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Charlottesville Church Members Find Peace in Christmas Eve Servi - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Church Members Find Peace in Christmas Eve Service

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -

With all the hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping and holiday preparations, it's easy to forget the origins of Christmas. Tuesday night, the First United Methodist Church in Charlottesville is reflecting on what the day is truly about.

"The rush, the hurry, the last-minute gift shopping for so many people but really the meaning of Christmas is the peace and the joy and the hope that the Christ child brought us,” said Carolyn McGee, a member of the First United Methodist Church.

Christmas Eve service is an annual tradition for many. It gives people an opportunity to be with family and get away from the stress that often accompanies Christmas preparations.

"I think it's just the peacefulness of the occasion. Of course the carols are all familiar and nostalgic but more importantly, it's just the quietness of the service," said Al Horton, pastor at the church.

It’s also a time to relax, and not worry about what is and isn't done.

"Stores are closed and you can't worry about all those gifts you didn't get,” Horton said.

McGee said, "Everything's done. If I haven't wrapped those presents, if I don't have the turkey or the ham in yet it's too late now and it's time to really reflect.”

While Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are special, some say it's not something that should be appreciated just one day out of the year.

"We need to acknowledge that gift every single day of the year,” McGee said.

Tuesday night’s service ended with the congregation singing silent night outside on the steps of the church.

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