Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday, but many private sector businesses close all day or half a day on December 24. For those in retail, it's usually a busy working day as people shop for last minute Christmas gifts. Schools and other educational centers are usually closed, and public transit systems may run reduced services.
This year President Obama is giving federal employees Christmas Eve off. An executive order signed today closes all executive branch departments and agencies except where employees are needed for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need. Many past presidents have also given employees a holiday on Christmas Eve.
2013 federal and national holidays
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