• External Contributor

It's okay to work this Christmas

Obviously it's okay to take the holiday season off work. But if you clicked this article, you already knew that. And if you didn't know, there are about 1 million articles out there, this one just isn't for you.

Particularly this year, we are seeing a lot of people switching off for the holidays. Which is great, especially for people who are usually on their #grind throughout the holidays but always dream of time off. But for a lot of us, working through the holidays is a necessity, or a preference.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

For small business owners or sole traders, holidays are often not a reality. Some people simply can't afford to take a break because it's to expensive to pay staff, or they are a one-person operation. Some people will have just started a business and will want to keep working. For a lot of people, 25 December is just a day. A day to fill with work, chores, Netflix, exercise, or something else. This is less a comment on religion (although that does work), and more a comment on the fact that some people are simply not into Christmas.

While hustle culture is still well and truly alive, there is a new movement that has taken off particularly this year. It's all about #selfcare and spending time with our loved ones. There's nothing wrong with that really. Nothing at all. But along with it comes the pressure from family and friends to go out, get drinks, have a picnic, attend a massive family event, take a group holiday. For a lot of people, these events can be more stressful than staying at home to work or get things done.

Responding to someone's plans to work over Christmas shouldn't always include a "poor you," or an invitation for them to spend the day with you. It shouldn't include a "why don't you just take a week to relax?" or "that stuff can wait until next year." For many small businesses, it simply can't. For sole traders, no days are ever truly 'off'. Even a holiday or a relaxing Sunday will include a quick phone call, a few emails, or a couple of posts on social media.

Some people get true joy from working. We're seeing so many young people starting up their own businesses from home. Crafting items to sell on Etsy, creating communities online, building things, designing websites. Young people are changing the meaning of the word work. For us, work doesn't have to mean sitting at an office from 9 to 5. It often means being hunched over pieces of jewellery at 2am, taking aesthetic photos of the sky for Instagram feeds, and working every day. Even Christmas.