BEND, Ore. -

The holiday spirit was felt throughout Central Oregon Christmas Day.

Many people spend Christmas with family, opening gifts, slicing up a roasted ham and drinking eggnog near a fire.

Others choose to spend part of their time helping those who might not be so fortunate.

“I'm 6 feet tall, but it makes me feel 8 feet tall when I can do these things,” Rob McCafferty said. “It's just a warming of the heart that I really can't describe.”

McCafferty has been a volunteer at Family Kitchen in Bend. In the past three years, he's served close to 27,000 meals -- and he loves doing it.

On Wednesday, many like him went down to the Family Kitchen and volunteered during their Christmas lunch.

“None of us would have had a decent Christmas, knowing that there were some people out there that maybe didn't have a meal today,” Cindy Tidball said.

They weren't the only ones serving meals.

The Bethlehem Inn hosted a Christmas brunch, which fed many people as well. Volunteers Marcie Sweider and Jan McDonald are good friends, and they chose this year to start a new Christmas tradition.

“I see people serving, and I have to watch every week, because it just seems so wonderful to have everyone come in and give them a plate of food,” Sweider said. “You know you've helped people.”

The spirit of giving was alive in Central Oregon, and volunteers had a special message to everyone: Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.