SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Not everybody gets a break on holidays. In some professions, including this one, working on Christmas or New Year's Eve is just part of the territory. We asked our listeners who are working this holiday season to tell us about it.
"The Nutcracker" doesn't take a vacation. Marlene Olson Hamm is an assistant wardrobe supervisor at the New York City Ballet, where they've put on 49 performances. Two of them will be on Christmas Eve.
MARLENE OLSON HAMM: It can feel like you're missing out on the holiday season - time with your family, all the Christmas parties.
SIMON: Trudy Kemp from Owasso, Okla., not only works Christmas, she works overnight. But there are perks.
TRUDY KEMP: Because I'm a nurse, I work with mommies and babies.
SIMON: Thomas Hukriede cooks at a restaurant called The Laundry in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Wonder why it's not called The Kitchen. Anyway, he's pretty happy with holidays in the kitchen.
THOMAS HUKRIEDE: We love what we're doing, and we're happy to be working there. So the best Christmases that we have are together, loving what we do.
SIMON: Thomas says restaurants are warm and inviting places for people who may be far away from their families during the holidays.
HUKRIEDE: Restaurants are like a family. And if it's slow, you're just making a lonely holiday season lonelier. So don't be afraid to come down for a drink or a meal. Let the restaurant be your friends and family during the holiday season.
SIMON: Even though nurse Trudy Kemp is at the hospital pretty late, she looks forward to having an ornament exchange and a potluck meal while on duty. And she especially enjoys singing Christmas carols to the newborn babies.
KEMP: At night sometimes, I will actually walk in the hall - and I have done this forever. But I will actually sing as I'm going up and down the hall. And I do add Christmas carols.
SIMON: Her favorite song goes...
KEMP: (Singing) It's the best time of the year. Here's a toast to Christmas cheer. We will eat and drink our fill until there's nothing left in sight, for we'll have a party tonight.
SIMON: Oh, what a wonderful way to be greeted into this world. To anybody working or not working - well those who are working, thanks very much. Happy holidays. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.