Christmas is on the worst day of the week possible this year, Sunday, which also means New Year's Day is on the worst possible day of the week. (For those of you waiting for my patented Christmas is always on a __ day, I will eventually bring that back in due time, but right now I'm working on changing a ton of things so I'm skeptical to play the hits right away and expect cheers).
Christmas and New Year's Day on Sundays meant in the workforce you worked right up until Friday and then took the observed holiday on Monday and back to work you went Tuesday like nothing ever happened. No real feel of a break, you are still there til 5pm on a Friday making calls, handling reports etc and then your home to wrap gifts, pack bags if you are heading out of town, juggling travel with significant others families as well as your own, all weekend. If you're lucky you enjoy a gift, a cold one and a meal.
Monday the 26th and January the 2nd are decent days to sleep in but at at 1pm you start to hit the "scaries" of needing your lunch packed, your shirts ironed and gas in your car for your commute back into work Tuesday. I would argue the 27th is the worst of the two days, because the first day back from the New Year always sucked. The one back from Christmas isn't supposed to be a full week or for you to have responsibilities, but when companies can get 4 days of stuff done they'll do it so there you are answering calls or entering data when all you want to be doing is sitting on the couch in new pajamas watching a bowl game drifting in and out of sleep without a care in the world.
Now, the work force is one thing. Adults have jobs they can handle it. The school systems making students attend a full week this week should be ASHAMED. I know different school systems across the country are operating on different calendars but New York City Dept of Ed has a full Monday to Friday schedule this week.
That means across this (sometimes) great city, kids are forced to sit at their desks from 8am- 3pm on all days including December 23rd. In what world is this fair, or productive? We all know nothing gets done Christmas week especially in grade school. Teachers close up the textbooks, put away the lesson plans and roll out the DVD's. Geometry takes a back seat to Frosty the Snowman. Tests are gone, and paper snowflakes are made until you are blue in the face.
The teachers in grade school talk to you like an idiot and make it seem like they are doing you a favor and this is a "special treat" as long as you keep your voice down, meanwhile the principal has been in on this "week off" since they set the calendar the year before. They know it's a joke week and if it was up to them they would give their staff off, but they answer to the city so they shut up, show up and mail it in. Nowhere on the calendar does it say what kind of schoolwork needs to be done, just that you have to be there.
In high school, the teachers are a little more up front with the plans. I had one flat out say, "I went out with my friends last night, and I'm going out again tonight. There's no lesson plan just sit and talk quietly for 45 mins without any problems and let's all get the hell out of here." in the middle of the week. There's usually some kind of mass if you got to a catholic school or pageant or assembly if you go to a public school which they know is just a way to waste 45 minutes to an hour of the pointless day of the pointless week. Everyone there talks the same way, "This is a total waste of time."
Which brings me to my conclusion / summary that while the schools that have to answer to city organizations are somewhat in the clear for making students go all week. Their hands are essentially tied. They can't just give days off when they report up to bigger figures. It's how shit goes. Now, those schedule makers in the city need to have their heads examined if they think anything productive has ever been accomplished in academia the week of Christmas week.
However, the schools that set their own calendar (ie- pick the days they are in operation) should be disbanded and face fines if they willingly send students and staff into the building for full days Monday to Friday, including the last just 2 days before Christmas. Absolute lunacy, and if you know of these schools or work at or attend one of them you should rethink everything because they have no brains.
Lastly, you are probably asking what I would do in cases like this year? Well January 3rd return sadly is kind of just how it is, it's sucks ass but thats how it goes. At least you got Monday off, that's how the cookie crumbles.
Regarding Christmas week I would go half day Wednesday (with the morning session dedicated entirely to class parties or a school assembly) and then done for the week in an ideal world. In a school where you really want to be sticklers, half day Thursday but even that's nuts. Let the kids go home, let the staff go home. Deep clean the building and go enjoy yourselves. It's Christmas for God's sake.