This Christmas, Sandy Homeowner Grateful to be Back Inside

by Stephanie Colombini
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Staten Island homeowner Amy Chan and her miniature gold tree

Stephanie Colombini

Staten Island mother Amy Chan might not have a kitchen, but she's just happy to have a roof over her head; as some Sandy victims spend their second Christmas displaced from their homes.

Amy Chan hasn't played many Christmas carols in her home this season.  That's because it would be hard for her to hear them over the sounds of hammers and buzz saws, as Habitat for Humanity continues to do repairs on her house. 

Chan moved back almost a year after the storm.  She had hosted Christmas in her home her whole life.  But cooking a big dinner this year is not possible. 

"I cook out of the microwave and the toaster."

Decorating has been another challenge.  Salt water from the storm forced Chan to throw out anything electrical, including a white tree she bought when her teenage son was born. 

"It's not the material stuff that I miss; it's more like the memories."

Chan does have a Christmas tree, albeit a miniature plastic one her friend gave her last month.  Chan displays it on the small folding table that has become the center of family activity.  

"This gave me a sense of, like hope, you know...it might be small, but it's like, wow!  I posted on Facebook, like, "My First Christmas Present!"

Chan says she expects repairs to finish up next month, and is certain she will host Christmas next year. 

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