We forego four of the ten Federal "public*" holidays (Martin Luther King Day, Washington's Birthday, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day) but we make it up during the period from Christmas to New Year's Day. I don't mind missing four long weekends all that much as my company is now on a 9/80 schedule. Which boiled down to its most basic means that over a two week period we work 80 hours, only we do it in 9 days rather than 10. So every other week we have a long weekend.
While the nine hour days can be a pain (especially in the winter, dark when I get to work, dark when I get home), the thought of having that long weekend gets me through the 9 hour days. I don't know why the 9 hour day seems so much longer than an 8 hour day, but it does. (This coming from a guy who regularly used to work 12-our days in the Air Force! About which there's a story. POCIR)
A lot of folks save some PTO for the week prior to the "winter" break (which I, and many others, still insist on calling the "Christmas" break) so that they might have two weeks away from work. I normally try to do that but for the second year in a row I had to use some of that PTO while I was out for medical reasons. (One of the reasons "they" don't like us calling PTO "vacation" is that we also use it for sick leave. Sort of. We used to have sick days but they were abused by some. So we lost them. Bastids.)
So I am at work for four days this week, this Friday coincides with our every other week long weekend, which, as it's Christmas, makes for a longer Christmas, er, I mean, Winter Break. Because I want to, and I can, I will be taking the first week of the year 2017 as vacation, using my PTO, not "vacation" days. Confused yet? Don't feel bad, it confused me the first five years I worked here. And I will still slip up and call a vacation, "being on leave." Which is a military thing.
The days, while short in ambient light, have not been short on cold as of late. Though we had temps in the 50s over the weekend, we're back down in the teens and 20s again. (Had a real cold snap a couple of weeks ago, hence the use of "again.") Oddly enough the wind, which seems to blow all the time here in Little Rhody, has been conspicuous by its absence. So wind chill hasn't been a factor. (See what I did there?)
Very little snow here, which is typical for Little Rhody in the late fall/early winter. The bulk of our snow seems to come in January and February. While there hasn't been much snow, there hasn't been much sun either. So the days tend to be gray and somewhat morale weakening. (I don't get depressed by such weather, though many do. It does, however, have a detrimental effect on my morale. Makes me all gloomy and such.)
While I am aware of the horror, the evil, and the turbulence of the world outside of my own, I try not to let that get me down. The world has always had its share of assholes, evil-doers, and idiots, I keep them at arm's length, mentally anyway. I refuse to let the world "harsh my mellow."
Because it is the Christmas season. While, like the reformed Scrooge, I do hold the holiday in my heart year-round, I enjoy the decorations, the lights, and the carols at this time of year. Truth be told, when the lights start to go dim and the decorations come down, I do get a little depressed. I truly do wish it could be Christmas forever. But (apparently) it can't, but as the year winds down, I'll enjoy the season, come what may.
* Public because while Inauguration Day is a Federal Holiday, only Federal employees in the District get it off, and it's only once every four years. I won't begrudge them that holiday because can you imagine trying to get to work on Inauguration Day in DC? Traffic is bad enough on a "normal" day!