Hugo Rune wrote:
Just found out that I have to fill in for someone on Xmas Day (they have gone long term sick and I'm the only person on the team trained to take their place) and so my mother, who can not travel, will be on her own for Christmas. And I know no other family member will travel to be with her...
You've worked in the public sector for several years now, right? You should already know the answer to this sort of dilemma.
"Sorry, I can't come into work today, my back's playing up again."