UPDATE: On Dec. 21, President Obama issued an executive order excusing all non-Postal Service federal employees from duty on Tuesday, Dec. 24. You can read the details in this memo from John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Hoping to help ease the sting of the having their pay frozen, federal employees have posted a petition on the White House's "We the People" Web site asking President Obama to give them Christmas Eve off.
In 2010, Obama froze the pay of all federal employees for the years 2011 -- 2012, and in August 2012, he extended the pay freeze through at least April of next year. In addition, the size and cost of maintaining the federal workforce became a target for attack during the presidential election and federal workers could become victims of "fiscal cliff" legislation.
The petitioners contend that by declaring December 24, 2012 a paid holiday for federal workers, President Obama would be making a "good gesture to improve morale of the federal workforce."
This would be far from the first time a president has pulled the old Ebenezer Scrooge switcheroo and given the Bob Cratchits of the federal workforce some extra paid time off around Christmas.
As the petitioners point out, President Obama gave federal workers a half-day off on Dec. 24, 2009 and President George W. Bush gave them a half-day off on Dec. 24, 2002 and full days off on Dec. 24, 2001, Dec. 26, 2003, Dec. 24, 2007, and Dec. 26, 2008.
Created in 2011 as an extension of President Obama's government transparency initiative, the White House's "We the People" feature allows Americans over the age of 13 to quickly create and sign petitions on any topic.