President Donald Trump is granting most federal employees Christmas Eve off this holiday season when he signed an executive order Tuesday night, Dec. 17.
The executive order announced, “All executive departments and agencies of the federal government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019, the day before Christmas Day,” according to Fox News.
Because Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday, federal workers are expected to report for work, unless granted an extra day off from the president.
The order will give an estimated 2.1 million executive branch workers the added time off.
However, the executive order says, “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, 2019, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.”
Sometimes when Christmas falls on a Monday, American presidents grant federal workers an extra half-day or an entire day. But when Christmas falls on a Wednesday, it is rare for the president to give workers a whole day off.
The last time Christmas Day fell on a Wednesday in 2013, President Obama opted to keep the government open. An official at the time defended Obama’s decision, adding that the government remained open for “six of the last nine times since 1946” that Christmas Day fell on a Wednesday.