‘It comes and goes in a blur’: those who bring us Christmas

For some workers it is not the most wonderful time of the year, but the busiest

Tom Monaghan of Monaghan’s Cashmere, Dublin: “There’s no time for yourself in December, so we take some rest in March and April. Christmas is special, especially Christmas Day; still, it’s back to work for the sales afterwards.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Tom Monaghan of Monaghan’s Cashmere, Dublin: “There’s no time for yourself in December, so we take some rest in March and April. Christmas is special, especially Christmas Day; still, it’s back to work for the sales afterwards.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Here comes the Christmas break. While the rest of us get ready to wind down over the festive period, retailers and suppliers come under pressure to keep the shelves stocked and the goods flowing. It’s a huge operation but it’s also finely balanced and depends on a well-functioning society. A truck drivers’ strike, a volcanic ash cloud or widespread civil unrest or economic collapse could all bring Christmas, not to mention society, to a grinding halt. Merry Christmas, eh?

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