A Pandemic Christmas: Services Move Online, People Stay Home

File photo: Pope Francis (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME (AP) — The coronavirus upended Christmas traditions, but determination and imagination kept the day special for many. Intimate gatherings that didn’t require travel replaced large family reunions. Churches moved services online to avoid big crowds. With economies reeling around the world, it wasn’t a year for lavish gifts.

In his Christmas Day message, Pope Francis appealed to world leaders to make sure the most vulnerable and needy are first in line to get coronavirus vaccines. Border closures and bottlenecks foiled plans for some.

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