"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.