IT'S hard to remember everyone in a speech lasting two minutes and 47 seconds, so the Prime Minister missed a few when she thanked all those whose work didn't stop on Christmas Day.
Police, fire fighters, ambulance officers, emergency personnel, churches, charities and volunteers, tick. Nurses, tick. Julia Gillard's late father was a psychiatric nurse, after all.
But in these secular, service-oriented, prosperity-challenged times, the list of everyone whose work we can't do without on Christmas Day has been growing. There were bus, train, plane, light rail, ferry and taxi drivers, of course, though the doomed monorail had its annual day off.
There were airport, restaurant, cafe, hotel and service-station workers, call-centre workers, security guards, convenience and corner-store keepers, casino staff and cruise operators.There were also media workers and, on call at the end of their mobiles, the spokesmen and spokeswomen whose job it is to respond with unfailing politeness on behalf of their organisations to silly season queries.
But workers at Stiletto in Camperdown at least had the day off. The online Christmas Day roster at Sydney's ''Taj Mahal of brothels'' was blank and the phone rang dead. On Boxing Day, a full suite of services apparently resumes, with Keisha the ''X-rated wild child'' and Bentley the ''slender passion princess'' among those on duty.
Work began as usual at 3.30am on Christmas Day for horseracing premiership-winning Sydney trainer Chris Waller.
"It's just part of life in racing that Christmas is a busy day. It's tough on everybody but you just have to accept that's the way it is," he said.
Waller - along with his 50 staff - supervised 100 horses being fed, watered, groomed and exercised. After the early start, they were done by 8am, with half the team returning in the afternoon to walk and feed the thoroughbreds. And they won't be putting their feet up on Boxing Day either. Across NSW there are 14 race meetings, making it one of the busiest days of the year.
It was ''just another day at the office'' at the Star Casino, according to one suited worker who apologised that no official spokespeople were on deck to elaborate until Thursday. There appeared to be about one staff member for every three patrons, some of the baccarat tables were empty and plenty of pokies were going begging, but it was only midday. Downstairs, the luxury stores like im lingerie, Chanel and Calvin Klein Jeans were closed but food outlets were open. It was ''quieter than expected'' at Flying Fish and Chips, the manager, Filemon Manoleskos, said, with business down by about half on last year.
By contrast, at the Marigold Restaurant in Chinatown, up to 500 people sat down to yum cha and the phone rang all morning with inquiries, the manager, Connie Chung, said. Lobster and abalone were a popular pre-order.