Sandy-displaced couple Joan and Jim Keeney home in Ortley Beach for Christmas

Being home for the holidays has special meaning for families at the Jersey Shore displaced last year by Sandy. Joan and Jim Keeney were displaced

Being home for the holidays has special meaning for families at the Jersey Shore displaced last year by Sandy.

Being home for the holidays has special meaning for families at the Jersey Shore displaced last year by Sandy. (12/17/13)

ORTLEY BEACH - Being home for the holidays has special meaning for families at the Jersey Shore displaced last year by Sandy.

Joan and Jim Keeney were displaced for more than three months by Sandy. They say being away for Christmas was especially tough because traditions were lost. "We just did as much Christmas as we could," says Joan Keeney, "but it's not the same as being in your own home, enjoying your own feeling of your own home and the love and the decorating."

The Keeney home is still surrounded by empty houses and devastation, and they know how lucky they are to have the holidays at home.

The couple went all out decorating this year to make up for last year. "It means quite a bit because I know my wife puts a lot into it," says Jim Keeney, "and it means a great deal to her. What makes her happy makes me happy."

The Keeneys did not have as much damage as their neighbors, but damaged infrastructure and the loss of utilities made it impossible for them to return home until February.
 

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