Christmas Eve, Thursday December 24th 2020, is now a federal holiday, according to an executive order signed Friday by President Trump.
Under the executive order, signed Friday, “all executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Thursday, 24 December 2020, the day before Christmas Day”.
The executive order does make an exception, however, for the heads of executive departments and agencies, who may determine that “certain offices and installations of their organisations, or parts thereof, must remain open,” as well as for employees who may be needed to work for “reasons of national security, defense, or other public need”.
With Christmas Eve off, federal workers will have a four-day weekend to celebrate the holidays. It had been thought the president would give federal employees a half-day off for Christmas Eve, as that was what President Obama and President Clinton had both done when Christmas previously fell on a Friday. Obama allowed a half-day in 2015 and 2009. Clinton also allowed a half-day in 1998.
However, this is not the first time President Trump has decided to issue an executive order giving federal employees the full day off from work, as he has previously done so in 2018 and 2019.