The president-elect and future first lady said that they would spend the holiday enjoying a small celebration with their daughter Ashley and son-in-law Howard at their vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Mr Biden noted how in other years, the large Biden family would gather in Nantucket to celebrate the holidays but that this year they were having a much smaller celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He called on Americans to sacrifice meeting in large groups for the sake of the country.
“We know that the act of staying home is a gift to our fellow Americans,” Mr Biden said. “Yes, it’s a personal sacrifice, that each of our families can make and should make to save someone else’s life. But it’s also a shared sacrifice for the whole country.”
Dr Jill Biden said many families will celebrate the holiday this year with an empty seat at the table after losing a loved one.
“So many people are celebrating this year knowing that someone they love will never again take their seat at the table,” she said. “Joe and I know the pain of that empty chair.”
As Dr Biden spoke the words, president-elect Biden patted her hand to comfort her. Their son, Beau, died of brain cancer in 2015, and Mr Biden’s first wife and infant daughter were killed in a car crash in 1972.
Dr Biden also lauded the individual Americans that the nation should be thankful for – medical professionals, front line workers and teachers” among them.
“We’re thankful for everyone who met this moment with kindness, bringing groceries to neighbors or asking, ‘how can I help?'” she said.
Mr Biden called on Americans to be hopeful for the future.
“We might not be able to join our hands around a table with our loved ones, but we can come together as a nation,” Mr Biden said.
“I know better days are coming. I know how bright our future is. I know the 21st century is going to be an American century.”