The Christmas Day holiday falls on a Saturday this year, meaning the official day off for most federal employees will be the Friday before, or Christmas Eve.

In most years, feds are only guaranteed paid time off on Christmas day, and the option to dismiss feds a day or a few hours early before the holiday is left up to the president.

In the last decade, the sitting president has signed an executive order in five of those years to grant time off for Christmas Eve: in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2015 and 2012. President Barack Obama also signed an executive order in 2014 to grant feds a holiday on the day after Christmas.

In most circumstances, an additional day off is given when the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, and the president decides to prevent employees from having to come in to work for only a single day, before going back to time off.

Christmas Day fell on a Saturday in 1999, 2004 and 2010, and none of the sitting presidents at those times opted to grant feds an additional day off prior to the guaranteed Friday Christmas Eve.

Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.

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