Aside from new basketball sneakers, TJ, Ricky and Maeve aren't asking for too much this year. They got power back a few weeks ago, and that superseded just about anything else they could have put on their wish lists to Santa.
On this, the night before Christmas, their street is anything but silent. The hum of generators fills the street. That's what many of their neighbors are relying on to power appliances and light up the Christmas trees. According to the Long Island Power Authority, more than 10,000 customers in the Rockaways are still without power nearly two months since Sandy struck.
And while a white Christmas is unlikely this year, the kids on this street are still kicking around several inches of sand in their front yards. The sand, debris and downed power lines remain just as Sandy left those two months ago.
TJ, Ricky and Maeve live on a block with dozens of houses, but no one would guess it is Christmas from the looks of the street. Aside from two lonely wreaths hanging with garlands, the houses are more commonly adorned with unhinged doors, building permits and water marks.
But the 9-year-olds say they feel fortunate: They not only have power but Christmas trees, and they hope a visit from Santa will help them forget their last visitor - Sandy.