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A rare quiet Christmas Eve in Breezy Point

David Friedman / NBC News

Tom Fraser-Dillon tries out the new snare drum his son Mack just received as a Christmas present.

Christmas Eve at the Fraser-Dillon house is supposed to be crazy. It’s supposed to be loud, and there should be 20 to 30 family members and friends coming through for non-stop cooking and celebration. There should be a real Christmas tree, “the fullest from the lot,” decorated Victorian style.

This year it’s just Tom and Kim, their son Mack, 13, daughter Alexa, 19, her boyfriend Brian Kolb, their two dogs Gia and Otis, a pizza delivery, and a fake tree. But they’re here, while most of their neighbors are not.

David Friedman / NBC News

Kim and Tom, interrupted from last minute gift wrapping, try to coax Gia off the table.

David Friedman / NBC News

Brian Kolb, left, and Alexa, Kim and Mack Fraser-Dillon gather for a pizza delivery dinner on Christmas Eve.

Their Breezy Point, N.Y., home was inundated with superstorm Sandy’s floodwaters. “Jellyfish on the table. Seaweed in the refrigerator,” Kim remembers finding after three feet of water receded from their main floor. The house has belonged to Kim’s family since 1969 and it’s the only home Mack and Alexa have ever known.

“Kim said I want to be in by Christmas,” Tom recalls. So he got to work. He’s been living there full-time since the storm – eating many military style MREs – doing most of the cleanup and rebuilding work himself, with help from Kolb. He ticks off a list of tasks completed already: mold remediation, new flooring, new insulation, new sheetrock, new electrical.

Today, just before Christmas Eve dinner, Tom got their heat working again for the first time since Sandy.

David Friedman / NBC News

Tom plays with Gia, left, and Otis.

David Friedman / NBC News

The Fraser-Dillon house is the only inhabited house in their neighborhood on Christmas Eve.

See more of NBCNews.com's continuing coverage of Breezy Point in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, including how some spent their Thanksgiving there.