Even though President Trump declared a holiday on Monday December 24th 2018, for most commentators, yesterday’s announcement that Tuesday December 24th would be a federal holiday came as a surprise.
This because Christmas Day falls on Wednesday in 2019. The last time Christmas Day fell on a hump day was 2013. That year President Obama did not declare a holiday for federal workers on Christmas Eve. The last time workers got time off on a Tuesday was 2002 when President George W. Bush declared a half-day holiday.
The executive order said: “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.”
Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday, but the president can issue an executive order to give federal workers the day or a half day off if he chooses. In his executive order, Trump directed agency heads to determine what employees needed to work “for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need,” but the vast majority of federal workers will have the day off.
This year Christmas Eve is also a state holiday in 11 states. Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that just over one-quarter of all employees in the private sector will also enjoy a day off for Christmas Eve.