It was 2 days before Christmas and I was relaxing on my comfy lounge when my sister rang to ask if I wanted to come for a drive to see some of the Christmas lights around the neighbourhood. As a shift worker, we can sometimes forget it’s actually Christmas because more often than not – we are working throughout the festive season.
But that being said, I jumped in the car with two other friends and noticed that my sister had constructed a well thought out plan. She had printed out all of the winning entries in the annual Christmas Lights Competition and with a map of the streets in one hand, we headed off in hot pursuit to find these prize winning lights.
As we approached the street which had won ‘The Best Street in the Neighbourhood Category’ there were cars, people and children everywhere. I imagine that this is how Halloween must feel if you live in the United States. (We don’t really celebrate it here in Australia).
As we could only get so close in the car, my sister cleverly found a car park and we began our walk towards this normally quiet suburban street to see what all the fuss was about. As we approached the corner and turned to walk up the path (whilst trying to avoid tripping over any children and pets in tow), we were gob smacked. Quite literally the entire street was lit up as if there was a shining light directly above us.
The attention to detail and creativity was truly eye opening.
From the bright lights to the dancing penguins it certainly stimulated all of our senses – sight, sound and even smell (the aroma of Aussie BBQ filled the air). There was even a couple of ‘stand in’ Santa Clauses wandering up the street – sure to confuse the child that just saw him 5 minutes earlier in front of another house.
But as were walked slowly up the street you could hear the giggles and laughter from the children and watching their faces light up as they watched all of the displays was truly priceless.
Now as shift workers we can sometimes forget its Christmas. As many of us work during this holiday season, Christmas day can sometimes feel like ‘just another day’.
But our journey across the neighbourhood last night to see the bright lights and dancing penguins certainly reminded me that it is indeed Christmas, and to be thankful and grateful for everything that I have in my life. From my friends and family, to the wonderful home that I now live in, and for our pet cat ‘Misty’ who is stretched out on the front deck watching me as I write this – I feel truly abundant and grateful to be alive.
So even though you might be working this Christmas, you can certainly still enjoy the holiday season. Eat, drink and be merry – and have a wonderful and safe holiday as we head towards an exciting and fun-filled year in 2010!
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Audra is a Shift Work and Airline Veteran based in Brisbane, Australia. She specializes in teaching people how to cope with the perils of working shift work and how to bring more fun back into the workplace.