Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas

That's right I said it. Merry Christmas. Not "Happy Holidays". I'm throwing political correctness out the window today.

I was talking to a friend of mine who is working on Christmas. Actually, she's working until 8pm on Christmas Eve and then going back to work at 8a.m. , working a 24 hour shift until the day after Christmas. Her family lives several hours away. In short, she'll spend her Christmas Eve alone. She had a calling to work in medicine and one would expect that a doctor would make such sacrifices.

Here's the thing. Christmas is a holy day for Christians. A holy of obligation. Sometimes we forget that, you know, the "reason for the season" and all. But it's a holy day, second only to the Easter season. I'm glad it's become a time when everyone, regardles of religion comes together with family and friends. That's nice. But it's not the point.

Every religion has it's holy days. What I notice however, is how my friend covers shifts for doctors of other faiths on their holy days. It's expected. Yet, at Christmas, some of those doctors of other faiths, have off. While my friend, a Christian, has to work. She will not be able to go to Mass.

It sucks that she has to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas, that she can't be with her family and friends. But my point is that while she's covered other peopleon their holy days, people aren't covering for her. Because Christmas isn't a real religious holiday, it's sort of a universal holiday. Because if she caused a big stink about working on holy day, she would probably be told to just go along, to make it work, to be flexible, to be part of the team. She'll be told the same thing when she has to work Yom Kippur next year. And it just doesn't seem fair.

She's not complaining. I am.

My friend will take care of newborn babies who only weigh a few hundred grams in the neonatology unit this Christmas. A place where new parents' joy over their babies will be tempered with worry. They, too, will have to spend their Christmas in the hospital.

So here's to the parents, the babies and to my friend, who will take care of them all.

This will be my last post until after Christmas as I venture home to be with my family.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.


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