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Families try to celebrate Christmas holiday as normal despite COVID spread

Christmas Eve church services were scarce in Houston as COVID cases rise.

HOUSTON — From the outside, most Christmas Eve church services across the country looked and sounded normal, but sadly once you got inside, that wasn't the case.

"Service is usually pretty crowded, but people are probably staying home because they don't want to be out in crowds,” said Bill Vail, a volunteer at St. Francis Episcopal Church.

Vail pointed out the empty rows that would normally be full for the Nativity Pageant. He said this year looks a little different but still the same cute kids. 

Lauren Linn was in the crowd watching her children perform.

"We spent a lot of time out of church service and we're very happy to be back even with Omicron coming,” said Lauren Linn. “And so I will wear my mask during service."

Some families wore masks and others didn't.

"Yeah, I know it's discouraging,” said Senior Chaplain Bob Wismer, St. Francis Episcopal Church. “A lot of churches are canceling and we're encouraging people to be as safe as they can to be communicating with us what's going on so we can help them, support them."

Even as coronavirus cases go up Senior Chaplain Wismer isn't letting it bring down his holiday spirit.

"There's been some birth, some deaths, some injuries, some operations, and we kind of pull together,” said Wismer. “That's when we're at our best supporting one another and it kind of all starts with Christmas." 

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