For many people, Christmas is a chance to escape from the constant chaos of the daily grind and appreciate the present of, well, the present. In the middle of a global pandemic, that idea is maybe more resonant than ever. In her 2020 Christmas tweet, Kamala Harris highlighted how even though traditions are undergoing a change this year, friends and family are the real gifts of the holiday season.
"Our traditions may look a little different this year, but the love we share remains the same," Harris wrote in her Dec. 25 Christmas message via Twitter. "From our family to yours, have a safe and very merry Christmas," she continued.
In the video attached to her tweet, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, detailed some of their annual traditions that would undergo a change in 2020, like their family brunch and Harris having to make a much smaller batch of her mother's chile relleno recipe. The couple went on to thank the front-line health care professionals, service members, and essential workers who continue to put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans.
They also called attention to the hundreds of thousands of people across the country who lost loved ones to COVID-19 during this difficult year. "I think about all of the families who are going to have an empty chair at the table" because someone they love has died from the coronavirus, Harris stated. As of Dec. 25, the virus has claimed the lives of nearly 330,000 Americans, per the New York Times.
Much like President-elect Joe Biden, Harris emphasized the importance of following proper health and safety procedures, like wearing a mask and socially distancing, during this year's seasonal festivities. She and Emhoff explained how they themselves were scaling down their own holiday traditions to keep their families safe. "This is a very different Christmas than we're used to," Harris stated, "but it is still a time to celebrate each other," she added.
Throughout her 2020 vice presidential campaign alongside President-elect Joe Biden, Harris has been dedicated to advocating for working-class Americans struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic — perhaps even more so than Biden himself. In May 2020, she worked alongside Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey to introduce legislation that would give every middle and working-class American $2,000 a month throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing payments up to three months after it ends. This bill, called the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, failed to garner traction among both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and was passed over in favor of a single round of $1,200 stimulus checks.
As Congress hashes out the details of a new deal amid President Donald Trump's rejection of the $900+ billion COVID-19 relief package submitted on Dec. 21, Americans across the country continue to worry about how to make ends meet during the holidays. Right now, it seems like a $2,000 monthly check might be nothing more than a Christmas wish.