Many Spend Christmas Day Working

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(Memphis) Many across the city did not spend Christmas in a traditional sense.

Food is on the stove and the game is on. At first glance, it looks like a typical Christmas day. But several families are spending their holiday at Fire Station 27.

Meet Cameron Pikula and her paramedic husband.

"My husband and I got married in August, so this is our first Christmas, we are spending it at the fire station," said Pikula.

While her husband is busy running calls, Cameron is hanging out at the engine house. Both the Newlyweds have their blood relatives out of state, so Cameron says its nice to spend the holiday with their second family. Folks like Lieutenant Vincent Martin. In the last 18 years he has worked about half of them on Christmas day. He admits, that can be a little difficult.

"I have a four-year-old at home. I had to wake up extra early to wake him up, but he didn`t want to get up. I had to rush in here to work," said Martin.

The dad had to explain to his young son, just because it's Christmas day, it doesn't mean accidents and fires stop.

"It's about giving. When I translate that into coming to work, I'm doing what Christ would want me to," expressed Martin.

Across town at Corky's on Poplar, a festive Laetitia Sandler is answering a call of a different kind. Employees volunteered to work, serving up the sizzling barbecue to a crowded restaurant.

"I don`t celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Hanukkah. We've already had our family get togethers," said Sandler.

She did the same thing last year and is hoping to cash in on the holiday.

"It was packed. I did well. Hopefully I will make that and then some," said Sandler.

Celebrate or not, time off or not, they all say the season is about spending it with others.

"We are just thankful we are able to be together. The setting doesn't matter," said Pikula.