Christmas Day 2023

Hecate the tortoise shell cat lying on a window seat.
Hecate is clearly working very hard today.


Happy Christmas to all who celebrate. This post is especially for those for whom Christmas is a working day.

One book that caught my eye is Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat . . . but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime.

This is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.

I would have tried to sneak in a capsule review but… gasp! the book is not readily available in ebook form. I’ve got a hardcover on order; maybe a review will show up in a few days.

Some more readings:

The First Christmas from The EMS Siren:

We arrived at the ER entrance and my partner opened the side door to help her out and into a wheelchair. Before turning to step down she looked at me, there was uncertainty on her face, the unknown of what was going on in her mind and in her future was palpable, but now he was here with her. She smiled a little smile and clasped my hand, nothing needing to be said.

From RedHat, 5 tips for being the family holiday sysadmin:

It’s the holiday season. That means an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family who we haven’t seen for a while, eat too many desserts, and use up the remaining vacation days before the New Year. For those of us who work in IT, that also means a chance to help our relatives with all of their technical problems.

Via Vox, an interview with Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, The history of Jews, Chinese food, and Christmas, explained by a rabbi:

In the last 35 years, Chinese restaurants on Christmas have really become this sort of temporary community where Jews in the United States can gather to be with friends and family. It’s a secular way to celebrate Christmas, but it’s also a time to shut out Christmas and announce your Jewish identity in a safe environment.

(And since Chinese dishes made from pork or shrimp are hardly kosher, Gaye Tuchman and Harry G. Levine on “Safe Treyf”: New York Jews and Chinese Food.)