Most major American-based publishers shut down between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. The only ones still working at those times are the on-call live teams and we try not to launch anything new during the holidays in order to keep things as stable as possible so as to make minimize their workload.
It is true that the holidays tend to be lighter days for us. Many of us take our vacations during this time as well, since we’ve already got a week and a half or so of paid time off, so extending that with vacation time feels very good as well. Because so many people take vacations around this time, most big tasks get delayed or postponed through December into January.
The only real exception to this is when the project is crunching… and even then, we still get the holidays off. In my experience, I’ve crunched up to the holidays and crunched after I returned, but the time in between was never taken from me. We rarely crunch around this time, since it would mean we would be pushing towards a certification submission, but the First Party certification teams also go on holiday break so everything gets pushed back anyway.
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