Local mothers work this Christmas

Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 24, 2011

Andalusia Manor CNA Monica Hall prepares to take a resident his or her lunch on Friday. Hall is one of the many people throughout Covington County who have to work on Christmas Day. | Andrew Garner/Star-News


Tomorrow, while many mothers across the county are nestled snuggly with their children enjoying the surprises that Christmas morning brings, two local mothers will be among those at work taking care of those who are unable to be at home this holiday.

Kandise Finley, a registered nurse at Andalusia Regional Hospital, and Monica Hall Lee, a certified nurses assistant at Andalusia Manor, will both be on the job.

“Typically, I work during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Finley said. “Normally, I am off on Christmas Eve. My daughters are older, so we don’t have any Christmas morning traditions, and they usually spend the day with their grandparents.

“I usually offer to work on Christmas so that my co-workers with small children can be with them on Christmas morning and see their faces as they open their gifts,” she said.

Though Finley works on Christmas, her family isn’t without its own traditions.

“My family does our gift exchange on Christmas Eve evening after we attend the candlelight service at Red Oak Baptist Church,” she said.

Lee has four children – ages 16,14, 13 and 11 – and they, too, spend Christmas Eve together.

“My kids are great and very understanding,” she said. “My husband has been in prison for a while, so they know mama’s got to work. Besides, what kid has a problem having Christmas a day early?”

“Of course, no one wants to work on Christmas, but in the medical profession, there are no holidays,” Finley said. “People get sick and need help. I am just happy to be able to help, no matter how big or small.”

Lee agreed.

“My residents are also like my family, so I don’t mind spending Christmas with them,” she said.

Finley said she tries to spread Christmas cheer to those who are in the hospital.

“While working on Christmas Day, I try to keep a little Christmas music playing and wear holiday scrubs. And, I’m blessed to spend the holidays with my work family.”

And like most nurses, there is no extra pay.

“Many other professions who work during the holidays work because they get extra pay,” Finley said. “That is not the case in nursing. There is no time and a half or double pay. We get the same hourly wage that we would get any other day of the year. We work because we care about each other and our community.”