...not completely lost in the U.S.
We do try to take vacation days off work on major holidays.
We never do menial work such as laundry, cutting the lawn, mending or sewing, washing floors or other "household" work on holidays or the evening before. It has to be completed the day before.
For Pascha - no cooking takes place. The food was prepared beforehand and it's a "cold" meal - although the best of the year.
My mother never sent us to school on holidays, instead we went to church. In college, it seemed that Christmas (Jan 7) always coincided with the first week of classes for that semester....and while it was difficult to miss class on the first week, we always went to church, not school.
There are even "customs" attached to various days...besides being a strict fasting day, the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, it is forbidden on that day to "cut" anything, especially anything "round". Therefore, if you need to cook with cabbage or onions on that day, they needed to be chopped the day before. No chopping is to be done on that day.
While it sounds "silly"...it really drives home the message...and for kids especially, the gravity of the day.