In 1974, Rankin/Bass released "The Year Without a Santa Claus." According to the Internet archive, this is the plot:

"The Year Without a Santa Claus" is a story told by Mrs. Claus, of the year that there almost wasn't a Christmas. Santa had fallen ill, and under the recommendation of his doctor, decided to issue a press release that Christmas was canceled so that he may take a holiday. Humoring her husband for the time being, Mrs. Claus assigns two elves, Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells, with a task. She orders them to leave the North Pole in the weeks leading up to Christmas, to find a town where they could rally up some Christmas cheer. Riding the reindeer Vixen, the dim-witted elves set off to the south, when they are immediately attacked by Heat Miser as his stepbrother Snow Miser looks on, but they fortunately manage to escape. They soon arrive in a city called Southtown, but their troubles are far from over, as they receive a court summons from a local cop.

You can watch the movie all month long, thanks to the wonders of the Internet.

These past few years, Washington has decided to remake the holiday classic. The plot has changed, although congressional leaders have tried to stay loyal to the original.

"The Year Without a Christmas Recess" is a story told by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), of the year there almost wasn't a holiday recess. Congressional productivity was on life support, and under the recommendation of the slow news cycle, Reid decided to issue a press release that Christmas was canceled so that Congress might get stuff done.
Reid then assigns two elected officials, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), with a task. He orders them to find a way to rally up some bipartisan cheer to patch up finances before Christmas. Riding the Senate subway, the elected officials set off to work, where they are immediately attacked by Op-Ed as his stepbrother Thinkpiece looks on, but they fortunately manage to escape. Their troubles are far from over, as they receive a tweet from a tea party lawmaker that leads them to believe they will never be able to secure enough votes.

You can watch the remake live on C-SPAN all month. All media outlets will be recapping the event on a daily basis.

Like the original Rankin/Bass TV special, however, threats to cancel the holiday recess are nearly always upended by a surprise deal -- or just delaying the issue(s) until the following year. After centuries of congressional fighting, no one seems to have caught on that this is just a clever ruse to get politicians to pass things, when all other threats have failed.

Sure, holiday recess has been canceled every now and then. However, the threat of expunging holiday recess from the congressional record is a far more of an American tradition than forcing elected officials to spend December cooped up in the Capitol. Even when we were on the edge of the fiscal cliff in 2012, Congress went on recess.