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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas Day means going to work as usual for some people

Monday, December 24, 2001

SIKESTON - While the majority of people will be at home Tuesday, spending time with loved ones, opening presents and eating way too much, there are those who will spend Christmas Day at work, just like any other day.

Telephone operators will be ensuring that everyone's calls get through.

Law enforcement officials will be protecting our city.

Employees at the power plant will be moving coal so residents have electricity.

And there are countless others.

Yet surprisingly, no one seems to mind too much.

"I guess it's not too bad," admitted one area law enforcement official who asked to remain anonymous. "It's pretty quiet around here, although it would be nice to be home on Christmas."

The Sikeston Post Office will be open until noon Christmas Eve, which means Montie Escue and his employees will report to work as usual.

"The letter carriers who've been here for years tell me they usually do a little business on Christmas Eve but by 11 a.m., it's dead. I guess everyone is at home cooking meals."

But as postmaster, Escue is one of those who'll make his way to the office Christmas Day - just in case.

He will go into the office at 5 a.m. Tuesday to see if there is anything to deliver. If so, letter carrier Danny Denton will begin making his rounds.

"It's just part of the job, I've been doing it for years," Escue said with a smile. "We shouldn't have anything to deliver, but I want to go in and make sure."

Peggy Freeland, manager of the Sikeston Huck's store, reported all their employees are expected to work Christmas Day, which actually works out pretty well.

"We're open 24-7, 365 days of the year," said Freeland. "We all work on Christmas Day, it takes all of us. It's so busy because there are so many places that are closed. Christmas is our busiest day of the year, even more than rodeo week. We're also really busy Christmas Eve night."

Freeland said customers come in Dec. 25 for everything from milk to bread to eggs. Strangely enough, disposable diapers are big sellers on this particular day.

But she and her staff won't be doing without Christmas, they simply have to work around it by celebrating early or later.

"We just accept the fact that we have to work Christmas Day, it's just part of the job and one of those things we have to do. We all have to work so there's no resentment for each other so that makes it nice and another plus is the customers come in in a good mood, joking and smiling, so it's not an unpleasant place to be Christmas Day."

And then there's Leslie Evetts who actually asked to work Christmas Day. Evetts, an OB nurse at the O'Bannon Family Care Center, said since her children are grown, she volunteers to work for those who are scheduled to work Dec. 25 and have young families.

"My family has their Christmas on Christmas Eve so I still have Christmas, just a little early. I offer to work for people who have young children at home so they can be at home with them, that's what Christmas is all about. I was able to be home with my kids Christmas Day when they were little. I usually work weekends so if Christmas falls then I am obligated to work, but if it falls during the week, like this year, it's just something I like to do for others."

As an added bonus for her good deed, Evetts has the privilege of spending Christmas with women who are coming in to deliver babies, which makes it all the more special.

"It's kind of a neat thing," she said.