Legislative leaders often use the threat of holiday week sessions to force action.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that he expects the Senate will have to come back the day after Christmas to finish a fiscal cliff deal, signaling a working holiday week for hundreds of lawmakers, staff and journalists.
"It appears at this stage, we'll see if anything changes, but it appears that we're going to be coming back the day after Christmas to complete work on the fiscal cliff and a few other leftover items," Reid said on the floor, according to a transcript.
Of course, legislative leaders often use the threat of holiday week sessions to force action before the Christmas holiday -- the Christmas Eve morning Senate vote on health care reform a few years ago, for example -- so it's far from a gurantee that Congress will be back the week between Christmas and New Year's.
That said, with each passing day, it gets more and more likely.