Trump gives most federal employees day off on Christmas Eve

Federal agencies will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020, President Donald Trump announced, giving federal employees an extra day off the day before Christmas.

The president made the announcement via an executive order, which he released Friday afternoon.

For the second year, Trump has chosen to buck the trend that previous presidents have often followed in granting federal employees time off before Christmas. The last time Christmas fell on a Friday was in 2015, when former President Barack Obama gave federal employees a half day off on Christmas Eve. He did the same thing in 2009, when Christmas again fell on a Friday.

Of course, not all federal employees will have the day off.

“The heads of executive departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must report for duty on Dec. 24, 2020, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need,” the order reads.

This is the third year in a row that Trump given federal employees an extra day off before Christmas. He closed federal agencies last year, the first president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to grant the day off on Dec. 24 when Christmas Eve fell on a Tuesday.

Trump also gave federal employees the day off back in 2018, when Christmas Eve fell on a Monday.

There is no guarantee that presidents will grant federal employees extra time off around Christmas. Christmas Day is a federal holiday, but Dec. 24 isn’t. The decision rests with the president, and each has handled it differently.

In 2014, Obama gave feds the day off on Friday, Dec. 26, when Christmas fell on a Thursday. In 2012, he gave employees the day off on Monday, Dec. 24.  President George W. Bush gave federal workers Monday, Dec. 24 off in both 2007 and 2001.

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