LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - On Christmas Eve, many people spent the day shopping for last minute gifts, and luckily, many local stores stayed open. But it takes workers to keep their doors open for people to do that last minute shopping.
And while much of the focus usually centers on last minute shoppers and what kinds of deals are out there, we tend to forget about those on the other end, those working on Christmas Eve.
It's not just workers at the mall. KPLC's Erica Bivens spoke with many individuals about what it's like working and shopping on Christmas Eve:
"We're just trying to do some last minute shopping, trying to beat the crowds, trying not to be too late but yet trying to get everything done today," said Melisa Walker.
Another last minute shopper, Alisa Walker said, "We're last minute shopping, because we don't have a lot of time."
But what about the people keeping their doors open today? What's it like working on Christmas Eve?
Elias Hayek says, "It's fine. It's a good time to make money. It's busy. So I mean, everybody's in here buying stuff, so it's a good time to take advantage of that situation."
Another Christmas Eve worker, John Rose says, "Its awful busy, I can tell you that. It's a lot of fun."
And sometimes working means traveling.
Rose added, "I have to travel a little bit, every now and then. I'm a long way from home -- about 8 hours."
Another man came even farther than that to work Christmas Eve. Jamil Kair traveled all the way from Bethlehem.
"First time and second time Colorado, then Chicago, then Arkansas, and then here, Louisiana," said Kair.
But even those working say family is on their mind.
And that includes those on-call or working shifts. Firefighters at Engine 4 say its not easy being away from loved ones.
"It's tough most of the time, you know, kids, most of our family does everything Christmas Eve, and I work Christmas Eve so I get to go home and open presents tomorrow and then I missed all the family gigs everybody else does," explained Captain Paul Lirette.
Lirette says you may be on that same shift for years.
"A lot of times when you if you work Christmas Day it will roll for 5 straight years, you'll be off Christmas Eve and work Christmas Day or work vice versa," added Lirette.
So this Christmas Eve, let's not forget all those who are working.
And there are a lot of people who work during the holidays. Most times we think of service industry jobs, but fire, police, first responders and many others are also working to keep the community safe.