Thanking those who help us find our way home for the holidays

Shelly Gigante

By Shelly Gigante
Shelly Gigante specializes in personal finance issues. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications and news websites.
Posted on Dec 10, 2019

Each year, more than one-third of Americans (112 million) take to the roads, rails, and skies, during the holiday season to reconnect with those they love. Bearing pumpkin pies and wrapped gifts, they brave weather, traffic, and baggage claim queues to make new memories and reminisce with family and friends.

The meals we share as we come together at the holiday table reinforce our sense of community. They are moments made possible by the silent crusaders who sacrifice their family traditions to help get us where we need to go.

From the air traffic controllers who keep arrivals and departure times running smoothly, to the baggage handlers, to the snow plow drivers who keep the roads safe when a wintry weather strikes, transportation workers are the heroes behind every holiday. With tireless dedication, they work around the clock and remain on call to manage the traffic crunch. And many do it with panache.

Take the bus driver in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who decorates his vehicle each year like Santa’s sleigh, or the New York taxi cab driver with a lit menorah and a mounted megaphone on his roof that blares Hanukkah music.

Others in the transportation sector choose to spread the holiday spirit in song. There’s the train conductor who led an impromptu holiday concert on his train (two years in a row) when he bumped into the Yale University glee club, and the flight attendants who serenaded passengers with classic carols like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” over the PA system.

And some use their line of work to give back. Over the last few years, the Yellow Cab company in Houston has transported nearly 3,000 Army, Navy, and Air Force trainees from their base to the San Antonio airport for free in December so they could enjoy their first holiday at home since joining the military. Company management said in a prior press release that they do it to say “thanks to these brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country.”

So, this holiday season, as you journey to see family and friends, take a moment to say thanks to the workers who helped you along of the way.

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The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual and its subsidiaries, employees, and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own tax or legal counsel. Opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of MassMutual.