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The 6 Unsung Heroes of the Holidays

Jesus. Santa. Hanukkah Harry.

This time of year I feel like some people get all the spotlight!

Not not to take away from any of our commonly celebrated figures, but there are so many other people that go into making all  holidays great! In the flurry of vacations, gift shopping, cookie baking, and all of our holiday traditions, I feel like sometimes it’s easy to forget about all of our “behind the scenes” folks who work to create all of the magic that people feel this time of year.

So, let’s all take a moment to honor all of our forgotten heroes of the holidays!


1. Coffee Baristas

You’re up at 6:00 a.m. You’re out and about until midnight. You need a pick me up. They put up with your haggard, crazy self and don’t even bat an eye when your lack-of-caffeine-induced mania causes you to yell at them when they give you a full-shot of Hazelnut instead of a half. Never mind that there’s a line of 10 people at all times, they somehow miraculously are able to get you your drink in minimal time so you can go about your business. And, long after you’ve taken yourself home for a long winter’s nap, they’re still there weighing out beans, mopping up the floor, only to come back for open the next day at 5:00 a.m. They also don’t usually get Xmas eve off, and sometimes not Xmas day.

Thanks Baristas for making sure that during these months we stave off the drop after the shop!

2. Retail Workers

I’ve got a couple friends that work at a certain high-end, hoity toity accessory store. One woman had the gal to call their store and yell at them for ruining her daughter’s  Christmas surprise by telling her what was in the box she was picking up.


Sophia keeping it oh, so real. 

These ladies, and other retail friends, are in the store 8 hours a day folding tissue paper, carefully tying pretty bows, and navigating treacherous back rooms for your requested items.  What’s more, is they, for the most part actually PRETEND to care about all our first-world problems! We don’t have those shoes in your size? Let me call around to other stores! You need your 10 scarves gift-wrapped separately? We’ll get that done for you right away?

Holidays are often high-pressure. The gatherings of extended family who only know you by that 6th grade fat picture shoved in the hallway drawer demand that you show up prepared to show how awesome, capable, and thoughtful you are. This often means perfectly chosen, impeccably wrapped gifts.

So, let’s take a minute to thank all of our retail workers who put up with our last-minute gift-buying frenzies!

3. Post Office Employees

In the last couple months, part of my job has entailed taking trunk-fulls of giant boxes to mail. Consequently, I’ve been a first-hand witness to the increasingly busy and stressful work of your local post office.

A couple of weeks ago I was making my weekly run to the post office. I always feel pangs of guilt wheeling in a giant dolly of heavy boxes and taking up the counter space for 15 minutes while they weigh each piece. I struck up a conversation with Mr. Post Man Guy and it came up that a woman early that day had brought 90 boxes to mail.



How I would have reacted. 

They also commit your different shipping options to memory so that you’ll know whether you should use flat-rate, or media mail, or express. That box of adorable kids encyclopedias? Yeah, they’re lifting it and categorizing it and making sure it gets there in time for Christmas morning. And if it doesn’t get there, they’re the ones making the calls for you, even if you’re the one who decided to mail your present to your cousin in Germany on December 24.

Thanks a lot USPS!

4. Grocery Store Workers

I ran into these folks just yesterday when I was trying to get a last-minute contribution for a ladies holiday soiree.

These guys keep the aisles fully stocked with cookie tins and those fancy dinner party crackers and maintain extended knowledge of all of those fancy cheeses and wines that keep your parties festive. Don’t quote me on this, but I feel like grocery stores are probably open the longest on Xmas Eve.

Bonus: they’re able to give you the 411 on what’s fresh and on sale!

Kudos to you, grocery store guys!

5. UPS/FedEx Delivery Drivers 

Maybe these guys are just put through the wringer in Minnesota winters, but I still feel like they need some recognition.

They head out on their routes, braving bitter cold, and carry heavy boxes through  knee-high snow drifts only to ring the bells of homes where the people aren’t home. How frustrating! Yes, it’s semi annoying for us when we aren’t home to receive our packages. However, next time you get urge to complain, remember it’s really whoever sent you the package’s responsibility for sending you that gift in that way. So, don’t shoot the messenger. (Seriously, don’t).

Hat’s off to you delivery drivers everywhere!

6. Moms and Dads

Alright, alright. This one’s a little cheesy.

But think about it. Moms and Dads run around trying to keep the magic alive this time of year: baking Christmas cookies for “Santa” (and then chowing down on them even when they’re over-sugared from free office goodies), towing kids to Santa pictures (dressing them up in cute outfits, entertaining them in line, only to end up with a picture where the kid is looking away), thinking of ridiculous Elf on the Shelf predicaments, carting off to the tree lot (or, in my family’s case, pulling the fake tree up from the basement), carrying shopping bags, holing up surrounded by wrapping paper and scotch tape, only for some tubby guy in a red suit to get all the credit! Some Moms and Dads even accomplish all this stuff while being heros #1-5!

So let’s give it up for all of the Moms and Dads out there who, through it all,  are there to remind kids the importance of the holidays for their family.

Who are some of your holiday heroes?