On 247 days i wrote code this year and will probably do it on two days more to come. On my twitter timeline and reading in a lot of blog posts i read, holidays are side project time. 4-5 years ago i would have agreed on this but now it's different.
My parents moved from a it's a daytrip distance to it require some organisation and at least 4 days to get there distance two years ago. So we see them only once a year. This makes me feel bad when i remember the days in the past where i wasted my time at my parents with side projects instead of spending some time together. Yes you read correctly i wrote wasted.
Each of us write code in one form or another most of the year and it should be fun and it should stay fun and here is the point: At one point you will not have the joy anymore, at one point it will get a necessity. For me this would be the worst moment in my life, i have to work in a job that brings me no joy anymore.
I can hear the outcry ohh you are not a passionate software developer, but honestly i don't see it. The most import job of all of us is to look out after ourselves and our loved ones. Especially these day are made for it. Most of your loved ones have time and you can get together play board games, go for a walk, watch movies together and most important give your brain a rest from doing the stuff it hast to do all year long.
Another argument i often hear: side projects are the only way i can try new things. This is an argument that makes me mad when i hear it. There is a simple reason for this. As an employer the knowledge of my employees is the most valued possession i have. So if any developer now tells me holidays are the only days in the year to move forward my technical knowledge it means that the developer does not get the chance and the time by his employer to learn new stuff. Ask your employer to get time to try new stuff. If the answer is yes you know your knowledge is valued, if the answer is no, maybe time to look for a new job.
Don't feel bad if you don't work on a side projects on the holidays, even if you don't spend quality time with loved ones. Even if you have spare time and just want to relax by reading a NON tech book, playing games or even the heck, just watch a movie or a series that you missed in all the stress this year.
Step back take a break, you won't miss out anything. Bring your mindset to a state where it says the heck i hope i can get back to work to do coding again.
Now what is your way, are you just now working on a side project for the holidays? Or did you give yourself a day of? Anyways, happy holidays