At the risk of sounding like a certain miserly character from "A Christmas Carol," I must voice my strong objection to the president's giving federal workers half a day off, with pay, today. My objection is not so much the cost, which I imagine is several hundred million dollars (as a taxpayer I will foot the bill). I just do not think federal workers should be treated any differently from private-sector workers, and this is a perfect example.

Most people know at the beginning of a year how much vacation they will have and when they will have holidays, and can plan accordingly. They can also look on a calendar and see that this year Christmas is on a Friday. I did that and have saved my vacation days for this holiday so that I can be with my family. I am not asking those who sign my paycheck to give me the time off, with or without pay. I believe federal workers are capable of planning their time off and should not just expect the taxpayer to let them off the hook (that it has happened before should not be cited as a precedent).

For all those who clamored for a holiday today, Christmas is also on a Friday in 1992, so don't expect Dec. 24, 1992, off -- plan your vacation accordingly. DANIEL HELLSTROM Sterling