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Christmas is now in full swing, and you’re getting a few days off this holiday season. But spare a thought for the people who woke up on Christmas morning yesterday with a day of work ahead of them – and it’s more common than you might think!

Research* carried out on our behalf last year found that almost one in six respondents were scheduled to work on Christmas Day. A further one in five revealed that they’d be working on Boxing Day as well. Although work was probably the last thing you’d want to be doing on the day, there are some positives to missing out on the festive event.


There are a number of reasons why you could have been working this Christmas Day – your employer may work off a rota and this year just so happened to be your day in. Or you could have been contracted to work the day if you work in the public sector (say as a nurse, police officer or firefighter). The same goes for those of you that work in the hospitality or entertainment sector, at a pub, restaurant or hotel as these are very often open on Christmas Day.

You may have volunteered to work the day if you don’t celebrate the holiday. If this is the case, you may have been tempted to sign up to this for the pay – last year, just under a third of people said they were opting to work Christmas for the overtime. Choosing to make this sacrifice could pay off in the long run if you’re short on cash, particularly as the wait for January payday is always longer than usual!

Postpone celebrations

But just because you were working on the day doesn’t mean that Christmas is cancelled. You could arrange another date with your loved ones to celebrate and spend the day together – it will still be filled with all of the same things, just one or two days later. If you’re thinking of doing this, you won’t be alone – last year, the majority of respondents (87 per cent) who said they were working Christmas Day revealed that they’d be celebrating on a different day.

You could even make a late Christmas work to your advantage by doing most of your shopping in the Christmas sales. The majority of food and presents will now be reduced as the 25th December has passed, so you could be able to pick up last minute gifts or even the full turkey and trimmings spread for a fraction of the price.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 21st November and 28th November 2014, of whom 636 were Scottish residents.

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