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Los Angeles Christmas festivities include mass, meals

December 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Christmas festivities took place all around Los Angeles, including Christmas services at local churches and free toys and meals for the needy at the Midnight Mission.

Festivities began at midnight with the annual midnight mass at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, lead by Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez. Christian belief holds that Jesus was born at night, and hundreds gathered for the traditional Christmas service.

Meanwhile, dozens of volunteers at the Midnight Mission prepared at holiday feast that is bittersweet for some, as the meal was projected to see a record number of homeless people.

"This year, sort of the tragedy of it all is that we will serve our millionth meal," said Midnight Mission head chef Rob Rice. "We haven't done that since the Great Depression era...Our numbers are up."

In addition to providing food for the homeless, the Midnight Mission also had its Santa Village set up for the second year in a row. Santa was on hand to give gifts to needy children. Celebrities, including Dick Van Dyke, were expected be at the event.