HOUSTON, Texas (FOX 26) - To start Christmas Eve off, the 39th annual Super Feast was held downtown at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Thousands got in line to be fed a traditional dinner of turkey and fixings, served by volunteers, city and state officials.
"We've got to do what we can to make sure everyone gets a hand up and that we serve people with a genuine love for them. This is about more than just giving food, it's also about being cheerful and letting people know that we care about them," says Congressman Al Green.
Santa also made a special appearance and kids were welcome to toys.
"It's not about the presents, it's about being with other people and helping," says Perry Vasquez who was volunteering with his family.
"It's always a blessing to be able to come out and help those whether they are less fortunate or not. It's always good to give back to the community," says volunteer Riby Reese.
"It's just to be blessed to help people that need it," says another volunteer Angel Walker.
Next stop was made at Gallery Furniture where Mattress Mack hosted a toy and shoes drive for kids. Vans stepped in and donated thousands of pairs in all sizes. Kids could also line up and get a big red bag full of age appropriate toys.
Over at St. Francis Episcopal Church a service was held where children got to reenact the nativity of Jesus Christ.
"The tradition is that 800 years ago St. Francis himself started this tradition of a live nativity so that people could engage in it and pretend they were there and enter into the wonder of it," says Father Bob Wismer.
Angels, Roman soldiers and wise men and women walked to the alter, as well as a few furry friends.
"We have the animals and the kids all dressed up in bath robes, the kids imagination is so wonderful that they just carry the whole story," says Father Wismer.
Speaking of furry critters, Houston Pets Alive! wanted to celebrate the holiday as well by hosting "Home For The Pawlidays", an adoption period where folks could come in and choose a cat or dog at no cost. There are also several pregnant dogs that need to be fostered in loving homes.
"These guys are all coming from the local municipal shelters right off the euthanasia list, so we find out who they say they don't have space for, that don't have room for, they can't care for anymore and we try and take as many as we can do all of these animals have already had a second chance, now they are just looking for their forever home", says shelter director Miranda Hitchcock.
The shelter is located off Stella Link and will waive adoption fees through the end of the year.