Okay, I shouldn't be so cynical. As the Post mentions in an earlier article:
Since 1952, presidents have given government workers an extra day off when Christmas Day falls on a Thursday. Richard M. Nixon, for example, declared a Friday holiday in 1969; Gerald Ford did the same in 1975; Ronald Reagan granted the Friday off in 1986, and Bill Clinton provided the holiday gift in 1997.
Since taking office, President Bush also has avoided being cast as an Ebenezer Scrooge. In 2001, he excused federal employees from duty on Christmas Eve (a Monday) and in 2002 he gave them a half-day off on the Eve (a Tuesday).
I'd conveniently forgotten the day off two years ago, ungrateful wretch that I am.