Open Thread: What Are Your Holiday Break Plans?


Gone are the days when we were in school and got two or more weeks off at holiday time to celebrate and recuperate. Some companies shut down for an entire week or more around Christmas — and their employees probably feel pretty lucky. If you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur or just really busy at your job, you may not be able to take off more than a day or two.

But everyone needs some downtime and a chance to reconnect with family and friends. Taking at least a couple days off at the end of the year can help you feel refreshed and ready for the next one.

What are your plans for taking time off over the holidays? And what are you going to do with that downtime?

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I have two faces: one is my nonprofit face (where there’s less going on over the holidays), but for my regular job, end-of-year means bill as many hours as possible. I went skiing last week, and when the lifts shut down (4pm) was immediately online again logging billable hours. (That’s the life – ski during the day and work late.) On the other hand, my clients are mostly out of town, and this means the phone doesn’t ring, so I get lots done. Merry holidays!


I’m going into the mountains with no cell or wifi coverage. It’s been a particularly busy year — maybe I won’t come back :-)

Jason Unger

On Monday I’m going to be doing my annual 24 marathon! Watching all of Season 6, hopefully in a day or so.

And, since I’m Jewish, Xmas day means Chinese food and the movies …

Peter Krass

I still believe in vacations. I am taking off from 12/25 – 1/1, and will be out of town with my family and away from computers and e-mail.

I tell my clients ahead of time — usually, a month before, with reminders as the date gets closer. Many of them are taking time off around the holidays, too. No one is shocked or upset or disappointed.

I also tell my clients that I will check my voicemail 1x/day for emergencies. But in six years of freelancing, I have never had any of these emergencies.

E-mail when I get back is not as much of a problem as one might think. Since my clients know when I’m away, they don’t send me nonessential messages during my vacas.

For longer breaks — more than 1 week — I typically check email once a day. The point is to keep the whole checking thing down to 30 minutess a day or (way) less.

Sabela Cal

Starting from today, I won´t be taking on any freelance work until January 10th. Just writing it makes me feel dizzy, but after a hard year I have decided to be slightly poorer but happier.
For freelance translators (that´s what I am), December is a great month to start working for new clients, but the energy you get from taking time off shouldn´t be underestimated either. I always fear that people are going to forget me, but it´s never happened so far…
That said, I am based in England and will be going to my native Spain for the holidays. I have the impression that we Europeans feel less guilty about not working for long periods of time.

Amie Gillingham

I will probably take half days on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th. And I’ll work as usual on the 31 because it’s a deadline day. Pretty exciting, eh? I think it’s further proof that I’m a work-a-holic, and rationalized by the “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done because there’s nobody else” mentality. But I do solemnly promise to spend quality time with the kids and shut the laptop periodically between now and New Year’s.

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