The Sucker’s Guide To Working The Day After Christmas


You’re likely sitting at your desk right now reading this. For that, I am sorry. You should be in pajamas, drinking, soaking in all the holiday season has to offer. Instead, you’re plopped behind your desk and questioning your very existence.

I’m right there with you though. I’ve worked many a Boxing Day. For me, the day after Christmas was an even bigger deal than Christmas itself. My family even has our own name for the day after Christmas. It’s called Pajama Day and you can guess what we do all day. Yeah, we only wear pajamas, eat pizza, watch movies and drink. I usually don’t even shower until 4 p.m., if at all.

Unfortunately, money never sleeps and neither does your boss. They need you at work the day after Christmas, because they have no time for holiday spirit and joy. Once the clock strikes midnight on December 26, fun’s over.

All you gotta do is survive.

1. Absolutely NO Christmas music.

The last thing you need is a reminder that it is still in fact the holiday season. I know Josh Groban singing “O Holy Night” puts you in a crazy festive mood, but you need to eliminate any and all residual reminders of Christmas. Get rid of all the Christmas decorations in your cube and throw them away. It’ll only make you depressed. Your mission for today is to become a soulless, joyless robot. Even more so than usual. Head down, work hard. I know you really want to listen to “Happy Xmas” by Celine Dion just one more time, but save it for the weekend. Just get through these eight hours.

2. Show up early.

The best thing you can do for yourself is limit your interaction with people and set your own tone for that day of work. How do you do this? Get into the office before anyone else. Want to half ass it? No worries. You were the first one in the office. No one will ask any questions. The morning calm of the office will put you at ease before the shitstorm rolls in.

3. Foster some goodwill with a donut run.

I know I said show up early and that requires waking up early after the happiest day of the year, but fostering goodwill around the office will put people in a good mood. Everyone will say that they “really shouldn’t” because they’re going on a “diet,” but you can bet your ass those sugar-coated circles of joy will be gone before lunch. You are a champion of kindness. Everyone’s in the same boat.

4. Don’t bitch about it.

You aren’t the only one suffering. Morale will be at an all-time low among the grunts and even some of the management. It’ll be tempting to send that “This is so fucking stupid” chat. Don’t do it. The beauty of this year’s Christmas is that the day after is just a one day week until you get to the weekend. Survive.

5. Hangover survival/good breakfast

#5 was going to be “Don’t get wasted on Christmas,” but what kind of monster tells you not to get lit on egg nog on Jesus’s b-day? Exactly. Since it’s the day after a holiday, you’ll get some leeway as far as tardiness goes. Pop into a 7-11 and pick up some coconut water, Gatorade and advil, unless you’re a real pioneer and keep all that stuff in your desk like a seasoned pro. If that’s the case, McDonald’s breakfast. You’ve already been pumping your body full of fat and sugar for weeks now. What harm is one last calorie-fest going to do you?

Even if you aren’t hungover, get a good breakfast in you. Most important meal of the day. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

6. Effective time management.

What was the reason for you to come into the office? Is it a meeting? Is it a year end review of some sort? Big client presentation on Monday? Nose to the grindstone, pound it out, and don’t look at the clock until you start to see the sun go down. It’s a Friday, anyway. Could be worse.

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Brian McGannon

What do I love? I love happy hour, a good golf tan, and getting moderately drunk during dinner.

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