Sometimes I think that the U.S. should just make the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, a national holiday. For the miniscule amount of work and productivity that’s accomplished, Americans would benefit from the relaxation and vacation such a period would allow.
Granted, those poor souls stuck in their retail sector ghetto would never be allowed time off. With corporate bean counters doing all they can to either recover from a lackluster holiday season, or move merchandise in their annual post-holiday price massacres, the working poor that make up American retail would be forced to perform their regular labor routines.
Having worked in a variety of places over the past ten years, I’ve found that most workers do as little work as they humanly can during this period. Additionally, with women now making up an ample portion of the labor force and taking portions of the holiday break off in order to stay home with little Johnny and Janie, voice mail greetings inform you that Mary in marketing, or Suzy in accounts payable is out of the office until January 5th. Because you can’t get anyone else to return calls, you decide to pull the plug on any meaningful projects until that second week of January.
In my own life, I’ve found it hard to rev up the productivity necessary to move my writing forward in any meaningful way this week. The two or three days around Christmas have killed my momentum. Also, most editors, publishers and others will be out of the office for much of the next week or so making any mailing of manuscripts futile. I am also being asked to work the next four nights manning the phones and handling a rush of Christmas returns in my seasonal position, so I’m in my own holding pattern of sorts.
It’s all a vicious cycle, so I really think my national holiday idea warrants some consideration. You never know, it could become a campaign issue worth considering, as leisure time is never as plentiful in America as it is for our friends across the pond in Europe.