Obama Proves He's No Scrooge The president is giving federal employees a half-day on Christmas Eve By Michael Harthorne, Newser Staff Posted Dec 12, 2015 2:40 PM CST 125 comments Comments President Obama is taking a lesson from "A Christmas Carol" and letting government employees off early on Christmas Eve. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (Newser) – Presumably after being visited by three spirits who managed to do it all in one night, President Obama signed an executive order on Friday giving all federal employees a half-day on Christmas Eve, the Hill reports. And government employees will still be paid for those four hours off, to boot. The Washington Post notes that the executive order generated seven pages of questions and answers from the administration "because nothing is simple in Uncle Sam's land." One of those clarifications: Department heads can decide if some employees are too essential to be let off early for Christmas. Sounds like bad news for NSA deputy director Bob Cratchit.