Obama signs order giving federal employees four-day Christmas weekend
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a bilateral meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the Oval Office of the White House on Jan. 13, 2014 [AFP]

U.S. federal government offices will be closed on Friday Dec. 26, the day after Christmas, the White House said on Friday.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order giving most federal workers that day off, meaning they will have a four-day weekend, with Christmas coming on a Thursday.

Some departments and agencies are permitted to order employees to work on Dec. 26 "for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need," according to the order, which was released by the White House.

(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler)