The holidays are a special time for everyone. For a working stiff like me, they also represent a rare time when I can stay up late and goof around.
The primary benefit in my holiday vacation time is the solid time-blocks they allow.1 I can work on a single problem in more than 1 hour increments. Three continuous hours is worth at least six individual hours broken up over a week. In my experience there is no "magic hour" but there are magic nights and days.
The Crazy Ones
Throughout the year, I add projects and tasks to OmniFocus that I immediately put on hold. It's my version of a someday list. But there are also a lot of projects that never even make it into OmniFocus. They are things that I'd like to do but history tells me that I am unlikely to ever prioritize them high enough to actually do them. I don't want those things cluttering up my task manager for the rest of the year.
But once or twice a year, I give myself the freedom to add a crazy project to my list.2 I sat down this past weekend and did a dump of every little project that sounds like fun. This weekend my vacation officially begins and so does my crazy project building.
Guilt and Remorse
There's just something about vacation time that makes me feel less guilty about fiddling around. Maybe it's the knowledge that little is expected of me for a week or more. Maybe it's the false feeling of unlimited time on the horizon. I'm not sure, but I can depend on the coming remorse at not finishing more of my wild tangents. That Sunday before returning to work will likely be spent lamenting at how I wasted my vacation on the wrong projects.
I'm not sure I have one. Go enjoy your vacation. Spend time with your family and do something that gives you joy. That's what vacations are for.