There will be no blog posts tomorrow or next week - I won't be publishing during the holidays. I'll be working hard on content and 2021 plans, but won't bombard you with posts.
The day before a holiday is a treacherous time for managers. It isn't unusual to have people use a vacation day on these days, but even the people who show up are usually mentally with one foot out the door. Also, this can be where fairness and equality can be an issue. If someone took the day off and used a vacation day, and you let the team go home at lunch, they get the value of time off without using any vacation time. Someone will complain that it isn't fair.
I'm not advocating any one policy (although, I was always very liberal on when people wanted to leave on the day before a holiday. But I have one story to share.
I worked for one company that had an unwritten rule about the day before a holiday or a 3 day weekend. It was never spoken by a boss, but it was always communicated to new employees by other employees. The rule was that you were allowed the leave the office 30 minutes after you boss did. The President of the company would usually leave between 9:30 and 10 am. This started the cascade until the office was usually empty by lunchtime.
This accomplished a few things. First, you got a few extra hours to get things done or start your holiday. Second, it was consistent so that everyone knew what was going to happen and could plan a little. Third, because it started with the bosses, there was no chance that someone could plan a meeting or surprise you with a task that would ruin the plan.
However you handle this with your team, have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.