Working during the Holiday Season: Instead of relaxing over the holidays, some CHS students, staff have chosen to work


Avery Thorpe

Junior Kelly Xiang takes an order at Cold Stone Creamery. According to Xiang, working over break gives her something to do productively, which allows her to feel more responsible.

Raphael Li

For many people, the holidays are a time to relax with family, but for junior Kelly Xiang, she said she’ll be spending much of her winter break working at Cold Stone Creamery.

Xiang said she will work extra hours over the break but said she doesn’t mind the extra work because it gives her something to do.

“I like to always want to be doing something,” Xiang said.

“I feel like if I’m at home for two weeks, or however long the break is, just sitting on the couch with my computer, it’s probably not the best thing to do,” she said.

Xiang is part of the growing amount of people who will be working during the holiday season.

According to Fox News, many companies will be hiring extra workers or offering extra hours during the holiday season. For example, companies such as United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx will hire about an extra 95,000 workers and 50,000 workers, respectively,  while Walmart will offer extra hours to current employees.

Junior Marlie Mehrtens works at McAlister’s Deli and said she also plans to work over the break. Like Xiang, she  said she works to keep herself busy.

“It gives me something to do. I don’t like having free time and this is a set in stone way to always be busy,” Mehrtens said.

Chris Plumb, head coach for both the men’s and women’s swim team, also said a fair amount of his break is spent working.

“We have a lot of practices over break,” Plumb said. “Our championship meet starts our first week in February, so if we’re going to have a successful meet, we need to practice over break.”

Plumb said while his family doesn’t like it, they understand he needs to work.

“They understand the requirements of the job and the expectations that come along with being a swim coach. My son is a swimmer on the team, so he is fully aware of what is takes to be a great athlete especially here at Carmel and the requirements necessary to be successful,” Plumb said.

Similarly, Xiang said her family is fine with her working over break.

“As long it doesn’t interfere with my studies or a family vacation, they are fine with it,” Xiang said. “If we have a family event, they’ll tell me beforehand, and I’ll arrange my schedule to fit it. Our boss is usually very lenient with that.”

However, not everyone is as understanding. Mehrtens said her parents would rather she work fewer hours.

“They want me to have a job, but they just don’t want me to work nearly as many hours as I do. They want me to cut in half how many hours I work,” Mehrtens said.

According to Mehrtens, she works about 30 hours a week.

And Xiang said while working over break does give her some extra money, it sometimes takes away from the holiday spirit.

“I mean, I do the same things. Obviously on Christmas and Christmas Eve, I won’t be working, so I’ll still do the Christmas traditions. Also, I can always prearrange and say I don’t want to come in to work on this day, but instead I’ll come in on this day. I can still do a lot of things. It’s just, I won’t be doing them extensively so no more nine hour marathons on Netflix.

“I guess work does take away from the holiday spirit because you might have sudden plans show up. Then you have to go to work, so it puts a damper on your day,” Xiang said. “But in general, it’s a pretty easy job, so I don’t get too disappointed. Also, I work with a lot of my friends there so we can usually do something fun.”