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Rain, Omicron Variant Force New Christmas Traditions for Sacramento Families

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Rain on Christmas meant many opted for plans inside and the highly contagious omicron variant meant some would spend the holiday away from loved ones for the second year in a row.

The highly contagious omicron variant is evident in 50% to 70% of new coronavirus cases in parts of the most populous state heading into the holidays as California is on the precipice of recording 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, health officials said Friday.

The numbers reflected in the holidays for many families, who made changes to the size of their gatherings.

"We're just looking at the Christmas lights because we're not going home to see family because everybody's sick so we're staying here to look at lights," said Jessica Allen, who drove through the Fab 40s neighborhood on Christmas Day.

Others still gathered with their family members safely but limited the guest list to immediate family only.

"We haven't seen each other probably since March, but we have all the holidays together. No extended family this year that's pretty much the only difference," said Annabelle Thalken, one of four siblings home for the holidays in Sacramento.

The weather, another topic for those with plans to get outside on Christmas. Rain in the valley and snow in the Sierra forced some to change their schedule.

"We were going to go to Tahoe, yesterday till next Sunday, we decided to wait it out in Sacramento because we don't want to drive in winter storm conditions," said Rajani Yadav, visiting Sacramento on an impromptu trip.

The break in the rain Saturday led to more cars and visitors to the Fab 40s neighborhood, where holiday decorations and lights lit up the street on Christmas.

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