This Christmas Eve, many workers who might normally work Dec. 24 may have time to do last-minute shopping or bake cookies for Santa.
That's because even though Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday, many businesses and federal offices will recognize it as a day off because Christmas (Dec. 25) falls on a Saturday this year.
According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there are currently 11 federal holidays established by law – including Christmas Day, but not Christmas Eve. On federal holidays, most non-essential government offices close and many federal employees nationwide are entitled to paid holiday time off.
When the typical date of a federal holiday falls on a non-workday, full-time employees are granted an "in lieu of" holiday – or a different day for the federal holiday to be observed. For example, Dec. 25, 2021 is a Saturday and the federal holiday of Christmas Day will be observed on Friday, Dec. 24.
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A similar pattern will apply to New Year's Day. Like Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve is not a federal holiday, but New Year's Day is. Because the first day of 2022 also falls on a Saturday, the federal holiday of New Year's Day will be observed on New Year's Eve (Friday, Dec. 31).
It's important to check hours with individual local and federal government offices during the holiday season. For example, the NYSE will observe the Christmas holiday on the Friday of Christmas Eve. And U.S. Postal Service Christmas Eve hours vary on location, with some post offices having limited hours. Post offices nationwide will be closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Locations will be open New Year's Eve.
Here's a list of all 11 observed federal holidays, 2022:
New Year's Day (Dec. 31, since Jan. 1, 2022 falls on a Saturday)
The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan. 17)
Washington's Birthday (Feb. 21)
Memorial Day (May 30)
Juneteenth National Independence Day (June 20)
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day Sept. 5)
Columbus Day, now recognized as Indigenous Peoples' Day in over a dozen states (Oct. 10)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24)
Christmas Day (Dec. 26, since Dec. 25, 2022 falls on a Sunday)
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Is Christmas Eve 2021 a federal holiday? Why offices may close Dec. 24