By George Solis

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As people finalize their holiday shopping, others are taking part in other holiday traditions helping the less fortunate or getting closer with their families.

While many spent the day finalizing their holiday shopping, others spent the day bonding with the family at the local church.

This Christmas Eve, hundreds of families gathered at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for Christmas Mass.

“For me, it’s a total family time,” said Susan Gallagher. “and that means everything, I’ve done this for years and years: go to mass together and then go out and eat and then we do presents.”

For many in the Baltimore area, it’s an annual tradition and a family affair.

“I think it’s important to be together with family and surround yourself with people you love during the holiday season,” said Dallas Shinn.

Those not at church spent their time at the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center, where Catholic charities assisted over 400 people experiencing homelessness and gave out gifts and a holiday dinner prepared by volunteers.

“It’s an importantly special time of the year for us to communicate a message to them of love, and hope, and encouragement,” said Amy Collier of Catholic Charities. “and to let them know that despite the circumstances they are facing right now, there are many individuals that love and support them and are here to encourage them on their journey as they work towards permanent housing.”

The event meant a lot to people like Willie Mae Hollie and John Louis, especially around the holiday.

“Show some love every day,” said Hollie. “and for those people who are out here today, which is December 24, happy holiday and for tomorrow, have a merry Christmas but guess what? You have the greatest gift of all. You have life.”

Louis looked back on old holiday memories.

“Sometimes holidays just feel like a whole regular day,” said Louis. “but they are reviving that and they are bringing back the memories. The holiday festivities, and the memories.”

The holiday season is touching many lives.

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