Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Tuesday, 17 December 2002

Just a few months after starting my first full-time job, I went home for Christmas. It was fun to be home, but I remember the traveling as terrible--crowded planes, crowded airports, and bad weather. (That last isn't so surprising, since I was going home from Ft. Lauderdale to Kalamazoo in December.)

After that experience, I decided that Christmas was the wrong time to travel. It was much better to go home in the summer (or spring or fall) when the weather was good and the roads and airports less busy.

Since I wasn't traveling, I've tended not to take vacation time around Christmas. It's actually a good time to be at work--there tend to be few meetings, no emergencies. I can come in a little late, take it easy and visit with people, and still get a full day's work done in time to leave a little early.

So, except for a couple of times when employers in financial difficulty required everyone to take time off over Christmas, for the past twenty years, I've usually worked the non-holiday days around Christmas and New Year's.

But this year I'm taking the week of Christmas off.

It's partly because Jackie's mom is going to be here, and I wanted to spend time with her. And, because of a change in my employer's vacation policy, I'll have to take a lot of vacation over the next year. (I won't be allowed to carry forward more than 40 hours at the end of next December. In the past we were allowed to accrue up to two year's worth of vacation time.)

It's odd to take vacation at this time of year, though. It's almost like being back in school and coming to the end of a semester. My wrapping stuff up is in synch with everyone else wrapping stuff up. I haven't experienced that much.


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