The holidays are upon us — a time to gather with friends and loved ones and celebrate the things we are grateful for. For many of us, it’s a time to set aside work, school and other mundane trappings of everyday life to enjoy a few days of fellowship and celebration.
But for others, their responsibilities don’t end simply because the rest of us have a couple of days off. In fact, for those involved in public service, such as first responders, Christmas may become even busier.
Emergency medical personnel, police officers and firefighters will be the first to tell you that crises seldom take a holiday, and just knowing that they are are on alert and ready should something arise fills us with a sense of relief and gratitude. Traffic on state and national highways increases over the holidays, so it’s good to know that highway patrol troopers are watching out for travelers’ safety. For that, we thank them.
Similarly, hospitals and retirement homes are responsible for their patients every day of the year, preparing meals, administering medications and making sure those in their care are comfortable and safe.
Unlike the previous couple of years, the weather outlook for the week leading into Christmas looks downright balmy, which may lead to increased travel on Wyoming’s roads. But Wyoming weather can turn on a dime, and should Christmas turn even whiter than expected, those involved in keeping roads cleared and safe for travel will be dutifully behind the wheel.
Also ready to go at a moment’s notice are those city employees who repair downed power lines or take care of gas leaks, ensuring that our Christmas gatherings are warm and cozy.
And speaking of driving, it’s inevitable that something will be forgotten at any holiday gathering, and a Christmas trip to the store may be in order. Kudos to the gas station attendants and store clerks, who are a lone beacon in a rural community for gasoline and other necessities when other businesses are closed.
Not everyone has somewhere to go for the holidays, and spending Christmas or New Year’s Day alone is not for everyone. Some restaurants and public places within driving distance of Powell may remain open as well, providing a place for people to go to enjoy a meal or fellowship. It’s an important option for those who would prefer to not spend Christmas alone, but also are unable to spend it with their friends and families.
According to a study reported on in USA Today, over a quarter of all Americans will be working on Christmas or New Year’s Day, from health care and service professionals to the guy at a call center patiently explaining how to download apps on your smart phone.
To all of those punching the clock while the rest of us enjoy our Christmas, we thank you.