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Emotional Christmas for some Sandy victims

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Superstorm Sandy may have crushed homes and possessions but the Christmas spirit remains strong and supportive for those affected. 

After two months of rebuilding here in Belle Harbor, hundreds of residents gathered at this church today.   

The priest here told the crowd that Christmas is a time to see light through darkness--a gesture of hope for a broken community. 

It was an emotional Christmas morning mass for residents of Belle Harbor. The 10:30 service at St. Francis de Sales Parish was packed this morning, but hearts hung heavy. 

Neighbors and friends displaced by the storm are noticeably missing. 

"There's not a lot of familiar faces though, still not a lot of people here," said Elaine Scotto, Belle Harbor resident. 

"I think most families have moved away and haven't come back," said Scotto. 

After church, Fox 5 caught up with Elaine and her three children back at their Belle Harbor home. Their basement was destroyed during Sandy along with years of Christmas mementos. 

"All our Christmas decorations were down here, and all the memories of raising my children, I've been in this house 22 years," said Scotto.   

But the Scotto's made the best of the situation. This year, they brought a simple Christmas tree and crafted handmade ornaments. 

"They made me all new Christmas ornaments, all handy crafts." 

Elaine says despite the spirit of the holiday, there is still a dark cloud hanging over the neighborhood. 

"It's depressing, you look outside and the houses are falling down and the ocean is a lot closer than it should be."   

But the Scotto's remain positive with hope the New Year brings a new beginning.

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