A Working Holiday To Remember

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - November 23, 2005
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This will be my last Thanksgiving spent at work. For many years I, and a lot of other folks, have worked the holiday while almost everyone else spent time with their families.

It’s OK. The news doesn’t take a day off and we have responsibilities. Thanksgiving happens to fall in a sweeps month, one of the periods when newscasts are measured for ratings, and most news personnel aren’t allowed a day off.

As I said, it’s OK. We all understand it’s just a part of the job.

This year, though, it’s different. My son said, “Mom, this will be the last time you have to have awful Thanksgiving dinner.” He was referring to the plate of food my husband brings home to me every year. It’s filled with all the stuff - turkey, stuffing, veggies and even the pie - all mushed together. While I’m at work my son and husband follow their Thanksgiving routine - first Grandma Emily’s house for a feast, then Grandma Joyce’s house for another feast. Then they bring the feast home to me on a paper plate. I’m not complaining. It may look unappetizing by the time I get it, but it still tastes pretty good. And I am thankful for it.

This year, though, I am thankful for a different reason. I’m glad to have this one last holiday with my colleagues at KGMB. The folks who work on Thanksgiving Day are a tight-knit, chummy little group. While you’re at home watching football, we’re listening to emergency scanners. While families gather together around the dinner table, reporters and photographers are at gatherings of thousands of Hawaii’s less fortunate chowing down on meals provided by good Samaritans. And while you take your after-dinner snooze, we’re getting ready to put on a newscast.

Similar scenes are happening everywhere - people are doing their jobs. They are hospital workers, police officers, firefighters, convenience store clerks, cooks and waiters, and military men and women. They celebrate in their own ways. Some of them potluck, other companies order dinner in for their employees - so most do manage to eat a turkey dinner even if they’re on the clock. They’re a dedicated bunch of people who keep the world humming while everyone else is at play. And believe it or not, a lot of them enjoy what they’re doing. They’re essential and they know it.

So yes, this will be the last time I get “awful Thanksgiving dinner.” I intend to do a lot of cooking next year.

But I do not regret any of the Thanksgivings I’ve spent with my co-workers through the years. They’re family, too, and I am going to savor this one final holiday together.

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