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Surviving Holiday Work: Tips for Making the Most of Your Time

Working on a holiday can be a challenging experience, especially when everyone else is celebrating. But sometimes, it is necessary to work on a holiday, especially if you have a demanding job.

In this article, we will discuss some of the ways you can survive working on a holiday. We will also share some personal experiences to help you understand how you can make the most of your time despite the circumstances.

Negotiating with your Boss

One of the ways you can make working on a holiday more bearable is by negotiating with your boss. You can discuss alternatives such as working from home, splitting your shift, or getting an extra day off to make up for the holiday.

By proposing these ideas, you show your willingness to work and also recognize the importance of spending time with family and friends during the holidays.

Rescheduling the Holiday

If you had plans to celebrate the holiday with friends and family, rescheduling may be a viable option. You can plan a post-holiday celebration or even throw a Festivus party, as the famous Seinfeld episode suggests.

By rescheduling, you can still enjoy the holiday cheer and minimize the feeling of being left out.

Avoiding Social Media

Social media can be a double-edged sword on a holiday. On one hand, it can help you stay connected with your loved ones.

On the other hand, it can also make you feel more isolated and left out of the celebrations. Therefore, logging off or using social media in moderation is an excellent way to avoid anxiety or depression during the holiday season.

You can also take a walk or engage in a fun activity to keep your spirits high.

Making the Most of Your Time

Working on a holiday does not mean you cannot be productive or manage your time effectively. Creating a task list based on your priorities can help you focus on what needs to be done.

Plus, getting some work done during a slowdown in operations is an excellent way to impress your supervisor and stand out from the crowd. Consistently managing your time effectively also lessens the need to work during holidays, especially when you can complete tasks ahead of deadlines and avoid late nights.

The Author’s Experience Working on Christmas

The author once experienced working on Christmas Day while studying abroad in Spain. However, she still found a way to enjoy the holiday through creative scheduling.

She and her friends had their Christmas dinner in the afternoon, instead of the traditional evening meal. The perfect weather made it even more enjoyable.

The author also negotiated extra days to celebrate, including New Year’s, which allowed for a small vacation during downtime. Another personal experience occurred while working on Navy Pier in Chicago.

The author was a seasonal employee in the restaurant and met her future husband, a Navy sailor, one holiday season. They started dating and celebrated future holidays together, despite the author’s work demands.

It was challenging, but finding ways to make the most of their time together made it worthwhile.


Working on a holiday is not ideal, but sometimes it’s necessary. By negotiating with your boss, rescheduling plans, avoiding social media, and managing your time effectively, you can survive working on a holiday.

Personal experiences are relatable and can help others find ways to make it through their holiday shifts. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to find ways to make the most of their time and still enjoy the holiday, albeit in a non-traditional way.

In conclusion, working on a holiday can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be unbearable. Negotiating with your boss, rescheduling holiday plans, avoiding social media, and managing your time effectively can help you make the most out of the holiday season.

Additionally, the author shares personal experiences that highlight the creativity and resilience required to find joy and connection amidst the challenges. Remember that these tips and insights can apply to any work-related situation where time management and communication are essential.

Ultimately, the key to surviving and thriving on a holiday shift is to stay positive, stay focused, and find the joy in the moment.

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