Santa is not the only one who works his butt off over Christmas. As you are opening your presents with family and friends, enjoying your excessive Christmas lunch, and cheerfully debating with your significant other the importance of spending equal time with your extended families, just spare a thought for the those who cannot enjoy such trivialities on December 25.

Most of us will be spending our Christmas day surrounded by family and friends, with the majority of Australian offices, shopping centres, banks and worksites shut for the day. But there are the other half of Australian’s, who provide crucial services, that allow our Xmas day to run as smoothly as possible?

When you actually sit back and think about it, there’s a significant number of people who through whatever circumstances will spend Christmas day away from their families. These are the countless nursing staff who work in and around hospitals, and emergency service staff and volunteers who give up their day with family to help others who find themselves in need.

Many paramedics are always on call, which makes it impossible to predict whether or not they’ll be home to celebrate. And there are those who work in nursing homes and palliative care. Veterinary surgery’s will have to be fully staffed and operational to attend to the many animals that require daily feeding, cleaning, medicating and exercising. And of course, there are the family pets and local wildlife that might find themselves victims of accidental poisoning, road accidents and the occasional injury cause by careless back yard cricketers.

Many chefs will be working long hours to ensure that they feed the masses on what is probably going to be their busiest day of the year. Volunteers will be working in soup kitchens around the country, feeding the poor and homeless.

How many of us will be able to safely get around without the aid of public transport and taxis And what about getting our important daily fix of Xmas news. This would be impossible with journalist and the newsroom team, who travel the land for news worthy stories about Christmas cheer and goodwill.

Fire fighters too, will need to be on alert, as this time of year is sadly, bush fire season just as much as it is holiday season, and tragically there is the occasional house fire to attend.

Of course , we wouldn’t have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas day in peace without Australian men and women serving overseas in our armed forces, and those on peace keeping missions, who risk their lives operating in and around areas of unrest and conflict around the world.

So it is with much praise that we salute the efforts of Australia’s tireless workers and countless volunteers who sacrifice their day for the greater good of the community.

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