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Residents Hit Hard By Superstorm Sandy Reflect On Meaning Of Christmas In The Face Of Loss

Destruction from Sandy at Cedar Grove Avenue on Staten Island (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Destruction from Sandy at Cedar Grove Avenue on Staten Island (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Eight weeks to the day after superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the Tri-State Area, residents affected by the storm are trying to get into the holiday spirit.

On Staten Island where many lost their possessions or their homes, residents said the storm is a reminder that Christmas has a deeper meaning than presents.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

“Christmas will go on. It’s in here, so it’s not material. It’s in here so we’re going to have a nice Christmas because we’re alive,” Staten Island resident Laura Jean Sammarco told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

Another Staten Island resident who was displaced from her home said she will be celebrating with her ex-husband and some of his family this year.

“It’s not going to be about the stuff, it’s just going to be that we’re together. Because isn’t that what Christmas is about, really? In all honesty, it’s not about the tree, it’s not about the toys, it’s about being together,” Dawn Lavigne told Haskell.

For Staten Islander John Cardello, he said he was finally allowed back home about a week ago.

“I’ll actually be able to spend Christmas at home,” Cardello told Haskell. “It’s nice, it’s a little bit of a relief. It’s nice to be home.”

1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reports

In storm-battered Oceanside on Long Island’s south shore, residents said Sandy’s damage nearly ruined Christmas.

“I would say it has a big impact on it because half of the people here have no houses to live in,” and Oceanside resident told 1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels. “People’s decorations got wiped out so people just aren’t in the holiday spirit right now.”

Many residents said they lost their decorations in the flooding.

“It’s very sad when you’re driving into town from other areas and you all the Christmas lights and decorations up and then you get into our area and it just stops,” an Oceanside resident named Doreen told Michaels.

But storm-affected residents said they are keeping things in perspective in light of worse Sandy damage and the Newtown school massacre.

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