So we're just back from a big, rackety, extended family holiday: the blissful kind where small children run feral, and adults don't wear shoes for a week. Sand pours out of every bag I unpack and the fridge is full of sour milk, but even that can't dampen the general sense that all is once again right with the world.
Which is why one snippet in particular leaped out from my beach reading. A third of Americans don't take all their statutory holiday,even though it's a stingy (by European standards) 14 days a year on average. The most common reason is being too overworked to, well, stop work.
Friends working in the US have long grumbled about a corporate culture where, at senior levels especially, taking a vacation is frowned upon: the done thing is to be loudly and ostentatiously at one's desk all summer, at least if you're seriously ambitious. Now the lunacy seems to be spreading: this survey suggests at least one in five Brits has cancelled holiday due to work pressure.
I admit I've done it myself, in the days of having a Proper Job, and understand the feeling that there's no alternative: but the trouble with presenteeism is that it's contagious. Once enough people in an office waive their holidays, the pressure's on everyone else to do the same or risk looking uncommitted.
I'm reminded of an exchange a few weeks ago between the five candidates for the Labour party leadership, in which David Miliband appealed for a sort of holiday non-aggression pact where all the candidates took a break from campaigning in August to spend time with their families.
Everyone nodded virtuously, but I couldn't help wondering who might be tempted to get one over on their rivals by working nonstop through the summer.
Competitive holidaying - bragging about one's month diving in the Maldives, while everyone else is camping in the rain - may be irritating. But competitive non-holidaying, among those who can afford a break? Now that's seriously antisocial.