Home for the holidays, essential workers appreciate family time

When losing family time during the holidays, working through the winter season can be stressful for essential workers. However, there are still pros some pros.


By giving back to their community members in many different ways, first responders, military personnel and medical personnel work a lot over the holidays to keep families safe.
With the holiday season in full swing, many look forward to having a break from work and school to celebrate the holidays with the people who they love.
Some workers decide to volunteer over the holiday; others do not have the ability to take off.
“One of the biggest disadvantages of working on a holiday is not being able to be with your family and friends to celebrate,” Corporal David Klepfer said.
Klepfer is the patrol supervisor for the Franconia Township Police Department.
Military personnel also have to factor in working during the holiday season.
“Working during the holidays means I am not allowed to see my family if I get deployed,” CH47 cargo helicopter maintainer and repairer Austin Russ said.
For those essential workers who work over the holidays, most get paid over time or time and a half.
For some, it differs.
“When you are in the military you do not get extra pay for working holidays,” U.S. Navy veteran Faith Dieffenbach said.
According to Russ, this is because the military personnel work on salary.
Each individual who has worked in an essential position provides people with safety as well as comfort.
“Even though you do have ups and downs, long hours, shift work, stress and work in poor weather conditions, being a police officer can be one of the most rewarding careers of serving the people in your community,” Klepfer said.
Klepfer also believes that there are more “rewarding” aspects to working over the holiday besides serving the community.
“Working on a holiday is great because the people around you are in a festive mood and ready to celebrate the holiday, which can rub off on you,” Klepfer said.
Workplaces celebrate the holiday season by holding parties that create a “festive” environment for many even if all of the employees don’t celebrate the holiday.
“There is usually a Christmas party for the company at work every year,” Dieffenbach said.
For some, while spending time at work is necessary to make a living, family traditions are more important.
“When I am home for Christmas, a family tradition we have is putting the tree up,” physician William McCafferty said.
“After our family eats Christmas dinner, we go over to my uncles and hangout with my family because they all live far away, whether in a different state or county,” Russ said.
Klepfer also feels a similar way.
“On Christmas Eve, my family will go over to my brother’s house for dinner to celebrate and then attend an evening church service,” Klepfer said.
Others prefer to create memories with sentimental activities.