidays: You’re not as stuck as you think

Nobody wants to get stuck at work over a holiday, but sometimes the situation is unavoidable. If you can find other ways to celebrate with family and friends and make the most of your time at work, you can get through these holidays without feeling deprived or cheated.

David Cox


David is an SEO Content Writer for ThirdPartyBlogger.com, which is a blogging and writing service for busy website owners. His expertise in content writing and search engine optimization (SEO) helps his clients save time and attract more visitors to their websites.

Please contact David if you need help in writing SEO content and blog articles. He would welcome an opportunity to discuss how his services could contribute to the success of your website.