Holidays pose a problem for medical facilities. Somehow they have to keep going. Long term care residents still must be fed, bathed, and cared for regardless of what day it is. So someone has to work. This year I’m not scheduled for it, but next year I will be.

I’m not working, but strangely enough, I keep thinking about the people who are. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I am not with my parents and sister having the blow-out Christmas party that I’m used to. Food all over the place,  music from the mountains and folk dancing – this is part of Christmas. And I’m not getting it.

I shouldn’t complain. I am with my husband and children, but to me, Christmas also means large numbers of loud relatives making a distinctly un-holy mess in the kitchen.It means the annual fight (no, not fight, more like discussion) as to whether the food is going to be Peruvian or American. They do it every year.  Every year, they just give up and make both. There are other people far from home having to do without their Christmas traditions. And if you’re in healthcare, Christmas is going to be punctuated by bed alarms going off, and late dinners, and church services (if you do that sort of thing) that you may miss. This is what we signed up for. This is the fact that we care for strangers, and sometimes our family and friends get the short end of the stick. Is there a solution to this? More skill in scheduling and in logistics?

Perhaps, but if I may be permitted the metaphor, there were people working that night, when Christ was born. They had left their sheep, but I can’t really believe that everybody took off. I’m sure somebody had to stay. And I think that they were blessed, even though they weren’t at the stable.  God sees everybody, even those who have to watch telemetry monitors  and listen for the bed alarms.

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