There is a peaceful kind of eeriness to working on Christmas Eve.
The sun rises slower; the usual chaos of the morning commute is suddenly silent; and a strange stillness envelopes the world; the quiet before the storm of last minute shoppers.
There is a shared sense of camaraderie with fellow Christmas Eve workers; everyone knowing that not much work will actually be done as the office winds down for the Christmas period but still not wanting to go.
As I arrive at my place of work, it feels like there is something imminent. The usual busy-ness has vanished and in its place a sense of something silently and cautiously approaching. In my head, it is something along the lines of Armageddon. That some time very soon, all things will cease to exist. And that idea seems much more interesting than reality and the fact that I am at work whilst the majority of the population are at home, probably still in bed, with nothing more to do but wrap presents and watch Christmas films; ample time to prepare for the following day’s festivities.
The apocalypse aftermath feeling soon subsides, however, when you get round to actually doing some work. The time passes much slower though, and you most certainly need a radio on if you are the only one in the office, something to counteract the suffocating sounds of silence from a phone that does not ring.
When finishing time does eventually tick along, the sense of freedom fills you up completely. Your Christmas time is finally here, and ahead of you is a hectic but fun few hours spent wrapping those final pressies, prepping veggies, or visiting with family and friends. All before you fall asleep thinking of childhood Christmases that included you making sure that Santa and his reindeer were sufficiently fed and re-hydrated for the rest of their long trip to all of the world’s children.
Yes, working Christmas Eve may not be desirable, but it is not actually all that bad. You’ve just got to enjoy the peace.