Make Christmas Eve a Federal Holiday

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Target: President of the United States Barack Obama

Goal: Designate December 24, Christmas Eve, as a federal holiday.

Though Christmas is a Christian holiday, the event’s significance has become more cultural than religious in recent years, as Christmas has been packaged with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa to create what is commonly referred to as the “holiday season.” Christmas Eve, however, remains a workday, disrupting travel schedules, keeping families apart, and adding undue stress at a time meant for relaxation and leisure.  Support for the holiday has demonstrably increased, as Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have repeatedly rewarded employees with a holiday on December 24th in recent years. With a sympathetic president and a willing public, it is clear that the time has come to make December 24, Christmas Eve, a full-time federal holiday.

The first instance of reducing the workload on Christmas Eve came in 1946, when federal employees were given a half-day. In the following decades, holidays were sporadic at best: federal employees often only received a full holiday when Christmas Eve fell on a Monday.  In the past decade, however, the government has grown more generous. In 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2008, George W. Bush provided a full day off on Christmas Eve. Barack Obama has continued the practice, ordering half- or full-day holidays on Christmas Eve in 2009, 2012, and 2014. In 2014, President Obama declared the day after Christmas a holiday as well.

As noted above, Christmas has become more than a religious event; it is a cultural celebration, and employees deserve the right to fully celebrate the occasion. Christmas Eve is loaded with intense spiritual meaning for many citizens, and the holiday would provide a morale boost to the nation’s workforce. The extra day would permit longer visits with family and would allow more travel time for those with long distances to cover. Losing one business day would have minimal economic impact as many major businesses, including Target, Best Buy, and Walmart, close early, while some retailers are completely closed for the duration of Christmas Eve. By signing the petition below, you will help urge our president to provide mental, emotional, and spiritual relief to a dedicated and deserving workforce.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama,

In recent years, Christmas has become more than a religious celebration. It is a nationally-celebrated holiday, and employees deserve the right to fully celebrate the occasion. With an executive order, you have the authority to declare December 24th, Christmas Eve, a federal holiday. I urge you to do so, so that our dedicated and hardworking employees may enjoy a moment of emotional and spiritual respite.

The addition of a single day off would provide a significant morale boost to the nation’s workforce with minimal impact on our economy, as many major retailers such as Target, Best Buy, and Walmart now close early to allow employees time to be with their families. Your own administration has been especially generous, offering half- and full-day holidays on Christmas Eve, and the time has come to make it the day an officially recognized holiday.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: daveynin

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125 Signatures

  • Maryann Smale
  • Janet Delaney
  • Eric von Borstel
  • ORPHA DESS WILSON
  • Muhammad Kamal
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