Does the IRS Celebrate Christmas?

IRS employees are given a paid day or two off around Christmastime, so we know that the IRS observes Christmas in that manner.  The US Office of Personnel Management ( is the official source for federal holidays, and this year, for most federal government agencies, Christmas will be observed on Monday, December 26th.  But what about any other official IRS references to Christmas?

I was curious, so I searched for the term on the IRS website and there were 119 search results.  Here’s what I found:

  1. references to Christmas Island, a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean
  2. references to the deduction of expenses related to Christmas Tree cultivation in the Farmer’s Tax Guide (Publication 225)
  3. references to an oil industry term (“Christmas Tree“) used to describe “an assembly of valves mounted on the casinghead through which a well is produced”
  4. old references to “Christmas in April” foundations that had lost their non-profit status
  5. references to various business names that include the word “Christmas”
  6. various references to the service’s observation of the federal holiday

So, there are no substantive references or discussions of Christmas on the IRS website.  I suppose that is as it should be.

Christmas Carolers Banished from Post Office

Just in case you were considering the local post office as one of the stops on your caroling route this year, think again.  It would be a violation of USPS rules.

A group of carolers dressed as characters from the classic tale A Christmas Carol popped into a post office in Silver Springs (Montgomery county) Maryland recently and were told to leave by a manager. And there was no indication they were singing off-key. It’s just that the USPS does not permit public assembly inside any of its branches. In the words of USPS spokesperson, Laura Dvorak:

[T]he carolers . . . were in violation of the Postal Service’s rules on public assembly and public address. Inside the post office, however, the expectation is that public assembly will be either conducted or sponsored by the Postal Service.

This has caused quite a bit of stir on the Internet in the past few days. Some groups say this is all part of a larger scheme to de-emphasize Christmas and eliminate “anything remotely connected to anything religious” during the holidays (a.k.a., the “war on Christmas”) despite all the Christmasy — even religious-themed — stamps available this time of year.