Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Vacation Situation

Drain spout stalagmite
Help me out here, because I'm terribly curious. What's your company / school / organizational winter holiday policy?

Several suppliers have written to inform us that they'll be closed from roughly Xmas to New Year's, which seems about right. But I've heard of much more liberal policies across the pond; one unnamed Swiss fine chemical supplier indicated closure from 12/21 through 1/2/13!

Twitter tweeps and Facebook friends seem to confirm the trend: everyone has this week off (except,

Readers: gimme a 'heads-up' in the comments: how long do you shut down for the break? Do schools get more or less time than industry? Is the trend nation-specific?

Thanks!  -SAO

Update (12/27) - Heard on the Twittersphere: Merck chemists get 12/24-1/2/13, and a tweep from a K-12 software company gets 12/25-1/1/13.


  1. My research group gets 3 weeks off during the year to take when we please. We only officially get Christmas day off. I worked the day before and the day after.

  2. We got 24th dec- 2nd jan off and I think that is similar in most UK universities. Jess

  3. At our university, we get 25-1 Jan off (give or take a day or two, depending on where the weekends lie). Most people choose to take a week before that (16 Dec is a public holiday for us). However, we're in the Southern Hemisphere, so this is our Christmas holiday and summer holiday rolled into one.

  4. Grad student at R01 school - vacation policy for my group is somewhat vague. We're supposed to take about 1 week in the summer and 1 week in the winter, along with a few long weekends (no "official" holidays). Since I don't celebrate Xmas, I took a week off earlier this month and am working this week (including half a day on Xmas). Planning to take New Year's Day and half of NYE off as well. Most people in my group are gone from about Xmas to New Year's, but it's actually kind of nice being in lab with no one else around. No wait for the NMR's!

  5. CoulombicExplosionDecember 27, 2012 2:36 PM

    My company's R&D site where I work is closed 12/24-1/1/13. Official and floating holidays cover all but Friday 12/28, so we're required to use one vacation day to fill out that break.

    In grad school, I typically did same as anon 10:18, though I do celebrate Xmas. The exception was during my last year when I drove to my hometown on Xmas Eve and back up on 12/26 (two hour one-way trip).

  6. The university of Manitoba is closed from December 22nd till January 2nd. Everyone in the lab has keys to the building, but we're not normally expected to be in. Some years a postdoc or two will work through the break though.

  7. I am going to guess that I can claim total victory here. Keuka College in NY has students do field periods (internships) in January so I have been on vacation from December 17th and don't have to go back until The first week of February :) Nothing like a solid month and a half of time off!!

  8. Here in Japan, most large companies shut down for an entire week around New Year's. The 24th of December was also an unrelated holiday (it always falls on Monday and shifts around that date).

    The American firm which I am technically an employee of, in contrast, gave two days off each for Christmas and New Year's. However, as I am working for their parent company in Japan, I follow the Japanese schedule and had a four day week followed by a zero day week.