President Obama on Friday signed an executive order giving federal employees a day off work for Christmas Eve, which falls on Monday this year.
Exceptions apply for employees asked by their departments and agencies to work for reasons of national security, defense or other public needs.
Most employees who are excused from duty on December 24th will receive the basic pay they would have received if no executive order had been issued. Workers who previously scheduled annual leave on December 24th will not be charged annual leave.
The Obama administration has promised to respond to all requests that receive 25,000 signatures.
Obama gave federal workers a half day off work in 2009, when Christmas Eve fell on a Thursday.
The George W. Bush administration allowed a full day off for Christmas Eve in 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2008, when the extra day off provided a four-day weekend. Bush also gave workers a half day off in 2002, when the date fell on a Wednesday.