Neighbors Keep Christmas Spirit Alive In Pass Christian

Will Hurricane Katrina become the Grinch for some people and steal Christmas? Not if a group of Pass Christian neighbors can help it. They're determined to try to keep the Christmas spirit alive even in the midst of all the devastation.

If it's going to be a FEMA Trailer Christmas, Lana Zeiss believes in making the best of it.

She's invited in a few fake flamingoes to share the holiday season. On Tuesday, Pass Christian neighbors joined together to make hats and scarves for the brightly colored birds. They're hoping people who drive down East Second Street will get the joke.

"We wanted to keep that spirit alive because it's so important, not just for us, but for the neighborhood and people that are passing by that don't live here to see. This is what we do without there being a storm," said Zeiss.

Her neighbor Kate Ross also lost her home in the hurricane.

"Christmas comes this time of the year no matter what. You've got to make fun with it, you know."

"This is home, even the way it looks now it's still home."

A pile of debris is what's left of Zeiss's home. It's a similar scene throughout the town, but residents say the rubble doesn't seem as overwhelming as it once did.

"It's still messy, but every day it improves. Neighbors say even after Katrina there is still reason to celebrate and a sense of gratitude for the compassion people have shown."

"And it's going to be wonderful one day to be reunited with these people in different circumstances to have a celebration when the Pass comes back to life," said Zeiss. "It's not 'Past' Christian. It's Pass Christian and that's what we want it to be again."