I'm sneaking in a blog entry before the New Year even though I said I wouldn't.
I am on vacation for 11 days, but brought my computer with me and am sitting in a Starbucks doing email (and blogging) since business doesn't stop when I do. Part of this is because I deal a lot with Asian customers and factories which, while they might close on Christmas day, don't have the long shutdowns and vacations that are common in the U.S. (they do that during "holidays" like Buddha's Harvest Moon Festival). So I have received 60-70 emails every day this week - including today on Christmas eve - that demand my attention.
So yesterday I emailed everyone a schedule of my "working vacation" days and my "vacation vacation days", which delineates the days I am really on vacation versus vacation days when I will do email and phone calls (I had a 20 minute call with one of my engineers just yesterday).
Am I upset about working over my vacation? Not really. After spending a few hours with 40 relatives running around my wife's grandmother's house and other general holiday craziness, "I'm going to Starbucks to do email" is actually a good excuse to get out of the house and away from everyone for a little while.
The other issue is preventing email from stacking up - which Techdirt notes is another reason people do email over the holidays. If I get ~70 emails a day, two weeks of email stacking up makes for a big headache.