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'Morning Edition' Salutes Those Working On Christmas

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This Christmas Day, Morning Edition is hearing from people across the country who are spending the holiday on the clock — from nurses to tech hotline workers to soldiers.


We hope that you're spending this holiday around the people who matter most in your lives. But not everyone has the day off. And we wanted to hear from people who are working today. So, we called out on NPR's Facebook page and we heard back from hundreds of people - from soldiers to snowplow drivers. We called a few of them up and put together this audio portrait of people working today. We're calling it Christmas on the Clock.



MATTHEW STEVENS: It is one of the busiest days for movie theaters.

LAURA PARKS: It's a really busy time for us because we make custom pies.

ALLISON LANDES: Working on the farm for Christmas - feeding the ponies, cleaning the stalls, keeping warm.

M. WILKINSON: I am an Episcopal priest. We have the two services Christmas Eve and the one on Christmas morning; two services the following Sunday and we have a New Year's Eve service. It's a lot of services.

STEVENS: This is my 10th Christmas working at a movie theater. Oh, and today is also my birthday.

BUTCH TRAYLOR: I'm the UPS guy here in South Georgia. If we got that package, we will get it there one way or another.

SUE DAVY: I'm going to be working at the animal shelter. We've got a couple of Christmas trees, Christmas music playing all the time. We let all the cats run around the hallways.

RACHAEL FARMER: I'm a mother-infant nurse in Flagstaff, Arizona. This season, I'm going to be putting a little red and white Santa hat on top of each newborn's head instead of the typical pink or blue hat.

SAMANTHA CHAPA: My name is Samantha Chapa. I'm a specialist in the Army and I'm a deployed soldier to Qatar. We get many care packages. People knit hats for us. They send us Christmas cookies. Little presents, little toys and everything. It does bring, like, a sense of home being away from home, especially when there's sand all over the place.

DAVY: Do I mind? Oh, my gosh. Not at all.

TRAYLOR: Everybody's glad to see you on this day.

PARKS: A lot of people come in and ask everybody I can't believe you have to work on Christmas.

TRAYLOR: Customers give us fruitcakes and homemade fudge.

PARKS: Everybody's pretty nice for the most part. And every now and then, someone will walk by and drop in a $20 bill in the tip jar. And it's amazing. It really makes Christmas for us.


GREENE: That was barista Laura Parks in San Diego; deliveryman Butch Traylor of Valdosta, Georgia; and Sue Davy of Petaluma Animal Services. We also heard from nurse Rachael Farmer in Flagstaff; Allison Landes on a snowy farm in Chesterfield, Idaho; the Reverends Mark and Wendy Wilkinson of Virginia Beach; Matthew Stevens, who's working on his birthday, at a Colorado Springs movie theater; and Army Specialist Samantha Chapa, who called us all the way from Qatar. Thanks to all of you who wrote in. And if you want to let us know what you're up to this Christmas Day, send us a tweet @MorningEdition or @NPRGreene.


GREENE: This is NPR News.

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