Who lays off people near the holidays?
Well, apparently there are many sh!tty bosses who do. And although there are fiscal reasons for doing so (they can expense the severance packages or they need to send an expense control message to the shareholders or market), it really is a terrible thing to do to employees. Plus, laying people off anytime from the end of November to the beginning of January effectively eliminates 6 weeks of job searching, because, let's face it, no one is going to be hiring over the holidays.
So not only is it a bad time to do it for both ex-and current employee morale (hard to enjoy the holidays when your peers are affected ... and let's face it, when will it happen to you?) but an employee could face real financial hardship when starting with that kind of 6 week non-activity handicap.