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My first time working on Christmas was today, and it wasn’t the end of the world. I knew my parents wouldn’t be entirely pleased, and I wasn’t looking forward to spending my day behind the counter either. But I’ve made it.

The hospital was as busy as usual, maybe more so because of the  families visiting their loved ones. The faces of these people and of the professionals who work at the hospital were grateful when they realized my coworker and I were there working too.

“Thank you for working on Christmas,” they said, dropping their change in the tip jar.

Well, someone’s got to do it.

Everyone was nice and appreciative of the warmth we provided, despite having to be there instead of with our families. Almost all of them wish us a merry Christmas. Then they ask us how long we’re open.

“Til 4pm,” is the reply.

The nurses say, “Awh. Well, I work every Christmas, too.”

It was supposed to be consolation, but that sort of thing doesn’t really work that way. I am not paid as much as a nurse. I did not go to school for being a cashier. This is not my career. But I can understand their intentions.

“Thank God you guys are open. You’re a lifesaver.”

In the end, someone has to pour the coffee for the real lifesavers, I suppose.