Wesley Snipes -- I Won't Be Home for the Holidays

12/6/2010 4:35 PM PST

Wesley Snipes -- I Won't Be Home for the Holidays

Wesley Snipes won't be getting the gift of freedom for Christmas -- because a judge just DENIED the actor's request to have his surrender date pushed back until after the holidays.

Wesley filed the request last week -- asking a federal judge in Florida if he could begin his three-year prison sentence for tax evasion on January 6, 2011 instead of December 9, 2010.

Wesley's argument ... he has "four minor children" and didn't want to get locked up "in the middle of the holiday season."

But a judge didn't see it that way -- because according to documents filed today in Florida, the judge denied the request citing the fact that Wesley was originally sentenced over two-and-a-half years ago ... and therefore the actor had "all of that time to place his affairs in order."

The judge also wrote, "The sooner he begins his sentence, the sooner it will end."