By CBSLA Staff

EAST LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A popular Christmas tradition for many families in Los Angeles continued in earnest Thursday morning despite the pandemic.

Dec. 24, 2020. (CBSLA)

People were lined up outside Tamales Liliana’s in the 4600 block of East Cesar Chavez Avenue in East L.A. beginning at 2 a.m. to purchase their delicious tamales.

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With smaller gatherings, people are not buying as many tamales as they have done in years past.

Still, employees said that they are grateful to be able to help families honor their traditions.

“During this COVID time it’s been hard for a lot of people,” said one employee. “So, we’re honestly very grateful for the entire community and for communities that surround us — that they’re coming down and that they’re supporting us.”

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Tamales Liliana’s has been selling its tamales for 30 years and normally does big business this time of year.

“They’re not buying as much as they used to,” manager Manny Bernal told CBSLA last week. “So for instance, say a family would usually buy four to five dozen, now they’re looking at anywhere between one dozen to a dozen and a half.”

Despite smaller orders, tamales were still in high demand on Christmas Eve. The restaurant planned to close around 6p.m. but the line was so long that they remained open until 9 p.m. to serve every customer.

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Under the regional stay-at-home order currently in effect for Southern California through at least Dec. 28, all public and private gatherings with other households are prohibited, except for religious services and protests.