With their own families safe and happy at home, stuffed full of Christmas dinner and surveying their gifts, Toni Woodroffe and Kurtis Heketoa-King headed off to work.
There, they spent time with families on the flip side of life's coin, families in strife, danger and right in harm's way.
Woodroffe and Heketoa-King are both police constables and work out of the Manurewa station.
And both worked last Christmas.
It's business as usual for police over the holidays - they know when they sign up that there's no time off from crime.
But it's always harder to do the job over the festive season, particularly when they are confronted with abused women and terrified children.
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"Police work every day of the year, but working at Christmas time is a lot harder," said Woodroffe.
"Traditionally, Christmas is about family, spending time with them with a priority perhaps on children. But often for some people the priority is on alcohol and that's quite disappointing."
Heketoa-King said it was difficult to leave his own family on Christmas Day to go to work, but he was comforted that they were safe and happy.
"During the festive season you'd like to think that everyone is in the Christmas spirit," he said.
"But during Christmas family harm still occurs."
Heketoa-King echoed Woodroffe's sentiments about alcohol being one of the biggest causes of harm over the holidays.
"Most of the jobs I attended involved alcohol and the abuse of alcohol - people drink too much and take their issues out on their families, even their kids.
"When I attend those jobs I feel sorry for the families ... At Christmas everyone should be in good spirits."
On Christmas Day last year the country's top cop spent time with his troops.
Commissioner Mike Bush visited several Auckland police stations, leaving his own family behind to do his job.
"All of our staff have families who they won't see today. They're going out in the community and keeping it safe," he said.
"A lot happens around the Christmas period. There is an increase in family violence and other alcohol-related crime. That puts a lot of pressure on our people. But it is really important that we're here."
If you're in danger NOW:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay
Where to go for help or more information:
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz
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