MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Cathedral of St. Mary, for some, is the final stop in a long day of pre-Christmas activities.

From shopping, to volunteering, to cooking—people all across South Florida have been busy Tuesday.

Many who showed up at mass Tuesday evening said it’s the perfect way to reflect on what’s important to them this holiday season.

The holidays are a time for family, friends and for many—faith.

On Christmas Eve, hundreds of Catholics gathered at The Cathedral of Saint Mary for an almost- midnight mass to celebrate Christmas led by Archbishop Thomas Wenski.

“We’re really happy to be together on the night that Jesus was born. We’re happy to start off our Christian life together for the New Year here tonight,” said Joseph McCray who attended mass.

“It allows us to be together on this special occasion and to pray together,” said church-goer Marie Lubin.

Some spent Christmas Eve at church, while others, earlier in the day, paid a visit to the stores, shelling out dough for those last minute gifts.

But not everyone can afford the holiday hustle and bustle.

That’s where the Miami Rescue Mission comes in, providing Christmas Eve meals to those in need.

Even Senator Marco Rubio was there to dish out some cheer.

“To be able to give back, a gift through our own blessings. We’re such a blessed people and a blessed city and there are people in need that are struggling that are hitting tough times,” said Marco Rubio.

And for many South Florida Cubans, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Noche Buena lechon. Some lined-up before dawn to pick out the perfect pig.

Wooden boxes covered in hot coals, also known as Caja Chinas, went to work roasting the family feast.

A delicious meal just one of the blessings many are celebrating this holiday. The time of fellowship with loved ones is a gift that’s always in season.

“Although I might not have everything I want, deep down I know I have everything I need,” said Julia McCray.

“One of the things a family can do together. They say the family that prays together, stays together,” said Marie Hyppolite.


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