It’s technically a few more days of Christmas

If you really don’t want the cheering to end, you might have an excuse to keep going, according to some theologians, who say Christmas is meant to last 12 days and doesn’t begin until December 25.

In theory, those who celebrated the holiday for its religious significance should celebrate it by January 5, also known as the twelfth night, according to

Some denominations within the Christian faith celebrate the 12 days by observing the feast days of various saints.

Others give gifts at this time, which is the origin of the song of the 12 days of Christmas.

Interestingly, ancient people did not work during this period.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa Declares December 27 Public Holiday

Extended vacation time not feasible

However, an extension of the public holidays does not seem feasible these days.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa declaring December 27 a public holiday has little impact on the economy, a public holiday on a normal day could cost the economy on average around R20-30 billion in lost production, according to economist Dawie Roodt.

If the country has to add the extra days of Christmas to the bank holiday calendar, the final settlement of that bill will mean an additional R180-600 billion loss to the economy.

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Roodt also believes that SA already has far too many public holidays at this time. Read more here.

But without realizing it, many companies are factoring in the 12 days, with a number of companies closing their doors around December 16 and seeing the return to work around January 6, or the Monday after the New Year.

When exactly is work again?

The Consolidated Employers Organization encourages companies to communicate these days to employees early, well before the start of the annual break, to avoid problems with extended Christmas celebrations.

“A common problem that employers have to deal with is their employees not reporting to work by the stipulated return date.

“This is a breach of the employee’s contractual obligation to remain on duty. If an employee is unable to return to work after a period of annual leave, the employee may reasonably be required to notify the employer of his whereabouts and the reason for his absence from work.

“This requirement is often not met, and the employer is obliged to investigate the employee’s absence and the reason for the absence,” the organization advised on its website.

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