Santa isn’t the only one busy on Christmas Day. While many of us tuck into a festive feast and spend time with the family on December 25, there is an army of workers for whom the day is business as usual.
If cooking the Christmas turkey fills you with dread, then spare a thought for Stephen Lech.
The Sydney chef will be serving up 1,000 hot meals on Christmas Day, including everything from pineapple and rum-glazed ham to Balmain bugs and oysters.
He said the spread was perfectly suited to families and included a chocolate fountain and more than one fruit mince pie.
But you won’t hear him complain about having to work on one of his busiest days of the year.
“Celebrating Christmas usually comes before or after Christmas,” he said.
“But we know that on the day it’s part of the hard work, part of our passion, part of being a chef and working in this industry.
“We share a meal after service, so we all sit down and have probably a glass of champagne.”
The tram driver
For “chatty” tram driver Kate Priest, Christmas Day is actually one of the most fun days to work.
The Melbournian said it was all about a subtle shift in mood from the passengers as they swapped the office for the family gathering.
“It’s good; it’s a relaxed atmosphere,” she said.
“You don’t have people rushing because they’ve got to go to work. They’re actually going somewhere that they want to go.
“You don’t have anyone going, ‘Oh you’re late!’ or, ‘Oh I want to get there and there’s traffic’.”
Kate said the free tram travel on Christmas Day also made it the best time to hop on for the first time and take the kids for a spin on the rails.
Kylie Evans has been a firefighter for 10 years, so she knows that sometimes the job has to come before a lot of other things, including Christmas lunch.
“When we apply to join the fire brigade we know it’s a shift-work job,” she said.
“And part of our job is just knowing sometimes we’re not available for special occasions — so Christmas, Easter, birthdays, anniversaries, kids’ graduations.
“We just know that’s a part of what we have to sacrifice for the work we’re committing to for the greater good.”