Our office officially closed at 4 p.m. yesterday, although some of us worked past that point, and it is closed today. So, for me and others, Christmas Eve is a day off.
This is a change. When I was a young lawyer, we worked until noon or so on Christmas Eve, just like we worked on the day after Thanksgiving. But over the years the work calendar morphed — whether it was because every other white-collar office was closed and the firm just threw in the towel and joined the club, or because the firm elders realized that not all that much work was getting done on those days, anyway — and now both of those days are treasured days off and parts of extended holidays.
I didn’t mind working those days, but I also appreciate getting the day off on Christmas Eve — and I’m betting my colleagues who celebrate Christmas do, too. For the procrastinators among us, it’s a day to get the last-minute shopping done. For the families with young kids, it’s a day of mounting excitement building to an almost unbearable fever pitch and kids who are so amped up for Santa’s arrival that they can’t believe they’ll ever get to sleep. And for empty-nesters like Kish and me, with our shopping long done and gifts out and delivered by the post office, it’s a great day to sit with a cup of good coffee, nibble on a cookie or two, listen to some Christmas music, and ease into the holiday.
For those of us who are not especially religious, Christmas really is about family. Christmas Eve is a great day to pause for a bit and reflect on family — milestones reached, accomplishments logged, and those who have left us except in memory. We’re glad that Russell is home with us, and we’re thinking of Richard far away, and we’re happy that everyone is safe and sound as another year comes to a close.