The Season of Escape

Columbus Day and the Jewish High Holidays have passed, but paid holidays will come fast and furious in November and December for many workers. There are Veterans Day, Thanksgiving (and the day after if you've saved a personal day to snatch a long weekend), Christmas and New Year's Day, which feels like it belongs to December.

Only in January and February are as many holidays strung together in as short a time.

Paid holidays are a wonderful thing for the 79 percent of American workers who get them. All told, one-fifth of workers get at least 10 paid holidays a year.

Dwight Nelson Lissenden, a high school art teacher in Fairfax County, will use the Thanksgiving holiday to "do the London thing" for five days.

"I only took one day off," said Lissenden, who is taking advantage of the system's holiday break.

His Thanksgiving holiday away will be his fourth long-weekend trip in 13 months, and he says he likes to "maximize our time" off by using the holidays as part of the escape. "That's become the pattern," he said.

A holiday during the holidays sounds like a festive seasonal tradition.

-- Vickie Elmer