Donald Trump Surprises Federal Employees by Granting Extra Day Off for Christmas Eve

Scrooge and Cratchit Make Merry
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, John Leech, Illustrator

President Donald Trump will not require federal employees to show up for work on Christmas Eve in 2019, the White House announced on Tuesday.

The president issued the un-Scrooge-like executive order on Tuesday.

“All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, the day before Christmas Day,” Trump wrote.

As Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday, federal workers are expected to report for work, unless granted an extra day off from the president.

Sometimes, American presidents give federal workers an extra half-day or an extra day when Christmas falls on a Tuesday. But it is unprecedented for the president to give workers an entire day off when Christmas falling on a Wednesday.

President Obama opted to keep the government open the last time that Christmas Day fell on a Wednesday in 2013. An official at the time defended Obama’s decision, noting that the government remained open for “six of the last nine times since 1946” that Christmas Day was on a Wednesday.

The fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge of Charles Dickens’ famous work A Christmas Carol required his employee Bob Cratchit to work Christmas Eve and grumbled when he requested Christmas Day off from work.


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