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Music, travel, shopping and charity on Christmas Eve

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

It’s the last day before Christmas. 

And amidst the frantic last-minute shopping and traveling, some people in Flint took some time out for music.

For 78 years on Christmas Eve, a bank lobby in Flint has turned into a small concert hall.

Dozens of people filled the First Merit bank lobby in downtown Flint to listen to choir sing a mix of holiday standards and carols, as well as sing along themselves.

Greg Viener, the community bank president, says the community sing started during the depression and became a tradition for many Flint families, “starting their Christmas Eve shopping and the Christmas Eve celebrations with a little bit of reflection and singing."

Not everyone has time to listen to music. 

AAA predicts more than 3 million Michiganders will be traveling during the holiday season. Most of them will be driving more than 50 miles. 

And a few procrastinators have waited until today to start their Christmas shopping.

Across Michigan, some businesses and groups are lending a helping hand to those in need for Christmas. 

For the past few years, John’s Family Grill in Mount Clemens has been offering a free Christmas Eve buffet.

Owner John Lleshi says he wants to show his support for local homeless people and the churches that help them year round.

“It’s Christmas, you know,” says Lleshi. 

In addition to hundreds of meals, Lleshi expects to raise hundreds of dollars to support homeless programs in Mount Clemens. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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